Milking equipment is often overlooked as a critical component of milk quality.
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Milk quality starts with equipment

December 23, 2013
POSTED BY: Bradley Mills | DVM | Senior Veterinarian | Dairy Technical Services | Zoetis

Milking equipment is often overlooked as a critical component of milk quality. Poorly maintained equipment can damage cows’ teats and affect milk quality. Watch for these common malfunctions:

  • Failure of pulsation — This is when the milking machine fails to massage the teat end correctly. This will cause edema at the end of the teat, making it more prone to infection.
  • Irregular vacuum fluctuations — This pushes milk back toward the teat end, which can cause an intramammary infection.

Equipment malfunctions allow bacteria to reside in cows’ mammary systems longer, putting them at a higher risk of infection.

To avoid equipment malfunctions, check for proper vacuum in the teat cups and ensure pulsators are functioning properly. Also make sure liners are properly installed in the milking shells.

Knowing how to monitor milking equipment can help prevent production loss, allowing your operation to continue producing a high-quality milk product. 

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