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South African Journal of Animal Science

Print version ISSN 0375-1589

Abstract

ROSE-MEIERHOFER, S.; BRUNSCH, R.  and  JAKOB, M.. Reduction of forces on the teats by single tube guiding in conventional milking parlours. S. Afr. j. anim. sci. [online]. 2009, vol.39, n.5, pp. 161-164. ISSN 0375-1589.

Udder health considerably affects the economics of dairy farming. There are different reasons for poor udder health; one of them is the milking technique. In earlier studies it was shown that automatic milking systems (AMS) have advantages over conventional milking systems (CMS). Quarter individual milking and automation are therefore possibilities to improve the milking process. Single tube guiding allows controlling each quarter individually to measure cell count or end the process according to the cows needs. This study evaluates the effect of a single tube milking system used in a conventional milking parlour. Forces on the teats regarding different udder formations and vacuum behaviour were recorded. The investigated single tube milking system MultiLactor® is produced by the company Siliconform GmbH, Türkheim, Germany. Balanced allocation of vertical force for all teats is important for proper and gentle milk withdrawal and to maintain udder health. Measurements of force distribution in AMS and MultiLactor® systems proved their superiority to conventional milking clusters. Furthermore, all the other force directions were reduced to nearly zero in AMS and MultiLactor®. Higher adaptability to irregular udder formations is also expected. In conclusion "wrong" positioning of the teat cups is expected to be solved by implementing clawless milking clusters.

Keywords : Milking techniques; single tube cluster; force; udder health.

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