Dynamic Parlour Testing
INTRODUCING VaDia – DYNAMIC MILK MACHINE TESTING
We are very excited to announce that we can now offer dynamic milk machine testing, using VaDia. This technology allows us to check how the parlour functions at the cow level, by attaching the VaDia units to individual clusters. Ultimately, this will allow us to help you:
- reduce the risk of teat lesions, including teat oedema and hyperkeratosis
- reduce clinical and subclinical mastitis
- increase cow comfort during milking, which usually has the added benefit of providing faster milking times and higher yields.
None of this can be assessed through the usual static milk machine test, however to complement the dynamic test, we will also perform a static milk test. This will include fall-off testing (how the parlour responds to open clusters) and pulsation testing (comparison between the milking and resting phases of milking). We can test conventional parlours, rotaries, and robots.
Why should I perform a dynamic test?
16% of variance in clinical mastitis is directly related to the milking machine, with an additional 16-17% of variance being indirectly related to the milking machine – a HUGE amount! To put that into context, genetics is only responsible for 7% variance.
Inappropriate interaction between the milking machine and the cow’s teats increases the risk of hyperkeratosis and oedema in the teats. These conditions can have a significant impact on:
- the levels of clinical and sub-clinical mastitis in a herd,
- somatic cell counts,
- cow comfort during and after milking.
Hyperkeratosis (see picture) is caused by an increased production of cells at the end of the teat and causes a rough appearance of the teat. Teat oedema is a build-up of fluid in (part of) the teat during milking. Both increase the risk of bacteria being able to enter the teat canal through slowing the closure of teat sphincters.
Inappropriate vacuum levels, bi-phasic milking, overmilking, poor liner fit and/or poor teat conformation can all lead to oedema and/or hyperkeratosis. It is only through dynamic testing that all of these can be assessed. Even if you don’t see many cows with hyperkeratosis or teat oedema in your herd, your milking parlour could still be having a large influence upon mastitis rates: over 1/3rd of the variance in clinical mastitis when considering both direct and indirect effects.
Besides using the VaDia kit to measure vacuum within the milking machine, both statically and dynamically at the cow level, we will also perform a visual assessment of your cows during milking and fully analyse your mastitis data. This holistic approach is necessary to ensure that all factors are considered, allowing us to provide proper, informed, and reliable advice, tailored specifically for your farm.
For more information, or to book your dynamic milk machine test, speak to Jonathan or Elske today. We are happy to offer this service to external clients in a consultancy capacity throughout the South-West: we would fully interact with your Primary Vet throughout this process. Contact us if this would be of benefit.