Top 10 milkers' mistakes in milking parlors: Misuse of water hose
Continuing our series of articles about the most common issues on a dairy farm, let's talk about an issue known as "Misuse of water hose" which ranks eighth on the list. However, it accounts for 5.19% of all issues that occur during cow milking. On average, there's one case and one cow per hour. This issue is more frequently observed on rotary farms and less so on parallel ones.
If a cow is in a specific milking stage (before and after machine attachment, before post-dipping), the floor should not be washed underneath her because it can introduce infection into the milk or exposed udder. There are cases where a cow might get frightened and trigger the detachment of milking equipment. Proper practice dictates that cleaning the floors and teat cups should be done only after postdip procedure.
Using water is not advisable when a cow's teat orifice is either already open or not yet sealed. Stripping is used to clear the milk plug that protects the teat from bacterial entry into the milk canal. Postdip forms a protective film to seal the teat that has been expanded by the vacuum. Until the teat is protected, splashes of water while cleaning the teat cups or the floor beneath the cow pose a threat to udder health.
Let's look at common scenarios of this issue:
An employee washes the floor under the cows after removing the teat cups but before postdipping. Dirt should not enter the open teat orifice.
An employee washes the teat cups during milking. This may lead to machine detachment and incomplete milking.
An employee sprays water from one end of the milkbarn to the other.
An employee sprays water at a cow to make her move.
An employee forgot or intentionally did not turn off the water.
Understanding and rectifying the "Misuse of water hose" issue is essential for maintaining the health and productivity of dairy cows. This seemingly minor mistake can have significant repercussions, affecting the udder's health and potentially leading to the detachment of milking equipment, thereby hindering the milking process. Dairy farms should prioritize proper training and emphasize the importance of correct milking procedures, particularly with regard to when and where to use water. By avoiding this issue and following best practices for cow milking, farms can ensure the well-being of their cattle and the quality of the milk they produce. This is a crucial step in preventing common mistakes found in the top 10 milkers' mistakes in milking parlors!