30 May Milk Quality Advisor: Get your milking machine serviced
The milking machine is the dairy farmer’s best friend and is the only machine in the farm that is making money. A milking machine is used twice a day every day, for over 300 days in seasonal milk production, and for winter milk production it is used for 365 days a year. The milking machine runs from 2 to 5 hours per day and over the course of one lactation, it is on the cow for between 60 and 70 hours. Therefore, it is critical that the milking machine is functioning to its maximum and to ensure that, it should be serviced by a qualified technician every six month.
The milking machine applies intermittent vacuum to the teat end, which causes the teat end to open and lets the milk flow out. A constant vacuum level should be maintained in the system throughout the milking. The pulsation system is responsible for maintaining good blood circulation, and rest periods for the teat.
The milking machine can have an effect on the incidence of mastitis. It can act as a vector for bacteria from cow to cow. It can damage the teat end, increase bacteria at the teat end and create impact forces at the teat end.
Therefore, it is critical that the milking machine is serviced twice a year. it’s essential to have milking machines serviced and tested by an IMQCS (Irish Milk Quality Co-operative Society) registered milking machine technician.
A list of registered milking machine technicians is available on
After servicing your milking machine, the technician must test the machine, write the results on a test report form, list any faults and recommendations and leave you a copy. The test report is proof that the machine is performing correctly after being serviced. It will also be needed for quality assurance purposes.