Analysis of the technological dairy cows traffic “to and from” herringbone milking parlors

K. Peychev, D. Georgiev*, V. Dimova, V. Georgieva
Department of Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, Trakia University, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

(Manuscript received 5 September 2016; accepted for publication 13 March 2017)

Abstract. The aim of this study was to analyze the behavioral responses of milked cows and throughput performance of a herringbone milking parlor of capacity 2×10. For this purpose, 120 cows, of which about 100 milked, housed in an existing undivided compost bedded-pack barn (manure with minimum straw tilled on a daily basis), were investigated. Cows were milked three times per day in a 30-degree 2 x 10 herringbone parlor. A real-time monitoring system was designed, developed and installed to obtain the required information. A steady trend of difference between entrance and exit routines in cows from the left and right platform of the milking parlor was found. The most likely reason is the difference in illumination between the two milking platforms, and also direction of the exit traffic. Groups of cows who turned at 180˚ had longer exit time, irrespective of the shorter distance covered. Milking duration within the range of the three milkings showed a clearly defined rate. Morning milking was of the shortest duration, although the one-time absolute milk yield is the highest in the morning. The most likely explanation for it is the higher oxytocin release in the early hours of the day as a result of the reduced impact of the surrounding stress factor. Often cows from the left platform would come into contact with those from the right platform and delay movement to the selection gate. Therefore, an optically impenetrable barrier would be required to be installed on the gate.