Expert advice on choosing the best milking liner for your herd – Farmers Weekly

Milking liners are the solely elements of the milking machine that immediately work together with the cow. It is important that this interface between cow and machine is optimised for every particular person herd.

Choice of liner dimension, form and supplies, together with optimisation of machine settings, enable us to wonderful-tune liner efficiency for a quick however mild milking.

See additionally: More dairy milking advice from Tom Greenham

About the writer

Tom Greenham

Tom Greenham is a director of Advance Milking, a consultancy service for all features of udder well being and milking machine efficiency.
Advance Milking works with dairy farms throughout the UK and Ireland to optimise udder well being, milk high quality and milking effectivity.
Mr Greenham additionally gives analysis, coaching and impartial help to the dairy business internationally.

Teat-end oedema inhibits milk circulation, decreasing milking pace and rising mastitis threat. To keep away from this, liners should:

  • Fit snugly to the teat to stop publicity of the high of the teat to excessive vacuum ranges
  • Deliver a sturdy compression of the teat-finish to therapeutic massage away accrued fluid.

Teat-end hyperkeratosis will increase the threat of micro organism getting into the teat. To cut back this, select liners that:

  • Reduce the compressive load utilized to the teat
  • Move the focus of strain away from the teat-finish.

There are a number of key components to think about when deciding which liners are best suited.

1. Liner dimensions

Four aspects of liner dimension should be thought-about:

Liner “lip” orifice

This should have a sufficiently small diameter to supply seal round the base of the teat, stopping slips or “squawks”.

It should even have a big sufficient diameter to stop constriction of the teat base, avoiding swelling and restricted milk circulation.

Mouthpiece depth

Larger depths have historically been thought-about extra secure, giving much less slip. However, that is largely right down to a poor match, giving excessive mouthpiece vacuums and extra teat oedema.

Smaller depths guarantee extra of the teat is inside the liner barrel, rising the efficient therapeutic massage of the teat-finish and probably decreasing publicity of the teat base to extreme vacuum.

Barrel diameter

The barrel should be vast sufficient to permit the teat-finish to develop as the canal opens. However, it must be slim sufficient to stop excessive mouthpiece vacuums, minimising teat oedema.

Barrel form

Liner diameter is given at “mid-barrel”: 75mm from the mouthpiece. Few teats are lengthy sufficient to achieve this level.

Diameter at teat degree relies upon on the quantity of taper. Straight liners might solely be 1-2mm better at teat degree, whereas extremely tapered liners could also be 6-7mm wider than the described diameter.

2. Compressive load

Compressive load is the measure of how a lot pressure the liner applies to the teat. It is considerably influenced by liner properties.

Thicker barrel partitions and more durable compounds enhance compressive load. Higher pressure inside the shell will even enhance this strain.

Compressive load varies all through the liner, being highest at mid-barrel and lowest close to the mouthpiece. This means the additional the teat penetrates the liner, the greater the pressure on the teat finish will probably be, rising hyperkeratosis threat.

Shaped (non-spherical) liners may be helpful in distributing the pressure away from the teat-finish. This reduces the threat for hyperkeratosis however could also be much less efficient at counteracting teat-finish oedema.

Shaped liners might result in greater mouthpiece vacuums, which may be counteracted by venting the mouthpiece.

3. Cow anatomy

Liner selection will even rely on the dimension and form of the teats.

  • Teats with pointed ends are extra susceptible to hyperkeratosis than blunt-ended teats.
  • “Carrot-shaped” teats, as are generally discovered with Jersey genetics, are more likely to profit from a slim barrel diameter and low compressive load or formed liner.
  • Small teats are at greater threat of teat oedema attributable to poor liner match and fewer strong therapeutic massage from the higher area of the barrel.
  • Short, sq.-ended teats, as seen in lots of Holstein cows, will probably be extra suited to liners with excessive compressive load and shallow mouthpieces.

4. Liner supplies and longevity

Rubber tends to offer a better compressive load than silicon. This reduces threat of teat oedema, optimising milking pace. However, it might enhance the threat of teat finish hyperkeratosis, in contrast with an equal silicone product.

Silicone liners have a tendency to use much less pressure to the teat-finish than rubber. This can considerably cut back hyperkeratosis threat however might end in extra teat oedema and slower milk out.

Silicone additionally has a decrease friction coefficient than rubber, rising potential for liner slip. This can often be overcome by decreasing different threat areas for liner slip.

Rubber deteriorates extra quickly than silicone, typically requiring altering two to a few occasions extra typically.

All liners change in efficiency as they age:

  • Liner barrels lose pressure, resulting in decrease compressive load and slower milking speeds
  • Liner lips grow to be extra versatile, rising air leakage and slip.

Liner selection guidelines

  • Establish milking priorities to work out what liner traits you want
  • Assess the dimension and form of your herd’s teats to permit applicable selection of dimensions and compressive load
  • For herds with all kinds of teat sizes or shapes, take into account particular options similar to vented mouthpieces
  • Ensure your machine settings are applicable: completely different liners might require completely different vacuum and pulsation settings
  • Make certain liner pressure is right: solely use liners in shells supposed for them

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