A primary reason for investing in a milking parlor is to increase the number of cows milked per person per hour. Other motivating factors include; improved Reinemann et al working conditions, increased uniformity and quality of milking, and attracting and keeping hired or family labor.
Milking Parlor Types
Side Opening (Tandem) Parlor
Side opener parlors usually are located on the end of a holding area with two entrance lanes similar to herringbone and parallel parlors. A gate at the entrance point between the holding area and the milking parlor holds the cow until an empty stall is ready. The parlor may be organized to allow the cows to exit in return lanes on either side of the operator area or cross over to a single return lane on one side. The use of a single return lane (compared to dual returns) reduces not only the cost of the parlor itself but also the facilities to catch and/or sort Cows when leaving the parlor.
Herringbone (Fishbone) Parlor
Herringbone parlors are the most common parlor type in the US for "small" parlors (less that double 12). Cows stand on an elevated platform in an angled or herringbone fashion facing away from the operator area. This exposes enough of the back half of the cow to allow access to milk her from the side and room for an arm type detacher and associated equipment.
Parallel (Side by Side) Parlor/ Straight Milking Parlor
Cows stand on an elevated platform at a 90-degree angle facing away from the operator area. Access to the udder is between the rear legs, which reduces visibility of the front quarters and can make unit attachment and udder user sanitation more difficult. This configuration makes the walking distance shorter than in a herringbone parlor.
Swing (Swing-over) Parlor
Swing parlors often use a hybrid stall referred to parabone. The cows are placed at a greater angle from the operator (about 70 degrees) than in traditional herringbones but less than 90 degrees as in a parallel. This configuration usually eliminates the need for front positioners as used in a parallel.
Rotary (Carousel, Turnstile) Parlor
The advantage of the rotary parlor is that the cow movement functions are largely automated, freeing the operators to tasks more directly associated with milking. Rotary parlors typically require three operators: one for unit attachment, one to detach units and/or apply post milking teat dip and one to tend to any problems occurring while cows are traveling around (reattach units, tend to liner lips, etc.). rotary parlors are best suited to larger herds (>1000 cows). One advantage of a rotary parlor is that the work routine very regimented and uniform.
with the farmer
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