Dairy cow milking: process and machinery 

Milking machinery and routines have a major impact on the spread of mastitis on your farm. Read our best practice guides to keeping milking equipment and processes safe and hygienic. 

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Milking machines and routines

The milking machine can have a major effect on the spread of mastitis. It can transfer bacteria from cow to cow, provide a reservoir for bacteria, and create impact forces at the teat end. It can damage cows’ teats if vacuum levels are incorrect, if pulsation is not working properly or through over-milking from badly adjusted automatic cluster removers.  

We recommend regular checks, maintenance and servicing to keep the milking machine in good working condition, with teat cup liners particularly important as the only part of the machine to come into direct contact with your cows. It’s also vital to ensure you have a good milking routine, as this ensures high-quality milk and happy cows, as well as helping prevent the spread of mastitis among your herd. 

In these pages, we look at how to ensure your milking equipment and routines are safe and hygienic. 

Milking machine maintenance

It’s the most important machine on your dairy farm, but your milking machine is also a potential source of infection spread and udder damage. Read why maintenance is critical and learn what checks to carry out each day, week and month. 

Find out more about milking machine maintenance

Teat cup liners

Teat cup liners are the only part of the milking plant that comes into contact with the cow. Find out why the condition of the liners is critical in mastitis control and for efficient milking. 

Learn when to change and clean teat cup liners

Milking routines

A good milking routine in a clean environment will help reduce the risk of mastitis spread in your herd. Read our recommendations for milking routine best practices. 

Read about milking routine best practices

Useful links

Controlling mastitis in heifers

Controlling contagious mastitis

Control of environmental mastitis in lactation