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I have used and still have the stainless milk tubes. It is not draconian, and does not cause mastitis if used and cleaned properly. It actually slides into the teat and milk canal more smoothly, the offset holes on the sides will actually let larger chunks of mastitis to pass through... Not any worse than the individually packaged plastic ones that are not supposed to be reused; so they are more "sanitary"... Losing a quarter on a beef cow is just as bad as losing it on a dairy cow. They will produce more milk in the other 3 quarters, but not as much as they would produce with all 4 quarters. Dairies milk 3 teat cows all the time and have several on farms I test that are making an average 75-80 lbs a day right along.
If there are pressure problems... with the longer hoses, it is easy enough to just up the vacuum a smidgeon... the current thoughts are that it needs to be just under 13... most individual milkers (bucket milkers) are actually that high or higher. Too high a vacuum pressure will cause as many mastitis problems as too low, and too high will damage the teat ends so that bacteria is more likely to get up the teat. On the newer variable speed vacuum pumps, they run around 12.8....Too long a vacuum will more often just cause the milker to fall off, and not get milked out, so both directions can cause problems.

There is no big problem cleaning out the milk hose if it is done immediately after milking. Using a COOL water rinse first so the milk fat does not "set up" in the hose... then running a wash solution and then an acid solution to counter act the chlorine wash...
Cows can kick off any claw and I know of cows that will purposely put their foot directly on the hose to cut off the vacuum so it falls off, or just to pull it off.
Milking by hand in a bucket, a cow can step in the bucket and ruin the quality (great for pig feeding) or can kick the bucket over. There is NO FOOL PROOF way to milk a cow for pristine milk.... some cow will figure out a way to mess it up... The ones that are chronic PAINS get shipped.

Carousel parlors, which you call robotic milkers, are made in various sizes. I tested in a 72 carousel, and it has nothing to do with the feeling of being in a herd... it is the sensation of the movement that the cows enjoy... and there are cows that will stay on for more than one trip around, one of our other testers does a 50 cow carousel and he says they work on the outside, instead of the inside like we did.... there were 5 of us doing the testing in the 72 stall one, as it goes much faster than you would think. 2900 cows in about 8 hours... so over 350 an hour in a normal milking. There are some that are totally robotic, most here have people that do prep and attaching milking machine claws.
What we call robotic parlors around here, are individual stalls the cows walk into, their neck monitor or in their ear, and sometimes just as an ankle "bracelet"...registers the cow... tells how much feed she gets, doors close and she gets sprayed with a sanitizing solution, a brush type thing on an arm will clean them off and dry them, a laser is used to pinpoint the end of the teat to attach the inflation to each teat. The electronic computer can be programmed for 3 quarter cows, and every other type of info you can imagine. One robot will handle about 60 cows on the farms that have them around here...There are quite a few robot farms around here now because getting help has become a problem and the cows can be milked whenever they want. Most are programmed to allow for 6 milkings and feeding... a cow can go in more often but will not get fed or milked. Cows that do not like to go in will show up on a daily list for the farmer to go out in the barn and "find" and make them go in to be milked...A HUMAN still has to be an overseer, but it does not require you to be there twice a day at the same time every day.
Robots for these operations are about $200-250,000 EACH... monthly maintenance is around $1000 a machine... they require alot of time and work that a person milking does not. It is trading off of jobs. They are not a perfect solution.
I liked our old wood barn. We did finally replace part of the worn out wood floor with concrete,
it was easier to clean. We were set up to milk three cows at a time, utilizing six stanchions side by side.
While three cows were milking, three were being readied to milk. It was a very clean operation, we were
meticulous about cleaning. I enjoyed the close contact with the cows. Tap them on the left hip they stepped
to the right, tap the right hip they would step over to the left to allow a person to step between them. They all
had different personalities, from nervous Betty to easy going Queen. :)

Milking cows for some friends, the only problem they had using a stainless steel tube in treating Mastitis, that was
supposed to be left in during the day, according to the vet, was that it would pop out while the cow was out in the field.
Surprisingly we were able find. :)
I've only taken Progressive Dairy for a couple of months. They are funded by dairy industry adds. There is an online division but mine is paper. The have a whole lot of adds and some for those carousel parlors with photos. Don't explain how they run. Wow, cows get on because enjoy the ride. These dairys have those special collars that tell when they ate, lay down and rested, drank water, was milked and how much, what her body temperature is and if she's in heat or not. I have not seen any info about milking first calf heifers. Mostly the magazine is about current market conditions, feed prices, and managing the staff. They have articles in every issue about calf raising. Thats why I read it.

