Monitor and maintain milking machine function

It is important to remain vigilant throughout lactation to ensure that machines are operating well and are being used correctly. Machines that are not functioning optimally can contribute to new mastitis infections in three main ways (O’Shea 1987, Mein et al 2004), by:

• spreading bacteria from teat to teat and from cow to cow;

• reducing teat health and natural defence mechanisms of the teat canal; and

• causing impact of bacteria-laden droplets into the teat canal, especially towards the end of milking.

Milking machine equipment has been designed to harvest milk efficiently and maintain healthy teats. Teats are attached to milking machines for 50-100 hours per lactation. An understanding of how machine milking affects teats gives an appreciation of the importance of maintaining equipment.

This Tech guide from Dairy Australia gives instructions and recommendation for daily, weekly and monthly checks of milking machine function.

Click here to read or download Tech note 6: Monitor and maintain milking machine function