Dairy farming

The Newest Systems Of Milking Dairy Cows | 5 Types Of Milking Parlors 2023


Global DAIRY Production

Target Audience

Dairy Farmers


In this article we will be focusing on the systems of milking such that most farmers will be able to explain designs of milking parlors and also to be able to design free stall housing and to be able to explain processes involved in designing cattle handling facilities after reading this well structured article on milking systems.

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Reasons for milking systems

To optimise on cow management

To assure production of clean milk

To ensure efficiency use of labour

Should be able to be integrated with other systems

Optimizing on cow mgt (1)

Ensure correct cow identification

Correctly prepares cow for milking

Ensures proper milk let-down

Ensures complete milk removal without either over milking or under milking

Ensures adequate mastitis control

Allows for milk recording

Ensure a milking point with efficiency to milk at least 7.5 cows every hr

Milking shouldn’t go beyond 2 hrs

Production of clean milk

Design system to facilitate easy but thorough cleaning of cow, machinery, walls and floors

Ensure provision of enough hot water and good drainage

Efficient use of labor

Note: Milking should be over by end of 2hrs. One worker can handle 2 bucket units or 4 in-line/jar units. A milking herd of 120 cattle in a Herringbone parlour requires 2 skilled milkers to milk the whole herd within 2 hrs. Efficiency of milkers can be more important than design of the parlour.

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Integration with other management systems

Have a design that saves time for both the cow and the management. Often, high yielding cows do not have enough time to eat their requirement in the parlour. Monitoring individual animal feeding during milking is difficult. Feeding in the parlour can be associated with dust thus its an enemy to milk quality. Can train animals to feed after milking.

A milking parlor is a room or structure designed for mass milking of a large group of cows at once.

There are basically 5 Major types of milking parlors.

#1. Abreast layout

Cows stand side by side. Stalls have a gate at the front and a chain at the rear then leaves through a special exit passage. Raise milking platform some 250 to 400 mm above level of floor of the milker.

#2. Tandem

Follows the design philosophy of the tandem bicycle where two people sit in series during cycling

Cows can be released one at a time to avoid free movement blockages from slow ones.Cows can be released one at a time to avoid free movement blockages from slow ones.

#3. Parallel Parlour

Cows stand on an elevated platform at a 90-degree angle facing away from the operating area. Access to the udder is between the rear legs, which reduces the visibility of the front quarters and can make unit attachment and udder sanitation more difficult. A partitioning door that swings when a cow enters the milking stall opens the adjacent milking stall for the next cow. In most parlors, the gates overlap, to prevent the cows from entering the milking stall beforehand. As a cow enters the parlor, there is no milking stall available to enter, except the last one in the line.

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#4. Herringbone (Fishbone) Parlour

Cows enter in groups and stand at an angle to the milking pit. Angle is such that the udder part of the cow is exposed to the milker. The layout reduces the distance between the udders saving walking time for milker between milking points. Many variations have been installed, which reduces the distance between cows with 760 mm and 860 mm. Standard parlours vary in size from 4 to 20 milking points at each side of the pit. Are suitable for dairies with 200 to 500 cows.

#5. Rotary

Functions like a merry-go-round or carousel. Cows enter through one way, get into their pod, and the machine spins them around while milking. Can have Rotary Abreast parlor (Cheapest of the 3 types), Rotary Tandem and Rotary Herringbone.

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God bless and All the best !!

Chivalrous Curie

Dr Jacinth Anesu Kuri is a certified Animal Production Scientist from Harare Zimbabwe. He is the CEO of a prominent NGO in Zimbabwe called Agric Tech Opportunities. He is the founder of AgricTech Charities Foundation. Trained by Campuslifestyle to be an IT expect and Web developer And Chief Blogger.

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