Selecting the best milking machine on a dairy farm is critical, especially if you wish to provide quality milk. Milking machines provide farmers with efficient and accessible services and are used on many dairy farms across the country.
Milking machines have eased the milking process and have made large-scale dairy farming easy. However, keeping the device clean and presentable is vital in production. The milking device consists of:
- Vacuum tank
- The pulsator
- Milk receptacle
- Vacuum pump
- Teat cup
Maintenance of a milking machine
A faulty milking machine needs to be in proper maintenance regularly. This factor is because if the device is carelessly utilized, it can cause hyperkeratosis and seriously damage the blood vessels of the cow’s udder. The bacteria are usually spread from one cow to another and cause mastitis. It would be best if you changed milking machine liners every six months .farmers should regularly make adjustments to the various parts of the machine as a precaution to avoid bacterial infections.
Purchase of a milking machine
Milking machines are available in most farm products shops at an average price range. Milking machine prices in Kenya vary per the specifications of various devices and the mode of use.
Importance of a milking machine
It saves on labor expenses and does not necessarily require skilled laborers. Milking machines offer a rise in milk quantity compared to the traditional method of milk extraction. It is much safer to use for both the farmer and the cow. It does not hurt the cow compared to the old ways when the fingernails may injure the cow’s teats.
Limitations of milking machines
- Some cows, especially the aged ones, are not so used to the machine; rather, the hands may brutally resist the device, leading to low milk production.
- Water is required in plenty for use in the machine cleaning.
- Workers’ training is required, and the purchase of the machine is an expensive purchase.
- A constant power supply is required in the milking process.
Types of milking machines
- Automatic milking systems
They are also referred to as voluntary milking systems or robotic milking. It primarily relies on the use of herd management software and computers. It is vital to check on the cow’s health status regularly.
- Rotary milking parlor
It is less labor-intensive, and milk production is much higher than other methods. Below is an image of the rotary milking parlor.
- Herringbone milking parlor
It mainly focuses on the cow’s comfort when milking due to extra entry and exit. The milker is closer to the cow and can easily access the udder.
- Swing-over milking parlor
It allows the milking device to shift from one side to another once a cow has finished, allowing the cows on the opposing side to be milked.
Milking machines have greatly simplified milk production, allowing large-scale farmers to increase output and profits.
However, machine maintenance is essential to avoid bacterial infections in the cow and ensure a safe operating environment. This factor helps in the production of quality milk. Henceforth, if you wish to purchase a milking machine, it will be worthwhile to go through the above information.