Work routine time is key to good productivity in parlour
In an ideal situation, the milker should be able to milk all cows in one go without leaving the pit at any stage. This is the most productive way of milking any herd.
The productivity of any parlour depends on a number of factors including cow drafting, parlour design, location of the parlour, skill of the milker, and the holding yard design.
The length of time it takes to milk the herd will also depend on the milk yield and milking routine of the herd, the design of milking equipment and location of udder wash hoses, teat spray jets, and the power hose for occasional washing of cow standings.
Parlour throughput (cows per hour) is very important. Extra units, good parlour design, labour-saving devices, labour efficient and safe handling facilities will not only increase the parlour throughput rate but should also save money.
Parlour throughput hinges on the number of units, good work routine, general design and layout of the parlour and collecting yard, backing gate and the absence of obstructions entering and leaving the parlour. Time will also be saved by having entrance and exit gates that can be opened from anywhere in the pit, good light and a non-stressful parlour.
Safety is also important, Teagasc's Tom Ryan insists.
"Any facility should be planned and built so that one person can operate it and handle animals in safety," he says. "Safety for the user is most important but the importance of safety during construction and subsequent maintenance is also key."