Taking the time to review your milking system is important, as getting it right, can provide many benefits:
Increased throughput means shorter milking
Review current milking routines to identify if and where time is being wasted, then change the routine to best suit your situation.
Those that have changed from traditional, to more efficient milking practices regularly report significant saving. E.g. 20-45 minutes saving per milking for those milking up to 10 rows/rotations, and for those milking greater than 10 rows/rotations, savings of over an hour per milking are easily achievable.
Improved hours of work, better employee satisfaction and staff retention
Shorter milkings and consistent finish times enable greater work hour flexibility. This can lead to longer in bed in the morning, home earlier in the evenings and overall improved work/life balance.
Reduced physical strain and team frustration, resulting in improved cow care and fewer mistakes
Through a combination of improved milking skills and the adoption of an efficient milking routine, there is less wasted time. Milking becomes more logical, easier and more comfortable.
Less mastitis and fewer lame cows
- An efficient milking routine and/or use of correctly set ACRs helps reduce the risk of over-milking related mastitis.
- Efficient routines ensure milkers are positioned correctly to remove cups or where ACRs are used, cut-offs are set at higher thresholds to reduce milking time.
- Shorter milkings also mean that cows spend less time on concrete, a factor known contribute to lameness.
Calmer cows, leading to faster milk-out
Cortisol, the hormone associated with fear/stress, blocks oxytocin leading to poor milk let down. Implementing a consistent milking routine reduces stress in the herd.
Once cows become accustomed to a routine they flow better, become less flighty, are easier to milk and let down milk more readily.
Many farms are implementing simple changes to their milking routines and as a result, are achieving significant improvements in milking performance. In this section we cover milking, milking efficiency and how you can get the best from your milking system, often with little to no financial investment.
To improve the efficiency of your milking system, select your farm dairy type below:
The herringbone is the most common dairy type in New Zealand and is ideally suited for small to medium herds. Find out more about maximising efficiency in your herringbone.
Rotaries make up about 32% of farm dairies in New Zealand, and have become popular due to milking efficiency in larger herds. Around 45% of the national herd is milked in a rotary.
Moving the herd to and from the dairy is an important part of the milking process, it affects animal welfare and milking efficiency.
Good dairy stockmanship not only improves animal health and production, it helps ensure a safe and efficient work environment for the whole team.
The dairy is a significant investment. Use this section to make informed decisions when building a new dairy or installing technology.
Minimise the chance of damaging teats and udders, or risking poor plant performance by correctly setting up your milking plant.