Monthly Archives: October 2015

    6 Considerations for A New Milking Parlour

    Expanding your milking herd takes much consideration and getting the right milking parlour for you, your cows and your herd is hugely important. Whether you are expanding and need a new parlour or keeping similar numbers and have decided it is time to upgrade, there’s much to reflect on when making an investment in a new milking parlour. Here’s the top six considerations to help you decide.

    1. Number of Cows

    How many cows are you milking now and how many will you be milking in ten years’ time? You may not want a 20 or 24 unit parlour right now, you may feel that a 16 unit is more than adequate.
    However, steps can be taken to ensure that the infrastructure is there to facilitate change if expansion becomes part of the plan at a later date. Key elements to consider include making sure that your vacuum reserve and milk pump would be sufficient for larger numbers. It may also be worthwhile to leave some space so more units can be added.
    At present, Herringbone parlours are still the most popular. However, as herd sizes increase, so too does the time and labour costs. Farmers are now looking at ways to make milking more efficient and profitable. As a result, farmers that are planning to milk upwards of 200 cows may find that a rotary parlour is the best option for them.
    Regarded as one of the world’s most advanced rotary parlour systems, the Dairymaster Swiftflo Revolver is suitable for herds ranging from 200 – 5000 cows. The parlour has a number of unique features that are a tremendous aid to the farmer. Each cow is uniquely identified and individually monitored throughout the milking process thanks to the AutoID system. There are also numerous optional labour saving devices including the Cow Motivator which encourages cows to leave the platform and Automatic Parking for the washing of the plant. Should the cows need to stay on the platform for longer, the innovative Cow Retention can be utilised.


    2. Space

    The amount of space available, be it for a new parlour or for revamping an old parlour, is important. Farmers are finding that they want to increase cow numbers but moving from 80 cows to 120 in a ten unit parlour is adding significantly to the milking time. If they wish to improve the existing parlour, one option is to add more units if space allows but you also need to bear in mind that an improved vacuum resource, milk pump, new piping and a large plate cooler may also be required. Another option is to ‘double up’ where a milk line is installed on each side of the parlour and there is a cluster for each cow space. To improve efficiency Automatic Cluster Removers are used with this system. The Dairymaster Automatic Cluster Remover accurately and consistently monitors the flow of milk during milking. When milking is finished, vacuum is removed and the cluster is detached from the cow.
    To ensure that the best possible layout is provided for the farmer, the Dairymaster design team are on hand to assist with all aspects of parlour design and the highly experienced technical staff can provide comprehensive advice and assistance.

    Swiftflo Swing Parlour

    Swiftflo Swing Parlour

    3. Time

    As the expression goes, time is money.

    Research has shown that the time spent milking in different parlour types can vary considerably. Milking time with a rotary parlour takes 25 hours per cow per year whereas in other systems that time is increased up to 36 hours per cow per year.

    In farms where it is taking too long for cows to file out of the existing parlour, a rapid exit parlour for larger numbers can save a lot of time. The Dairymaster Swiftflo Fast Exit Parlour means that once the row of cows is milked, the feed troughs can move up, the bailing moves up and the cows can exit in one swift movement as they all move together. Unlike other Fast Exit systems, the Dairymaster Fast Exit parlour is designed in such a way that the cows can be fed while they are in the parlour. To further reduce time spent in the parlour, a Dairymaster milking machine has been scientifically proven to milk each cow up to one minute faster.

    Fast Exit Milking Parlour

    Fast Exit Milking Parlour

    4. Labour

    An important point to consider is how many people are available to milk the cows either from hiring in labour or within the family. While one person can milk a maximum of 24 in a non-swing herringbone parlour and up to 18 in a swing -over herringbone, it becomes a two person operation when more numbers are involved. A Dairymaster Swiftflo Rotary is capable of milking up to 100 cows every 10 minutes and this can be carried out with a single operator.

    Swiftflo Revolver Rotary Milking Parlour

    Swiftflo Revolver Rotary Milking Parlour

    5. Performance

    Are the cows being milked efficiently and cleanly? For instance the vacuum profile can seriously affect a herd’s milking performance in terms of quality and quantity. The Dairymaster milking machine’s vacuum profile follows the natural way of milking. In a Dairymaster milking system when the liner is open there is high stable milking vacuum. It applies a low vacuum in the rest phase and all four teats are rested together resulting in less stress. Scientific research has shown that the Dairymaster milking system maximises milk out through the unique combination of the claw, liner and pulsation system. Recent scientific trials show that the Dairymaster cluster yielded 5% more when compared to another commercially available cluster.

    6. Cow and Operator Safety

    Safety is of increasing concern on farms each year. Cows will often need to be segregated into different areas after milking depending on if one is ill for example but particularly during the breeding season. Sorting cows manually can lead to one cow pushing another into the farmer and can lead to serious injury. An efficient two-way or three-way drafting system is much safer – and will save time too.
    Dairymaster Integrated AutoDrafting is a cow sorting system which is unrivalled in terms of performance and build quality. The route for individual cows can be selected from the parlour pit using the milk meter keypad or Swiftflo Commander touchpad, pre-programmed before milking on the parlour PC or directly from your mobile phone using Farm Messenger.
    There is also a concern for cows that are spending too long waiting around to be milked. Ideally, cows should be spending as little time as possible in the yard prior to and after milking. Cows waiting too long in the yard are more susceptible to lameness, produce more manure and have less time for grazing. This issue can be avoided by the addition of extra milking units or by moving to a more suitable parlour type.
    Contact the Dairymaster team for further discussion and explanation of the best type of parlour for you, your cows and your farm.

    Drafting Panel

    Drafting Panel