Document Detail

Effect of setting a maximum milking time, from peak lactation, on production, milking time and udder health.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20927175     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
AIM: To examine the effect of setting a maximum milking time, from peak lactation until drying-off, on production, duration of milking, and udder health of dairy cows.
METHODS: Forty cows were assigned in twin-pairs to be either milked until cups were removed at a milk flow-rate threshold of 0.35 kg/minute (Control), or until cups were removed at a milk flow-rate threshold of 0.35 kg/minute, or maximum time, whichever came first (MaxT). The maximum time was set by determining the milking time of the 70th percentile cow when ranked from fastest to slowest, irrespective of yield. The milking routine was typical of that practised on dairy farms in New Zealand, and involved no pre-milking preparation. The study began at peak lactation (68 (SD 7) days in milk; DIM) and continued for 26 weeks. Duration of milking and milk yield were measured for each milking. Composition of milk was determined from weekly herd tests, and milk quality from fortnightly somatic cell counts (SCC). Completeness of milking and teat condition were assessed during the study. The bacterial status of quarter milk samples was determined at the beginning and end of the study, and all treated cases of clinical mastitis recorded. ANOVA was used to examine the effect of treatment group on variables of interest.
RESULTS: Total milk, fat and protein yields during the study period did not differ between treatments. On average, 30.3% of the morning and 27.6% of the afternoon milkings of MaxT cows reached the maximum time at which cups were removed, and were therefore shortened. While the average milking time of the slowest-milking cow was longer for the Control compared with MaxT group in Weeks 1-18, the average milking time did not differ between treatments. There was no difference in overall SCC, and the incidence of clinical mastitis, or the percentage of infected quarters at drying-off, was similar for the MaxT and Control cows.
CONCLUSION: The results show that setting a maximum milking time can reduce the milking time of slower-milking cows in a herd without compromising overall herd production and udder health.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Although the numbers of cows in the study were small there was no evidence of a major increase in SCC, or subclinical or clinical mastitis when a maximum milking time was set for slower-milking cows.
J G Jago; J E McGowan; J H Williamson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Controlled Clinical Trial; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  New Zealand veterinary journal     Volume:  58     ISSN:  0048-0169     ISO Abbreviation:  N Z Vet J     Publication Date:  2010 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-10-07     Completed Date:  2010-12-07     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0021406     Medline TA:  N Z Vet J     Country:  New Zealand    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  246-52     Citation Subset:  IM    
DairyNZ, Private Bag 3221, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand.
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MeSH Terms
Animal Husbandry / standards*
Cattle / physiology*
Lactation / physiology*
Mammary Glands, Animal / physiology*
Mastitis, Bovine / prevention & control
Time Factors

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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