A quarter milking analysis device - Development and demonst…

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journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/issn/15375110

Research Paper

A quarter milking analysis device e Development and demonstration

John Upton a , * , Douglas J. Reinemann b , John F. Penry c , Paul D. Thompson b

a Animal and Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Teagasc, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork, Ireland b Biological Systems Engineering Dept., University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA c Department of Dairy Science, University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA

a r t i c l e i n f o

The objective of this paper was to describe and demonstrate a novel quarter milking analysis device (Mi4) for use in the field of bovine milking research. The Mi4 was developed for investigating the effects of milking machine factors such as vacuum level, pulsation settings and liner characteristics on milk flow rate (MFR) during the peak flow period from individual teats within a single milking. A method to use MFR, teat-end vacuum and pul- sation characteristics measured with this device was developed to estimate teat-end tissue congestion. The changes in teat-end thickness, and changes in teat canal cross sectional area, induced by congestion are small, hence a high precision device is required to detect the resulting subtle changes in MFR. No device has been described in the literature that can apply multiple experimental milking treatments within a single milking while simulta- neously recording quarter level response data. This within-milking approach accounts for non-linearity as total milk mass increases and is independent of any effect of milk hose slope and positioning. Sources of variability exist in MFR within an individual quarter, from quarter to quarter, between cows and from day to day. Understanding and controlling for these natural sources of variation is critical for the successful deployment of the Mi4 in milking experiments. Experimental results demonstrate that the Mi4 equipment and methods can detect changes in quarter MFR as small as 2% by applying treatments within the peak flow period of individual quarters, thus making it a useful tool for milking ma- chine research. © 2016 IAgrE. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Article history: Received 8 November 2015 Received in revised form 7 April 2016 Accepted 29 April 2016

Keywords: Milk harvesting Quarter milking Milking management

response of the animal to milking ( Gleeson, O ' Callaghan, & Rath, 2003; Marnet & McKusick, 2001; Reinemann, Bade, Zucali, Spanu, & Ruegg, 2008 ) and to indicate the efficiency of milk ejection ( Tancin & Bruckmaier, 2001 ). Moreover, un- derstanding how milking machine settings influence the



Milk Flow Rate (MFR) and yield recording is typically done at the udder level rather than the quarter level. Analysis of MFR at the udder level has been used to study the physiological

* Corresponding author . E-mail address: john.upton@teagasc.ie (J. Upton).

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.04.016 1537-5110/ © 2016 IAgrE. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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