So you think you know your cows

So you think you know your cows

Every day cows need to do three things to be productive


Sounds simple, it really is if you know these facts

Make sure the cows have accessible feed after exiting the parlour

Make sure there is clean water

Make sure that every bed is clean dry and comfortable

A simple time scale for milk production within a 24 hour timescale

RESTING      14 hours


MILKING                 4 hours

So next time you are thinking of developing your dairy THINK of this timescale

Cows standing in the collecting yard for 3 hours reduce milk production

This includes cows standing to go to the feed area .

Cows standing in cubicle house are not producing milk ask yourself why?

Milk the cows calmly gently and quickly

Your cows will be happy healthy and produce more milk

What 50 years of Research has told us ?

It’s strange that for over 50 years we have been told in order to improve milk quality, low cell counts and low bactoscan we need to milk clean, dry, stimulated teats and yet these small factors are still not adhered to.

Reduced rates of clinical cases of mastitis in these low cell count exceptional milk quality herds have several factors that do not vary with the herd sizes or type of operations. Some of these dairies are small, some are organic and some are large, but they all have management based on producing quality milk.

It is really simple and common to all farms with excellent milk quality, the farm adopts a policy and strives and wants to have low cell count milk and they make sure all employees are working for the same goals.

It doesn’t cost a huge amount to be thorough and focus on the small things.

1 Consistent cow handling to ensure clean, calm cows enter the milking facility at every milking.

2 Consistent milking procedures and routines at every milking regardless of who is milking. The goal is to have 10 to 12 seconds of teat contact time during preparation followed by attaching units at 90 to 120 seconds after the teats are first touched.

Cows milked with a standardized milking routine, where premilking preparation and timing were optimized, produced 5.5% more milk in their lactations compared to cows milked without standardized routines. These results were presented in a Danish study published in a Journal of Dairy Science paper.

Consistent udder preparation will reduce the average milking time. Cows with reduced time on unit will have better teat end and skin condition and therefore they will have fewer bacteria on teats when units are attached. The key factor to the new infection rate for mastitis is the number of bacteria on teats when units are attached.

3 Dip all teats with a post milking dip as soon as possible after milking. Have at least two-thirds or more of the complete teat covered with post milking teat dip.

4 Have a monitoring program in place to ensure all the operators are working to the same procedures. Have some method of communicating how operators performed after every milking; filter sock cleanliness Constancy is vital to capitalize on both milk quality and milk quantity.

5 Make sure cows are lying on clean dry bedding comfortable for lactating and dry cows. Inexorable attention to bedding management is critical.

6 Move towards Dynamic milking machine testing, ensure rubbers are not worn or perished, settings on parlour are accurate and correct. Ask questions about teat condition and unit on time. =