Milking machines - does it hurt the cow

Dear Farmnest team,

I have been doing research on starting a dairy farm and during this, I spoke to a few farmers who do not use the milking machine. Most of them said cost is the problem which I can understand. But a few of them said that it hurts the cows and does some damage (they could not explain what damage) to the teats on a long run.

Now I seek the suggestions from you all, please help me in taking a decision. I’m starting with about 4 to 6 cows, so manual milking is possible, but I also plan to expand… so will surely need the milking machines.

Regards,
Nithin

The whole world uses milking machines, why would you listen to what some farmers whose world revolves around their village or taluka? I have had people come in our farm during milking and ask me whether blood comes out if machine is not removed, what nonsense that if that were the case then noone would have used milking machine would they?
Our farmers are unable to progress because of these kinds of irrational thoughts and strong will to resist change.

Dont believe anything you hear in villages, their world ends at the nearest city. As an educated person, look at other developed countries for inspiration.

Good luck.
Nikhil

Dear Mr.Nithin,

Milking Machines are used world wide - in USA, Australia,New Zealand, Gulf countries etc. In all these countries, milking is done using machines only and the cows produce lot more than Indian cows. Nothing happens to the teat of the cow. Yearly once you need to change the rubber parts. Clean the milking can and rubber parts in lukewarm water preferably with acid and alkali mild detergents. Milking Machines are available in Portable and fixed models. As you are planning to expand, better buy fixed machine. The first picture shows milking using portable machine in Kerala, where there is severe shortage of milkers.

Murali Krishnan




Dear Nithin,

As Narayan said sure to-day most of the dairy farmers switching on to the Milking machines or milk parlours for milking the cows in their dairy farms depends on the requirement and conveniences. It is really hygienic and good practice too.

But, just using milking machine will not give comforts to you as well as to your cow.

If you are not alert or experienced about choosing the proper machine successively or instantly your cow teets and udder could be damage.

Now-a-days, their are plenty of experienced as well as non-experienced milking machine producers are present in market. But, you have to consider carefully genuine one and maintain the same i.e. vaccum pressure, a correct liners , clusters etc.,

The improper liners may spoil the teets in course of time and vaccum pressure variation will cause these type of problems as you mentioned , even un-noticeably also damage the udder of cow and create un-comfort to cow.

keep writing,

kasturiraju

Dear Mr.Nithin,

• Milking machines milk the cows in the same fashion and rhythm everyday even if the person changes the next day. In Hand Milking when the person changes it affects the cow as the speed of milking of another person will be different and most of the milker’s smoke or chew tobacco while milking.
• Milking machines operate on electricity and it’s better to choose machines without oil as you need not incur recurring expenses.
• The heart of the milking machine is the Pulsator which helps in pressing the teats of the cow, and it must have alternate pulsation preferably pneumatic oil free type having 60:40 pulsation ratio. Alternate pulsation means if a cow has 4 teats, it should press 1 & 3 first, then leave it and press 2 & 4 next, again leave it and press 1,3. It is like the alphabet " X", pressing opposite teats.
• The vacuum pump must be preferably oil free type which will help you to avoid recurring expenses having a capacity of 180 litre/minute, connected to an electric motor. It must have a vacuum tank if you need to milk more than 1 cow at a time. Today there are machines which can milk 1/2/5/8/10/12 cows at a time. The motor capacity and the vacuum tank size differ with the number of cows to be milked at a time.
• Irrespective of the number of cows to be milked, you can calculate @ 8-10 cows in one hour & the can capacity will be of 25/30 litres.

• Hygienic milking: Few steps are to be followed.

  1. Wash the udder of the cow first with clean water.

  2. Strip the cows using your hand just to ensure that cows are ready for milk let down.

  3. One towel may be used for wiping the teats of the cow. One towel for one cow.  Small hand towel. Put it for washing after that. Single use teat wipes can be used, throw away type, similar to paper napkins.

  4. Attach the teat cups. You may leave the cow now. It takes 6-8 minutes to milk one cow irrespective of the yield.

  5. The milk from the 4 teats of the cow will end in 4 different times. There is no harm in the machine pressing the teats of the cow until you see that milking is over now from the 4 teats of the cow.

  6. Once you see that milk is over on all the 4 teats, just press the cluster using your hand just to give a downward pull. See that you don’t press too much. It will give the feeling like how we do normally with our hands when you are about to leave one teat after you finish milking- you press hard on the teat plus a downward pull.

  7. Once you complete milking and remove the cluster from the udder (you will have to remove only one teat cup by inserting your finger between the teat and the rubber liner used for milking the cow. This action will let the air from outside enter the teat cup and it loosens the grip of the teat cup resulting in other teat cups also loosen. You remove only one teat cup and the rest three gets automatically detached, just pull the cluster )

  8. It’s better to use Iodine spray on the teats after milking. Better than teat dip cups use teat spray or use non returnable dip cups to prevent infection from one teat to another.

  9. Make sure you clean the milking cluster using three brushes like Liner Cleaning brush having big bristles at one end and a narrow one at the other end, and a long milk tube brush, a thin brush to clean the milk passage holes inside the teat cup.

  10. Cluster assembly will have a top thick plastic and a bottom transparent piece where in you can see milk flowing out from each teat  and milk will go to the can via transparent milk tubes to the milking can.

Hygiene in the farm very important. No dung, urine, waste materials to be stored near the dairy shed. Put fans if climate is hot. Keep all 4 sides open. Keep surrounding clean. For small farms, fixed type machine with single can is enough. Before buying, please understand the technical side of the machine well. Provide mats for protecting the cows udder, knees, thighs etc.  Please do rough flooring as smooth flooring will be slippery after some time. 

Goodluck.

Murali Krishnan
9447088234


Dear Mr.Nithin,

Milking Machines are used world wide - in USA, Australia,New Zealand, Gulf countries etc. In all these countries, milking is done using machines only and the cows produce lot more than Indian cows. Nothing happens to the teat of the cow. Yearly once you need to change the rubber parts. Clean the milking can and rubber parts in lukewarm water preferably with acid and alkali mild detergents. Milking Machines are available in Portable and fixed models. As you are planning to expand, better buy fixed machine. The first picture shows milking using portable machine in Kerala, where there is severe shortage of milkers.

Murali Krishnan
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actually strokes given by hands to teets for milking are different then strokes given by machines,so in the beginning cows dislike the feeling and show their discomfort,but gradually they adapt to the new technique,may be this is the reason you got negative feedback about milking machines.

Milking Machines cannot hurt a cow why because teats come in contact with rubber liners only and the vacuum is measured and passed on to the teats of the cow. While hand milking, our nails hurt the teats of the cow. Variation in speed of milking by farmers will affect the cows.

Milking using machines is the main source of milking in India now, also in countries like USA, New Zealand, Australia, U.K., Gulf Countries etc.

Do not listen to the comments given by people who are yet to see a milking machine. We have sold more than 500 machines in the last 8 years.

Murali Krishnan
9447088234


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Regards,
Sheshaprasad