Cellcheck Tip of the Month for June 2018
CELLCHECK TIP OF THE MONTH Don’t Risk it With Old Liners! The liner is the only part of the milking machine that comes in direct contact with the cow. A cow spends on average 60 hours of every lactation in contact with this liner. Do you worry that the recommendation to change your milking machine liners has been developed just to sell more liners? Do you think that liners which are ‘a bit worn’ won’t make much of a difference? Well rest assured that changing your liners will increase your milk yield and udder health! As liners operate over time they lose tension, absorb fat and hold bacteria. This deterioration is sufficient to reduce the speed and completeness of milking, resulting in a loss in milk yield. This also increases teat end damage and increases the spread of mastitis bacteria. To reduce the impact of aged liners on milk yield and udder health, the industry recommendation is to change liners after 2,000 milkings or 6 months, whichever comes first. To see when exactly you should change your liners, use the following simple calculation:
A herd of 100 cows milking twice per day [number of milkings per day] in a 10 unit swing-over parlour [number of milking units] would take approx 100 days to reach 2,000 cow milkings If the full herd was milking by 1st March, with new liners in spring, by 1st August they will have done at least 150 days milking. But they should have been changed after 100 days i.e. around June 9th. NUMBER OF DAYS = 2,000 X NUMBER OF MILKING UNITS HERD SIZE X NUMBER OF MILKINGS PER DAY NUMBER OF DAYS = 2,000 X 10 100 X 2 = 100 DAYS
Many herds have increased in size, while parlour size may have stayed the same. Hence each cluster is milking more cows now than it might have a few years ago. So don’t wait any longer…..calculate exactly how often you should have new liners, and change them now if that’s what the figures tell you! Remember too, that liners should be changed at least every 6 months, as the rubber naturally deteriorates over time, and with exposure to the cleaning products used for machine disinfection.
CellCheck is the national mastitis control programme, coordinated and facilitated by Animal Health Ireland. It is being developed and delivered in partnership with industry bodies representing farmers, processors, service providers and government. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to mastitis control; we do, however, need to make sure that all the wheels run smoothly and in the same direction. This is where CellCheck has a role to play.
The objectives of CellCheck are:
The building blocks of the CellCheck programme include the CellCheck Farm Guidelines for Mastitis Control, the development of service provider training and farmer workshops.