How to improve milking performance 3 (Design of the waiting room)

The waiting room should be a prior adaptation of the cows to milking. In this sense we must pay attention to the following aspects to improve the welfare of cows, and therefore their performance in the waiting room:


  • Width of the entrance door: We must adapt the number of cows to avoid stress in case of grouping of the animals. The recommended measures are: if we have less than 100 cows in milking the width of the entrance door in the waiting room should not be less than 3 meters. If we have more than 100 cows the width of the door should not fall below 5 meters.
  • The available space must be a minimum of 1.5 square meters per animal.
  • Floor: the floor in the waiting room must be striped with horizontal lines to the slope, to prevent slipping.
  • Slope of the waiting room: only the one necessary to favor the drainage and cleaning. An upward slope to the milking parlor of between 2 and 4% is recommended. Greater than 6% you lose comfort.
  • Standby time: should not exceed 45 minutes per batch. Very long waiting times cause oxytocin to be released prematurely and anticipated milk drops appear. They can also cause foot problems and stress.
  • Exit corridor widths: Avoid the advancement of two cows at the same time but with enough width to facilitate a quick exit after milking. The recommended width is 80 to 90 centimeters if it is straight and 130 to 160 centimeters if you require turns. Cows tend to be frightened by not knowing what awaits them at the end of the route so that if there are turns, a greater breadth of passage should reduce stress and allow a more fluid circulation.
  • Sudden turns: avoid turns equal or greater than 90 degrees in the entry and exit corridors for linear circulation.


How to improve milking performace 2 (The milking routine)

The purpose of the milking routine is:

  • To facilitate the descent of the alveolar milk to the cistern of the nipple.
  • Clean and disinfect the skin surface of the nipple as well as the sphincter.
  • Position the milking unit correctly and well aligned throughout the milking.
    The physiology of lowering milk in cows is the basis for the ordering of work in the milking parlor during milking.


It is what we always have to respect if we want to have healthy, long-lived animals and therefore are economically productive. Achieving the objectives of the physiology of the cow’s udder during milking is translated into the routine of milking. The basis of a good milking routine is:

  • Time of contact, between the hands of the milker and the nipples of the cow, minimum of 20 seconds. It is the time necessary to remove the first jets of milk and then dry and / or clean the skin surface of the nipple. The contact is usually made in two phases: the first one (between 2 and 5 jets of milk) and the second of manual drying of the surface of the skin of the nipples with a cloth or paper of the previously applied disinfection product. This product needs a time of activity on the surface of the nipple of about 20-30 seconds.
  • Waiting time from the start of blunted to the milking machine placement between 60 to 90 seconds.
  • According to the type of milking machine and the number of milkers we must adjust the work and handling of the milking to the established times. Cows should enter the milking parlor quietly and routinely. They should not remain in the milking (between time in the waiting room and milking) more than two and a half hours a day. Therefore it is important to optimize the management and design of the waiting room:

How to improve milking performance 1 (Control of mamitis)

Quality milk production remains a basic point in the viability of dairy farms. The term milk quality is very broad, but the most complicated parameter is to maintain good cell quality throughout all months, objectively assessed by the cell count of the milk in the tank.

It is clearly influenced by the incidence of clinical and subclinical mammitis in farm animals.

The bases for the control of mamitis are based on six points mainly:

  • Keep cows clean, dry and comfortable.
  • Good management of the farm and in particular in the milking parlor.
  • Good operation and maintenance of the milking machine.
  • Antibiotic treatment of all animals at the time of drying.
  • Correct diagnosis and treatment of new clinical infections.
  • Isolation and progressive elimination of animals with chronic lesions in the udder.

Of all of them we can not emphasize one of more important than the other, since all of them together are basic to be able to begin to value the health of the udder of the cows in a farm. In this article we will develop only those that influence us in the performance of milking, such as: the handling of milking and the functioning of the milking system. The handling in the milking parlor is a very important point for the quality of the milk, since it is the place where an animal, a machine and a person are related.

This interrelationship is what we call the milking routine.

The quality of milk can be evaluated by three aspects: Nutrition, Hygiene and Health

The nutritional quality of milk depends on the proportion of its components, protein, fat, sugars and minerals that make up the milk solids. The proportion of milk solids depends on the cow’s genetics.

There must be healthy cows, with organs and systems in optimal functional level. This depends on many things, among others of the zootechnical management to which the cow is submitted, of the sanitary programs. In addition, having well-nourished cows ensures the raw material. This depends on the good planning and advice of a nutritionist. We must remember that it is not the same nurturing than feed and in the basic process are things omitted by complex aspects.

The amount of protein in milk depends on the genetic code and is related to the presence of limiting amino acids, lysine, methionine, valine, leucine and isoleucine. If any of these are missing, the protein synthesis process stops.

The amount of milk fat can vary and depends on the quantity and quality of the fiber, the proportion of forage in the center, the availability of easily fermentable sugars, the synthesis of fats from different sources such as preformed fatty acids in the blood , Fatty acids synthesized from glucose, fatty acids synthesized in the udder from VFA synthesized by rumen bacteria.

The main factor in the hygienic and sanitary quality of milk is the bacterial count of milk. This depends on 4 factors: Milking routine, equipment cleaning, milk cooling and incidence of mastitis. These are the responsibility of the producer.

The main cause of high bacterial counts is an inadequate milking routine due to aspects of hygiene and practices prior to milking. Any surface that is in contact with the liner or with the hands in case of manual milking should be clean and dry. It is best to evaluate cleaning during milking, the presence of sediment in the filter after milking.

These are the source of contamination with coliforms and consequently of high bacterial counts and if it is related to an incorrect or improper chilling, it also translates into milk acidity. To avoid accumulation of manure in the udders, the cow must be provided with clean and comfortable nests. If the floor where you sleep is hard, the cow will seek comfort and is going to lie where it finds a soft surface that is the manure and if it is wet better. This complicates milking for dirt excess.

jmjnnq2xfoy-annie-sprattThe bacterial count also depends on the washing of the equipment, because there are critical sites that favor the development of bacteria. In the case of mechanical milking all the points of attachment and angles or corners where the milk flows, in the nipple, pipelines of milk line and cooling tank; Are sites of accumulation of fat and milk, which if not properly cleaned, constitute culture media for bacteria that pass into the milk during the flow and contaminate it. The cooling of the milk to a range of 2-4 degrees C ° should be immediate, because the bacterial growth, is exponential and is related to the ambient temperature and the cooling time.

The bacterial count also depends on the incidence of mastitis and the somatic cell count depends on the incidence of subclinical mastitis.

Why and how to produce quality milk?

025f1dd8Milk is a product rich in nutrients, which makes it an indispensable food in the diet of humans, especially in children. However, these nutritional qualities make it a highly vulnerable product against the contamination of microorganisms, which may be of mammalian or environmental origin, causing diseases in consumers or causing alterations in the product and its derivatives making them unsuitable for Human consumption.

Producing quality milk brings with it knowledge of the benefits that this implies, avoid penalties for the price of milk, returns by the industry and, for a personal conviction, understand the importance of milk for feeding our children.

Milk intended for human consumption must preserve its nutritional properties and not cause damage to health, so that producers are required to implement Good Milking Practices, hygiene and proper handling of the product; Both in the production and the production phases.