Focus Site Project: Improving Pre-milking Routines
- Using standardised pre-milking routines, this project aims to improve milk quality and reduce milking time, teat damage and mastitis cases. Increased yields and opportunities to qualify for somatic cell count/bactoscan price bonuses could be optimised and energy costs reduced through an enhanced milking routine with an emphasis on milk let down, calibrated equipment settings and development of protocols.
- Current milking routines for the autumn calving herd will be evaluated and milk flow charts drawn up for each cow in the study.
- Improved pre milking routines can improve milk quality and potentially increase yields by up to 5% by stimulating milk let-down more effectively and ensuring the correct time-lag between initial stimulation and cluster attachment, reducing milking time per cow.
- Energy efficiency audits could be used to measure if changes to parlour settings can reduce equipment running costs. Milk quality will be monitored and a bespoke cleaning routines developed for the farm.
- Teat end scoring, mastitis records and milk quality records will monitor animal health and welfare changes and swabs can be cultured to evaluate the effectiveness of pre-milking teat cleaning routines and improvements throughout the project.