Milk flow-dependent vacuum loss in high-line milking systems: effects on milking characteristics and teat tissue condition

Ambord, S.; Bruckmaier, R.M. (2010). Milk flow-dependent vacuum loss in high-line milking systems: effects on milking characteristics and teat tissue condition. Journal of dairy science, 93(8), pp. 3588-94. Savoy, Ill.: American Dairy Science Association 10.3168/jds.2010-3059

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To study the effects of a milking system that partially compensates for milk flow-dependent vacuum loss compared with a standard (high-line) milking unit in a tie-stall barn, milk flow and vacuum patterns were recorded in 10 cows during machine milking with 2 milking systems in a crossover design for 7 d each. Before and after each treatment period postmilking teat condition was recorded by ultrasound cross-sectioning. Additionally, 2 methods to measure teat tissue condition were compared: longitudinal teat ultrasound cross-sectioning and teat tissue density measurements with the spring-loaded caliper (cutimeter method). The partial compensation of milk flow-dependent vacuum loss caused an elevation of the peak flow rate (4.74+/-0.08 vs. 4.29+/-0.07 kg/min) and a shorter duration of plateau (1.57+/-0.06 vs. 1.96+/-0.07 min) compared with the standard milking system. Total milk yield, duration of incline and decline of milk flow, average milk flow, time until peak flow rate, main milking time, and total milking time did not differ between treatments (overall means: 13.75+/-0.17 kg; 0.65+/-0.01 min; 2.88+/-0.09 min; 2.82+/-0.05 kg/min; 1.65+/-0.03 min; 5.23+/-0.09 min, and 5.30+/-0.10 min, respectively). The vacuum drop in the short milk tube during periods of high milk flow was less in the compensating vacuum than in the standard milking system (11+/-1.1 vs. 15+/-0.7 kPa). Teat measures as determined by ultrasound remained unchanged over the entire experimental period with both milking systems. Postmilking teat tissue measures including their recovery within 20 min after the end of milking show a correlation (0.85 and 0.71, respectively) between the methods used (ultrasound and cutimeter method). In conclusion, a more constant vacuum at the teat tip (within the short milk tube) during periods of high milk flow affected milk flow patterns, mainly increasing peak flow rate. However, the reduced vacuum loss did not increase the overall speed of milking. In addition, effects of higher vacuum stability on teat condition and udder health were not obvious.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Physiology

UniBE Contributor:

Bruckmaier, Rupert




American Dairy Science Association




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:36

Last Modified:

21 Jan 2014 15:05

Publisher DOI:


Web of Science ID:


URI: (FactScience: 221269)

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