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HomeDairyWhen to service your milking machine
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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When to service your milking machine

CellCheck recommends that all milking machines are serviced twice a year by a registered technician, writes Michelle McGrath, CellCheck Assistant Programme Manager at AHI.

This equates to about 550 hours of work between services. If you have not done this recently, get it done now – do not wait until you see a rise in SCC or cases of mastitis over the summer.

Ask the milking machine technician to go through the report fully with you – it is important to understand how the machine is functioning and why certain recommendations may have been made.

Liners – the recommendation is to change liners after 2,000 milkings or 6 months, whichever comes first.

Herds that have increased in size with parlour size staying the same, sometimes forget that each cluster is milking more cows now than it might have a few years ago.

This means that liners need to be changed more often.

How often liners should be changed 

Below is a table that highlights how often liners should be changed, depending on the number of rows that are being milked at each milking.

Liners

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Work it out for your herd, it may surprise you! So, if you are milking eight rows of cows, you need to be changing your liners every four months.

But if you are milking twelve rows of cows’ liners should be changed approximately every three months

It is important to check the inside of the liners regularly to see if they are soft and smooth or rough and cracked.

The milk liner is the only part of the milking machine that comes in direct contact with the cow, so their condition is critical for teat health, efficient milking, and mastitis control.

Over time, liners lose tension, absorb fat, and hold bacteria.

Rubber naturally deteriorates over time anyway and this deterioration happens more quickly with exposure to the cleaning products used for machine disinfection.

Worn liners reduce milking performance resulting in increased teat damage and can also harbour bacteria, making cleaning and disinfection difficult and increasing the potential risk of mastitis and cross-contamination between cows.

Do not forget about the teat sprayers and have those serviced too; replace any nozzles that are blocked or faulty.

Finally, do not forget to take some time away from the farm.

It has been a challenging spring and you need to look after yourself and even regular day trips are beneficial.

Plan a catch-up with some friends or attend one of the many planned activities that are on at this time of year.

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