Milking systems

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Source: National Farm Animal Care Council Code of Practice for the care and handling of farm animals – Dairy Cattle, Section 1.8

There are three main types of milking systems: pipeline, parlors and robotics. All systems require attention to maintaining the equipment in good working condition. Minimizing stress on cows in the milking facility is very important. As there is a correlation between the amount of time standing on hard surfaces and lameness, minimizing the time cows spend away from feed and water and a comfortable stall is desirable.

REQUIREMENTS

Equipment must be inspected by a qualified person a minimum of every twelve months.

RECOMMENDED BEST PRACTICES

  1. ensure the milking system is comfortable for cows
  2. ensure the interior of the milking parlor is free of protrusions or other hazards and that gates and restraining devices of individual holding units operate safely
  3. ensure the facility is constructed to minimize the time cows spend away from feed and water and a comfortable stall
  4. ensure only milking equipment with an appropriate vacuum level, pulsation rate, and pulsation ratio is used
  5. ensure all milking equipment is maintained in good working condition
  6. ensure access routes are safe, illuminated and clean
  7. ensure the floor has good traction and is kept clean
  8. do not use electrified crowd gates.

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