Farm Show

When smaller dairy producers inquire about the cost of the parlors their neighbors with larger herds build they often conclude that a milking parlor is unattainable for them. The expense of doubling-up will achieve only a marginally improved throughput created by an increase in the available milking time per cow, improved flexibility in the use of the milking units and a work routine unimpeded by equipment hanging from the centre of the operator’s work area. Regardless of your budget or farming requirements, proven designs are available to meet your needs. As for milking, regardless of type parlor we go with, we will probably go with bucket milking.

Since milk-flow rate is influenced by peak milk production and the number of milking units in the parlor, work closely with your milking-equipment representative to select the appropriate bulk storage tank. Highway guard rail and other flat stock generally doesn’t work as well for parlor superstructure, and it creates too much surface area to clean up. The kick rail should be at 24 to 27 inches from the cow platform.

In a typical swing parlor, each milk unit is in use a higher percent of the time than in a low-line parlor. THIS MAN SAND PATH IS CONTINUOUS FROM THE LOAFING BARN TO THE DAIRY PARLOR SO THAT THE DOES NEVER HAVE TO WALK IN MUD DURING RAINY WEATHER. For instance the vacuum profile can seriously affect a herd’s milking performance in terms of quality and quantity.

Milkers attach the milking clusters to the teats from the side of the cow, and to have better visual contact with the cow’s udder while she is being milked. Most new parlors installed for big confinement farms are based on systems with low milk lines (below the cow platform) and a milking unit for each cow/stall. On smaller parlors (eight units or less), almost anything will work as long as the cows are treated as milking animals, and not wild rhinoceroses. Accessories for milking parlours are cooling equipment for a maximum of 500 litres, concentrate dosing from a silo, water boiler and water pipes.

The most successful version is undoubtedly the rotary abreast which has no moving parts on the platform, the cows face inwards towards the centre and the operator is positioned at the circumference of the platform to control cow entry. Plus, a parlor can help with a business transition, such as letting a new farm partner join or letting an older farm partner ease out.

Designs vary from simple yoke ties only on the platform to rotationally operated moving divisions which position the cows and allow entry and exit. One of the criteria he had was that milk would pass the pasteurization requirements, and another was that he wanted to make sure that the parlor would survive the conditions he was sure it would face. I saw one parlor retrofit where a lot expense went into ensuring strong support for the mow, only to have the farmer soon abandon that mow with a switch to baleage. AHDB Dairy’s Parlour Wizard allows you to look at different milking routines together with different levels of automation to see the impact on the milking speed.

From our base here in Kerry we export a wide range of dairy and farming products including milking equipment,automatic manure scrapers and feeders, milk cooling tanks and health and heat detection systems to more than 40 countries worldwide. Throughput values are useful when comparing various parlor types and sizes and for estimating actual times for milking, but total chore time gives a better indication of overall labor efficiency.

There is just one milking unit for every two cows, with the unit swinging” back and forth across the pit to milk cows on each side. An ideal goat milking parlor- so clean Do not underestimate the importance of cleanliness! The building includes the calving boxes, one herringbone parlor and area for the calves. I don’t believe that there is a herd size too small for a low-cost, swing parlor.


So farmer took the measurements, drew up what he wanted and our local fabricating shop built it. Go big or go home must have been his motto as his plan included a double eight parlor. These parlors offer a lot of milking efficiency at a relatively low cost and with less physical labor than milking in stanchions, which fits well with the grazier mentality. While some swing parlors with 20 or more units function as one-person operations, many operators seem comfortable with a maximum of 12 units per person.

When in doubt, break it out Some of the worst parlor mistakes have come from farmers’ love of existing concrete. Another easily adapted technology is the swinging milk unit concept commonly called the swing parlor. Automatic milking systems allow for the cow to enter milking when she desires and frees up the use of an employee. A Dairymaster Swiftflo Rotary is capable of milking up to 100 cows every 10 minutes and this can be carried out with a single operator.

When choosing automation for milking systems, serious consideration needs to be given to the operation of the milking parlor and labor-saving possibilities of automation. A Parabone requires fewer milking units and the design of the stalls is much more simpler. These milking parlors have different set ups and shapes to accommodate the animals and the lay of the land. Some people find the prospect of milking in a parlor more attractive than milking in a stall barn. I just feel that here are few true drawbacks to the basic design of a swing parlor.

In t his kind of worst case scenario, the milking procedure is totally oriented on speed and minimum work load. As a result, farmers that are planning to milk upwards of 200 cows may find that a rotary parlour is the best option for them. But, because we can build swing pit parlors for the same cost (or less), I have quit promoting flat barn parlors. Kammel’s paper on swing parlors is on the American Farmland Trust Web site at: That site also has pictures of parlors.

Beams, posts and pillars Since we’re talking about potential mistakes, let’s talk about dealing with all the stuff that has always supported the structure that you intend to retrofit with a parlor. This is the average time spent on the various tasks associated with milking each cow (ie. A major potential cost savings is the ability to convert the present tie-stall/stanchion barn to a pit parlor with a holding pen facility. Its mobile design means that the milking parlour is ideal for use in various locations, e.g. in the fields during the summer and in the barn in winter.

The findings of this work highlighted that herds with a rotary parlour recorded, on average, a positive net margin of 1.7ppl followed by herringbone at -0.5ppl and AMS at -4ppl net margin. Then we found out that Wolfe’s Neck Farm, in Maine, was getting a mobile milking parlor. If the dairyman decides to be his own general contractor for a milking parlor project, he should be prepared to devote to it the time and interest to make it work, Haugen said. Once we had a support post kick out while digging a parlor pit, and had half the older, two-story barn sagging before we got the support beam stabilized.

This makes the milking parlour ideal for use in various locations, e.g. in the fields during the summer and in the barn during the winter. Minimizing the distance between udders reduces the length of the parlor and puts the milker in a better position to recognize and attend to any problems that might occur, such as accidental machine drop-off. Efficient equipment is essential with goat farming, since the productivity of the goat is limited and it is necessary to milk a large number of goats in order to maintain a reasonable profit.

With a swing parlor you can save maybe 20-30% on the entire construction cost on milking equipment alone — even more if it’s a larger parlor. This enables the next doe/ewe in line to put her head in the second-to-last unit, which opens the third-to-last head unit, and so on. After milking is completed, one simple lever releases all the animals at once. The milking parlour has a modular design with a technical compartment and milking platform. Available milking time per cow) doubling up a 5/10 herringbone to a 10/10 for example, is equivalent to adding one more unit to the 5/10 to make a 6/12 (see page ).

During milking, cows walk onto a rotating platform singly with the operator standing at the point of entry to prepare the udders for milking and attach the teatcup clusters. To compare my design was a 25 x 34 swing parlor with a 12 x 10 milkhouse (tank thru wall). The available milking time per cow) becomes greater in the doubled up version for a given performance level, this advantage can be exploited only if the operator had previously been waiting for cows to milk out.

The barn has two stalls (one for hay), a feed/tack room, the milking room, and a center aisle, plus a roof over a concrete slab out back for the cows. Some of the old Grade A flat barns were six or eight cows on either side with feeders in front, and 3 or4 milking units per side. The Haugens milk cows in a 16-unit swing” parlor that they installed in a tie-stall barn, and Vance has helped plan and build dozens of similar facilities. The 2 cow parlor is awesome, I don’t care how many rotations I’d have to go through, most important is a very low start up cost.