The milking routine is the most important job on a dairy farm, because you could say it is the only time you are really making money.
Therefore, it is critical that dairy farmers complete this process to the highest of standards.
The milking routine is also a very repetitive action and takes up a large proportion of a dairy farmer’s working day, so it can put enormous pressure and strain on dairy farmers.
In our most recent episode of FarmLand, Teagasc’s Padraig O’Connor gave some top tips on how farmers can cut down on time spent in the parlour, as well as making sure the farmer’s own health is maintained while carrying out this repetitive job.
One of the stand out points made by Padraig was the importance of switching hands when putting on and taking off the clusters. This will help farmers avoid shoulder and back pains.
He advised farmers to use their right hand if the cows are on the left-hand side of the parlour and use their left hand if they are on the right-hand side.
On being more efficient, Padraig gave advice on getting the parlour ready, getting yourself ready and ways farmers can save time during the milk process.
When putting on the clusters, Padraig stressed that the best place to start is at the front of the parlour.
He said this is important for two reasons: you can begin to start milking while the cows are still entering the parlour; and when taking the clusters off, you can teat spray the cows and begin to let them out while you finish cupping off.