single milking machines

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9 years 3 months ago #38635 by Mr. Scil
Hi we're new to lsb. Weve been out in the country for nearly 3yrs now. My housecow has calved for the first time & i have been milking by hand. I am thinking about getting a milking machine as it is taking me ages and Id like to get more milk from her. There seems that there is a cheaper piston type & vaccum ones ( i think ). Can anyone explain the difference to me what you would recommend .thanx

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9 years 3 months ago #497435 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic single milking machines
Welcome. I thought about getting one but don't have power of wash-up water at my cattle yards. The neighbours got one for their one cow, but seldom used it because it was such a nuisance to set up and clean up, so that hand milking was faster.

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9 years 3 months ago #497442 by igor
Replied by igor on topic single milking machines
There is no way on God's earth that hand milkng is faster than machine milking even allowing for the time spent cleaning the machine. I hand milked our cow for one season and then bought second (maybe fifth) hand a single stand machine that is cobbled together from old parts but does the job very well.
I would recommend the vacuum pump type as this is what is generally used in the commercial setups I grew up with. If I can find a good enough picture of our cowshed and machine I will post it on here for information.
A bonus is that I can put the cups on the cow and then feed the pigs or the hens while she is milking. That in itself is saved time which must be taken into the equation.

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9 years 3 months ago #497475 by Mr. Scil
Replied by Mr. Scil on topic single milking machines
Yes ive been told it takes about 10 mins to milk by machine & can get around 10 ltrs. Im taking 3/4 of an hour for 3ltrs then ive had enough and leave the rest for the calf.yes dont laugh im an amature an so is my cow. My big plan is to make butter and cheese etc so a machine is looking good:)

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9 years 3 months ago #497481 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic single milking machines
There must be an enormous difference in the actual milking speed of cows. Add hand strength and practice and there's even more difference between one milker and cow and another pair.

We bred a fast-milking cow which my partner can get ten litres out of in ten minutes. I take about twice as long to milk her.

If you can find a cow with fast teats, it must make a huge difference.

Welcome to LSB. :)

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9 years 3 months ago #497485 by igor
Replied by igor on topic single milking machines
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9 years 3 months ago #497573 by Mr. Scil
Replied by Mr. Scil on topic single milking machines
wow im so jealous Ruth. Thats an amazing amount of milk in such a shot time. hmm maybe i had better start talking nicely to my cow, and get my husband to have a go. I do feel i have no hand strength some days.

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9 years 3 months ago #497574 by Mr. Scil
Replied by Mr. Scil on topic single milking machines

igor;502940 wrote:

Thankyou for that. Its aways interesting to see how people are set up.

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9 years 3 months ago #497575 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic single milking machines
I do think it's as much the cow as the milker. I milked one of the other Angus cows (same family) out in the paddock the other day, for about a litre to give to my prem Caesarian calf and did it one-handed out of one teat in five or so minutes. It comes out in a great stream. Some cows do have a ridiculously tiny stream from their teats, which must take a long time and a lot of work to harvest. And if their teats are really small, it makes it tough too.

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9 years 3 months ago #497591 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic single milking machines
I had a single system built a few years ago and don't regret it at all, use it every day and I am now milking 4 with a 5th on the way. I can't hand milk to save my life and I think my efforts are less stressful on the cows too :rolleyes:

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9 years 3 months ago #497611 by katieb
Replied by katieb on topic single milking machines
what part of the country are you in?

A milking machine company may have bit & pieces they could put together for you for a good 2nd hand setup

I used a single phase run machine with 10 sets of cups everyday for 23 months...the herd size ranged from 9 upwards....the most I milked one day was 56...I calved 110 & would just send groups of cows to the other farms when I had too many for the number of calves I was rearing. once calving was over the herd stayed at 36 for a while

In the spring a row of 10 was taking 10mins per row in the morning(was milking twice a day) so I would quickly cup up & feed calves while they were milking...Could fill tow along feeder during 1 row then drive it during the next row then feed barn calves during the other rows

now I have a real shed but I sort of miss milking just the small number as 590 takes a while though a 36 a side

Animals rule our place... cows, calves, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, donkeys, chickens, ducks... the list goes on
...."lifestyle block like" 25 or so acres around the house attached to a rather large farm with dairy drystock & a 600 cow dairy conversion :)....1500 acres to call home

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9 years 3 months ago #497736 by Mr. Scil
Replied by Mr. Scil on topic single milking machines
thanks katieb im in whangarei area. will look into that not a bad idea :)

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9 years 3 months ago #497828 by Ronney
Replied by Ronney on topic single milking machines
Hi there and welcome to the site :)

After hand and machine milking cows for the better part of my life, I would have to agree with Longridge - I would not bother with a machine for one cow unless I had physical reasons to do so - i.e arthritis.

Ruth also brings up another good point - like people, cows are individual and no two will milk the same. Some have small sphincters and are slow milkers, others have larger sphincters are relatively quick to milk. I own a cow which I machine milk and after 30 minutes she still isn't empty - in a commercial herd she wouldn't have made it through her first season before she was shunted off to the works.

However, I think your biggest problem is that you have a first calver and are sharemilking with her. I will bet you a pound to a penny she is instinctively holding back her milk - and this is a natural thing for her to do. It will be why you are getting so little and taking you so long to get it. Putting her on a machine won't benefit you at all - they can hold back against all that vacuum in the same way as they can hold back against you. Cows did not come down in the last shower of rain and they are far more on to it than you are - believe me!

Persevere with her for this season and make sure you have a constant pattern or regime in place. Are you separating the calf at all? This will help although you may still have to put the calf on initially to make her let down.

I'll tell you something else - hand milking is very therapeutic. There is nothing quite like pressing your head into the warm flank of a cow, listening to her stomach roll and belch, the sound of the milk going into the bucket and telling her all your problems because she really doesn't give a shit. My family learnt that Ronnie milking was out of bounds unless there was some dire emergency.

Cheers,
Ronnie

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9 years 3 months ago #498147 by Mr. Scil
Replied by Mr. Scil on topic single milking machines
Thanks Ronnie very interesting points. Yes we separate the calf at night.I have to agree it is therapeutic milking by hand & I do enjoy the quiet.

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9 years 3 months ago #498158 by funnyfarm331

Ronney;503323 wrote:
I'll tell you something else - hand milking is very therapeutic. There is nothing quite like pressing your head into the warm flank of a cow, listening to her stomach roll and belch, the sound of the milk going into the bucket and telling her all your problems because she really doesn't give a shit. My family learnt that Ronnie milking was out of bounds unless there was some dire emergency.

QUOTE]

Thanks Ronnie for this, it is what I am looking forward to next year when our house cow calves! And the milk of course :D

Mr Scil, I have found a great site and have picked up loads of tips from it. It is American and full of cow obsessed ladies but there is a wealth of information to be gained from it. Keeping a Family Cow, there are members from Australia and NZ so it is not all USA thinking :)

I have no intention of getting a machine, I have friends who do machine milk their housecow and they seem to have more problems than the handmilkers.

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