The milking cannula- they certainly have their uses and that's good to know but I would rather get milk out the natural way.
Time to go out get some milk right now. Gosh her cream line is amazing.
Got milk. She never kicked it off this time although she tried. I just sat next her, held onto the milker and rode it out so she realizes this is not effective. Got 2 and 3/4 gallons. I probably need to buy another Jersey heifer calf since I'm going to become a cattle magnate.
Most of my farms have some sort of electronic identifier... neck strap with the electronic monitor, small electronic ear tag that transmit to a receiver... ankle strap (bracelet) that records the cow when she is standing in the parlor with her leg near the receiver ...transmits to a receiver so they can monitor the milk with weight, temps, milk flow viscosity signally possible mastitis.... cow movement which can be translated into signaling heat cycle with how much movement the cow exhibits... the more sophisticated systems can detect rumen function.... most anything you want...
Heifers are put into the milking string and treated the same as the cows on commercial farms... many sort cows to keep heifers together in one group when they first come fresh so they don't get "beat up" or bullied by older cows at the feed bunk... They are expected to come in and do the job they were raised for... most will use "Udder mint" or some other mint type rub/spray on the udder to help break up the edema in the hard udders. They are usually treated a little more gently as they get used to the routine, but they are treated like they are there to do what they were bred for...and some farms will run them through the barns for a little bit of time to expose them to the whole routine... many do not. Heifers will "follow the leader" .

If a cow had mastitis, after she got milked out, I would sometimes leave the plastic cannula's in the teat so they would continue to drain... but yes they do lose them. The bad thing, leaving them in will keep the teat open to pathogens so not really a great idea unless they are out on good grass clean pasture... You weigh the pros and cons... sometimes getting the teat to drain for 12 hours will really help with nothing building up in that quarter.

I have gotten Progressive farmer for years.
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You are so experienced and knowledgeable I really appreciate it. I have read about all those high tech devices in Progressive Dairy. All I've ever known was from calf sharing with Daphne by hand milking into a bucket in a home made stanchion. I would pen up her half Angus calves, then take a gallon a day for the house with of course all the holding up milk for the calf and giving you skim milk. But anyway, I learned to make 7 kinds o cheese, yogurt, butter ice cream and my cholesterols went though the roof. But this was nothing like the commercial dairies these days. There are 5 or 6 dairies in this river valley. I would actually like to go work in one but I've got more than enough going on producing milk, eggs, honey, growing all the vegetable and putting in a 40 vine vineyard. I'm too tired and gas is too expensive to commute to dairy in the wee hours of the morning. Speaking of hand milking - They have bred Jerseys with little milking machine teats so have to be milked by machine.
That's what I tell Honeydew. Milking is what keeps you from becoming meat.

I will get some of those plastic teat cannulas. Better to have and not need than need and not have. Should I get short or long?
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If you are going to get them to have "just in case" get the long. The short won't stick in the teat more than 1/4 inch... they are made to not go up into the milk canal... just to get in the end of the teat to put mastitis medicine or something like that in there. They won't do you a bit of good otherwise... Some of the mastitis medicines now offer a short or long cannula on the end of the dosing syringe... to go in the end or to go up into the actual part of the quarter where the milk "collects" as it is going to be milked out.

I milked cows before I became a milk tester, did AI relief work for Select Sires many years ago, been testing milk since '91... seen alot come and go... some of the new stuff is neat, but alot is to save the farmer time when he gets bigger and bigger... not sure that is so good...
Been an interesting ride....
I like to milk my cow by hand, but getting older and the knees and all, would make a machine a whole lot better than getting down and not being able to get back up off the low stool.
Me too. I am getting arthritis in my hand. What do you test milk for?

