Mechanical milking is a critical operation in ewe dairy farming where the operative parameters and the milking routine strongly influence milk production and animal welfare. The challenge in adapting dairy animals to the farm environmental conditions may cause illness and compromise the quality of the products. From this perspective, it is important to evaluate the technological and operational aspects that can influence milk quality and animal welfare. Thus, the aim of this work was to investigate the effects on the pulsation curve of several teat cup characteristics (volume of the pulsation chamber) at determined operating parameters (vacuum level and pulsator rate) recorded from nine different milking units. Moreover, the touch point pressure of different liners was measured. Data analysis showed that the sheep milking unit characteristics affected the pulsation curve significantly. The length of both the increasing vacuum phase and the decreasing vacuum phase (phase “a” and “c”, respectively), which affect the milking and massage phases, was directly related to the pulsation chamber volume (R2 = 0.86) and the pulsator rate. No relationship emerged between the touch point pressure and specific characteristics of the liners such as the material, the shape, the diameter, the length, or the extension of the body. Considering the delicate role that the pulsation plays in ensuring animal welfare during milking, it is important to take into account the complete configuration and operative characteristics of the milking units. This will ensure that the complex interaction between the pulsation system and the milking units is considered when planning and assembling milking systems.
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|Titolo:||Influence of the milking units on the pulsation curve in dairy sheep milking|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2020|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|