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Analysis of factors affecting milking claw vacuum levels using a simulated milking device

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Bovine mastitis is typically caused by microbial infection of the udder, but the factors responsible for this condition are varied. One potential cause is the milking system, and although previous studies have investigated various methods for inspecting these devices, most have not assessed methods for evaluating the milking units. With this in mind, we analyzed the factors that affect the vacuum inside the milking claw by using a simulated milking device and by measuring milking claw vacuum when adjusting the flow rate in five stages. The factors analyzed in each milking system were the vacuum pressure settings (high and low line system) , milk tube length (200‐328 cm), aperture diameter (14‐22.2 mm), constricted aperture diameter (12 mm), tubing configurations, lift formation (0‐80 cm), claw type (bottom and top flow) and use or non‐use of a milk sampler. The study findings demonstrated that all of these variables had a significant impact on claw vacuum and suggest that a diagnostic method using a simulated milking device should be considered when inspecting modern milking systems.
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Keywords: bovine mastitis; claw vacuum; milking system inspection method; milking unit; simulated milking device

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2016

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