This evening the heifer calmly walked right into the chute/stanchion. Before she would balk and sull even out in the pasture. I got my husband to walk behind her so this was behavior was not an option. Interestingly, I found my old cow had wandered into the barn and hung around nearby watching. That might be why the heifer was calmer and not giving wall eyed looks. She milked well with not much jumping around. She still does not tolerate having all four inflations on at one so I milked 2 and 2. After everything was taken off and put away I took her to her feed. Then I put Daphne in with her and she licked and licked Daphne's face. Cows are so funny.
Milking 2 and 2 may make her not let down her milk as well, so watch for mastitis. I realize that we hand milk 2 and 2... but the oxytocin in their system releases all the milk at once... so the milk will leak from the teats.... Still milking 2 and 2 and her being more cooperative is an improvement. I would still try to get her to allow all 4 to be milked... and she might after she gets some of the soreness out.
Yes, having the other cow in would calm her some as it is the familiarity... the "scary machine" and all the noise and all was not upsetting the other cow... so why should she get all upset. Any new situation usually goes better if they have another one that is not upset by the change... In milking parlors, you try to get a heifer to follow a bigger, older cow in, and another older cow behind, so she is "sandwiched between them" calming and also does not allow them to move around as much...
We test for milk output/ lbs of milk, and the m,ilk is run through the lab and checked for butterfat, protein, and SCC (somatic cell count) which is an indication of mastitis... also can run preg checks and A2A2, Johnes, and some other things through different tests if a farmer requests it.
I'll tie the old cow in the barn today and get Honeydew used to all four

A2A2 milk for real or is it a scam? Seems to me milk is milk. This calfs sire was A2A2. probably the dam at the dairy was too. My husband is lactose intolerant I could try it on him.
She's been putting out about 2 gallons from the fronts and about a gallon from the backs per milking. The hind are very short and she fusses more. Still not standing still very long with all 4 being milked. I'm at the side of the stanchion/chute on the floor holding the machine in a good position and not allowing inflations to fall off if she moves around.

To take off an inflation when a teat is done milking I've tried pinching the milk hose to stop the suction but it did not fall off the teat. I've tried using my thumb between udder and teat and she does not like this and jumps around. The only way without just pulling them off is to turn the pump off, then wait until the vacuum is enough to run the pulsator and put the other teats back on. This undoubtedly interferes with a smooth let down but she has to be milked. And today old Daphne was tied quietly by HDs head. The day after tomorrow my NewPulse pump gets here. I has a balance tank so maybe that will be more comfortable for HD. This one I'm using that came with the Surge that I bought off ebay. Its a little 1/3 horsepower pump made for air conditioning systems.
Get a pair of vice grips or something similar. I put some tape on the "teeth" so they didn't damage my lines. Clamp the vaccum line of the inflation that's done to get it off without having to shut off the pump.
THANKS. But the milk hose on a Surge is only 4 inches long allowing it to be washed and sanitized in the kitchen sink.
That is why it was known as the 'mechanical calf.' Maybe I could use small pliers.

I have never machine milked. I'm just about as nervous and clueless as she is. I tried pinching it off by hand, maybe not long enough.
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This morning HD was waiting at the gate, walked in, stood quietly and allowed me to put all 4 inflations on her. Old cow standing next to her chewing her cud. Then the back quarters were done sooner so I took them off, just milked the fronts with a good flow. A few times she tried to kick the milker off but was unsuccessful because I was holding onto it.

In total, 3 gallons this morning. Since the colostrum is gone and I got my new milk strainer and filters yesterday I put 3 half gallon jars of milk in the freezer for 1 hour to chill it quickly, then refrigerated. This morning I tried some. It was creamy and delicious, tasted like honey had been added. I've been drinking grocery store whole milk for years. Its quite a difference
Honeydew maybe turning the corner with her milking manners. It's been 5 days. This evening she went in, stood quietly with all four inflations on and let me milk her out. Daphne standing next to her chewing her cud. The back two finished sooner and she did step around a bit with just the two but settled and was milked out. I found that pinching off the milk hoses with needle nose plyers made the vacuum let go gently instead of having to pull off.

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