You’ve probably told your employees about bulk tank cultures before, but have you ever truly explained what they are?
Here’s a simple info-graphic to communicate the basics of Bulk Tank Cultures.
Keep an Eye on the Other Side
Let’s say you’re post-dipping and you arrive at a cow that still has a lot of milk in her. Should you pretend that you didn’t notice and just post-dip her and let her go? Or should you re-connect the unit and make sure she gets milked out completely? Most people would recommend that you put the unit back on until she’s completely milked out, even if it costs you a few more minutes on that side.
So how can you prevent this from happening in the first place? While you’re prepping cows on one side of the parlor, keep an eye on the cows that are being milked on the other side. If you notice that a unit has come off too soon, quickly go over and re-attach it so that all of cows are completely finished milking when you go over to post-dip them.
So now that the cows are in the parlor and ready for you to start prepping them, are you ready to get started? Or, are you distracted and doing something else? In other words, do you have your dippers and towels ready to go every time a new side of cows comes in?
Some Milkers wait until they run out of dip and towels before they go for more. A lot of times they’re halfway done with their territory and they have to stop the routine and walk back to get more towels and fill their dipper, losing valuable time on almost every side of cows.
Regardless of when you fill dippers or towels, it’s going to take the same amount of time to do it. The key is to do these things at the proper time, not when you should be prepping cows. The best time to get your everything ready is when one side of cows leaves but before the next side enters. And if you’re waiting for a slow cow to finish, make sure to use that downtime to your advantage, and get the parlor back in order.
Start Prepping ASAP
Every time a new side of cows walks into the parlor, it’s critical that you start prepping the first cow as soon as possible. At some dairies, Milkers lose valuable seconds and minutes every time they bring a side of cows in because they don’t get started right away.
The truth is you don’t need every cow to be in place to start prepping a new side of cows, you only need the first two or three. If there are two or more Milkers in the parlor, the Milker closest to the front of the parlor should start prepping right away and allow the Milkers toward the back of the parlor to focus on getting the rest of the cows into the parlor.
Although you’ll probably always have to help motivate some cows to walk in, remember that it’s your job to prep cows and it’s the cows’ job to learn how to walk into the parlor on their own!
Cow Movers set the tone
Cow Movers help milkings stay on-time by making sure the parlor never runs out of cows. It’s the Cow Mover’s responsibility to have the next pen of cows in the holding area just as the last cows of the previous pen are finishing being milked.
If Cow Movers stay in the parlor to help Milkers for too long, they won’t have enough time to get the next pen of cows. Some parlors lose thirty minutes over the course of every milking because they run out of cows for 5-10 minutes between every pen as a result of poor time management.