Visual detection of technical success and effectiveness of teat cleaning in two automatic milking systems

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"Technical success and effectiveness of teat cleaning and the management factors associated with them were evaluated in 9 automatic milking herds. In total, 616 teats cleaned with a cleaning cup and 716 teats cleaned with rotating brushes were included. Technical success and the effectiveness of teat cleaning, including the location and nature of the dirt, were evaluated visually. On average, 79.9% of teat cleanings with a cleaning cup, and 85.0% of those cleaned with brushes succeeded technically; that is, the teat was correctly positioned in the cleaning device throughout the whole cleaning process. The difference between use of teat cups and brushes was significant. However, because technical success of teat cleaning is strongly dependent on herd characteristics, these results should be interpreted with caution. Factors associated with the technical success of teat cleaning with a cleaning cup were herd, days in milk, behavior of the cow, teat color, and teat location. For rotating brushes, behavior of the cow, teat location, udder and teat structure, and days in milk were associated with technical success. Excessive udder hair and technical failure of the automatic milking machine also caused a few technically unsuccessful teat cleanings with a cleaning cup. Teats with technically successful teat cleanings were evaluated for the effectiveness of teat cleaning. From originally dirty teats, the cleaning cup had a significant advantage over the brushes in the percentage of teats that became clean or almost clean during the cleaning process (79.8 vs. 72.9%). Teat orifices were least effectively cleaned compared with the teat barrel and apex. Bedding material (peat, sawdust, or straw) on the teat was cleaned almost completely. Factors associated with the effectiveness of teat cleaning were teat cleanliness before cleaning, herd, teat cleaning method, and teat condition. The variation among herds indicates the likelihood that herd management factors can be adjusted to improve milking hygiene. There is also a need to improve the precision and effectiveness of the teat cleaning mechanisms of automatic milking systems."
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)3354-3362
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2005
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 413 Veterinary science
  • automaattilypsy
  • utare
  • puhdistus
  • tehokkuus

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