6 Tips for Maximizing the Milk Parlor

6 Tips for Maximizing the Milk Parlor

Here are six ways to do it:

  1. Milk More Often - For some, it’s an increase of a pound or two per cow each day, while others gain 10 pounds or more by milking more often. Several factors go into making the decision to add a milking shift. Parlor size, pen size, facility set-up and cow movement all play a part. Even if milking all cows once more daily isn’t feasible, perhaps fresh cows could be milking more often and late-lactation cows less often.
  2. Stop Wasting Time - Give employees the tools they need to perform their jobs without interruption. Ample supplies of dips and towels should be at the milkers’ fingertips; they should not be leaving the parlor in the middle of a shift to restock.
  3. Motivate Employees - Capitalizing on people’s skills and competitive spirit can have positive results. For example, set a goal for the number of cows milked in an hour and challenge each shift to achieve that mark.
  4. Make Sure Cows Are Pulling Their Weight - When times are tough, the temptation is to hold onto cows that should have left the herd for one reason or another. When these cows hang around too long, they end up being the ones that need to be treated, thus incurring more expense. Stop messing around with these cows.
  5. Shut Down the Treated / Fresh Cow Parlor - Small parlors for milking fresh and treated cows are extremely inefficient and can take hours to achieve what could have been done in the main milking parlor in 15 minutes with the same labor force.
  6. Make Cows Move Efficiently - The parlor may be running like a top, but the cow flow to and from milking can be an efficiency bottleneck. The goal is to train the cows to enter the parlor on their own, not to train employees to leave the parlor to push them. Also, observe cow flow to and from pens to the parlor.

Article is from Progressive Dairyman, July 2017.

Tags: Management Tips, Milk Quality