Source: National Farm Animal Care Council Code of Practice for the care and handling of farm animals – Dairy Cattle, Section 1.8
There are three main types of milking systems: pipeline, parlors and robotics. All systems require attention to maintaining the equipment in good working condition. Minimizing stress on cows in the milking facility is very important. As there is a correlation between the amount of time standing on hard surfaces and lameness, minimizing the time cows spend away from feed and water and a comfortable stall is desirable.
Equipment must be inspected by a qualified person a minimum of every twelve months.
RECOMMENDED BEST PRACTICES
- ensure the milking system is comfortable for cows
- ensure the interior of the milking parlor is free of protrusions or other hazards and that gates and restraining devices of individual holding units operate safely
- ensure the facility is constructed to minimize the time cows spend away from feed and water and a comfortable stall
- ensure only milking equipment with an appropriate vacuum level, pulsation rate, and pulsation ratio is used
- ensure all milking equipment is maintained in good working condition
- ensure access routes are safe, illuminated and clean
- ensure the floor has good traction and is kept clean
- do not use electrified crowd gates.