NAPA – North Adriatic Ports Association

Milking Machines: The Advantages and Disadvantages

Are you building a farm and deciding between purchasing a milking machine or hiring workers? Maybe your traditional dairy farm is growing and now you are thinking about upgrading your milking machines? Whatever the case is, you’ll want to know the pros and cons of both systems. With that said, read on to learn more.

The Benefits of Milking Machines

There are many benefits of milking machines. It’s no secret that many farmers use them, and this is due to the advantages of the machines. With that said, the benefits include:

  • First, milking machines can increase activity, especially if the farm has a large herd. Managing larger herds is easier and faster with milking machines. Not only that, but quality is ensured.
  • Secondly, farms can save money because they don’t have to pay for labour expenses. A large farm that uses manual labour will usually need dozens of employees in order to maintain maximum productivity. Only a handful of automatic milking machines are required.
  • The third benefit is milking machinery will reduce your dependency on workers. If you have skilled workers who decide they don’t want to work on the farm anymore or they are unable to work, then milk production will suffer, and in turn your bottom line will be affected. With automatic milking machines, you’ll find it easy to find a worker who will be able to use the machines, which means your farm will be as productive as possible.
  • When you milk a cow by hand, then you’ll likely find your milk bucket will also contain small bits of hair, hay and even manure. Sure, you can use a fine strainer, but this will only work up to a point. If you have a tiny amount of manure in the bucket, then the milk might have to be fed to the pigs or the chickens.
  • Using a milking machine is good because the milk bucket is sealed up and fully enclosed. This means no contamination will occur while the cows are getting milk. Your milk will be clean, fresh and free of e-coli.
  • The longer milk remains in the bucket, the more the taste of the milk will be affected. The sooner it’s chilled, the better it’ll taste. Milking cows by hand is time-consuming and the milk will slowly be affected due to cooling down to the temperature of the room. This can result in the milk tasting like how a barn smells.
  • Finally, let’s not forget that the stress on the stock will be reduced. Your cows’ health will improve. In turn, your cows will produce the highest quality milk possible.

The Cons of Milking Machines

There are a number of cons:

  • The main one is related to the age of the cattle. The older cows are usually used to being milked by hand, and they might not adjust too well when you make the switch to automatic milk machinery. Older cows can also become stressed out as a result of the switch. In turn, the quality of milk can be affected. The newer generation of cows, though, will probably have no problems with adjusting to milking machines. So, this isn’t a major con.
  • The second con is electricity is required. Machines are powered via electricity, so you’ll likely experience issues if there is a blackout or if the power supply systems become damaged. As long as you have an emergency power supply system, then you should be fine.
  • Finally, you do have to clean the machines regularly. Infections can occur if you don’t properly clean the machines. You should be fine if you have a proper policy to follow, and if you invest in a high quality milking machine system or salle de traite conventionnelle; Fullwood Packo can help.