In the past years, the dairy industry has transformed rapidly in the U.S, leading to an increase in milk production. For cows to produce adequate milk, it is key to ensure their comfort by adding milking stalls to optimize milk production. More so, the stalls are also pleasant working areas to manage the cows. Here are four ultimate reasons why you should use stalls in your dairy farm for milking.
1. Cow Comfort
The comfort of cows while milking is key to milk production since it directly impacts the emotional and physiological well-being of the cow. Hence, using stalls to milk ensures cows are healthy and comfortable, thereby increasing milk production. Beyond that, creating a comfortable environment for cows reduce their stress levels. Using stalls makes this possible. Accordingly, milking stalls are usually well lit to allow the cows to be more at ease and provide a suitable environment where cows avoid overcrowding, food competition, and bullying. A good example of a comfortable stall is the herringbone system.
2. Improved Operator Efficiencies
It would help to consider the safety and comfort of the operator in the milking stall to allow for a smooth milking process. Hence, it would be best to build a stall with rump rails closer to the operator’s pit and on the contours that stretch to the cow’s legs to enable the cow to stand comfortably. This concept enables the operator to be safe from the cow’s legs. A good example of a milking stall that provides excellent cow positioning and operator comfort is the herringbone milking parlor.
3. Individual Movement and Attention
In milking stalls, when cows are milked individually, it increases the milk output by 30%. Also, individual milking intensifies the milk quality since the cow is milked calmly with no pressure. Another important aspect of the milking stall is the individual flow of cows in and out of the stalls. Milking stalls such as parallel stalls are fitted with vertical lift exits that allow cows to enter and exit one after the other. When stalls are lifted, the gates are also raised to allow the cows to exit in sequence. This stall system endorses fast and reliable cow loading and safe cow contact.
4. High Efficiency
Milking stall’s efficiency is important in sustaining the profitability of a dairy farm irrespective of its size. The amount of milk harvested per stall each hour is a significant factor that influences the productivity of the farm. If a dairy can milk one more parlor side every hour, the financial benefit is enormous, even if labor and capital expenses remain unchanged. In addition, most dairy farms track the number of cows milked every hour, turns per hour, and the amount of milk harvested each hour to estimate and improve the efficiency of the stall. A good example of highly efficient milking stalls is the Tandem, which offers fast milking speed per stall. The Parallel stall has a line of interlocking faces that ensure no stall is used until the next occupied to ensure that all the stalls are used for every round of milking.