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A comparison of manual and automatic teat cup removal techniques for milking dairy cows

Authors: J.C. Radcliffe, M.L. Horne and C.A. Chillingworth


A milking herd at the Northfield Research Centre was maintained for three months in two similar groups. One group was milked using manual teat cup removal while the other group was milked using an automatic teat cup removal mechanism activated by a flow rate sensing device. The cows were milked in a four stand double-up “walk through” type dairy. Automatic teat cup removal resulted in a significant (P<0.01) reduction of 4% in total milk production, with consequent significant reductions in protein and s.n.f. yields. A significant (P <0.01) increase in s.n.f. percentage was recorded.

The use of automatic cup removers reduced the milking time by eliminating overmilking. Commerical milking machine cleaning techniques were suitable for use with the flow rate sensing devices.

It is concluded that the use of automatic cup removal devices is practicable, but further investigations are required to evaluate their use in dairies of differing designs.


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