New milker. Looking for tips and tricks and suggestions.

For the dairy folks and/or beef folks with questions about udders, milk and mastitis.
CobaltSmith
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Re: New milker. Looking for tips and tricks and suggestions.

Postby CobaltSmith » Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:50 pm

bigbull338 wrote:since you have kicking cows im assuming your milking in a double 8 herringbone barn.


Yessir.
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regolith
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Re: New milker. Looking for tips and tricks and suggestions.

Postby regolith » Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:41 pm

CobaltSmith wrote: I've noticed they can pick up on my MOOD even if I'm not acting it out.


They sure can. I've got some fair stories about that...

At an 8-a side the farm is way undercapitalised for the number of cows - sixteen sets of cups is what I consider ideal for one person to work. Most farmers here work on the principle that if you put ten rows through a herringbone parlour you take one and a half hours at most to milk; for 300 cows that's thirty cups and two people.
At 350 cows in a 20-cup swing-over herringbone the boss and I used to put through those 18 rows at the rate of 200 cows/hour. You won't do that if they're very heavy milkers, because you'd have to wait for them to milk out.
Fine tuning the milking routine and more relaxed cows could give you considerable time savings.

Pitted concrete may be worn to the point of being shiny - if you see cows fall over on it, it's too far gone and needs grooved or replaced to give them a grip for their hooves. If you can't run on it, the cows can't comfortably walk on it. I think the shed I work in now might be 20 -30 years since building and the concrete is getting close to that point.

The cow behaviour is evidence of fear/anxiety, what we can't do over the internet is tell you why or how to fix it or tell your boss to get it done. Worker behaviour may have something to do with it, but it's also likely only one of several contributing causes.
Cows aren't dumb. What they are is logical - which gives you the advantage of being able to anticipate what they might do.
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Re: New milker. Looking for tips and tricks and suggestions.

Postby I luv herfrds » Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:08 pm

CobaltSmith I have baby talked our 1500+ pound bulls and I baby talk my Jersey milk cow. Nothing wrong with it.
A nice calm attitude from you and a few pats might work wonders for you.
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CobaltSmith
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Re: New milker. Looking for tips and tricks and suggestions.

Postby CobaltSmith » Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:09 pm

I luv herfrds wrote:CobaltSmith I have baby talked our 1500+ pound bulls and I baby talk my Jersey milk cow. Nothing wrong with it.
A nice calm attitude from you and a few pats might work wonders for you.


Yup, my supervisor (Trainer) looks at me like I'm nuts and laughs. But I have realized *after only a few months* that baby talking them and just being GENTLE keeps them calm. I've heard horror stories of past employees punching them, hitting them with the hanging hooks, never ending screaming (I was guilty of that one for a time) and the like. So, I just need to consistently treat them right and (I assume) after a few months they will know me and my voice. @_@ My arms can't take too much more, nor my wrists for that matter.
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Re: New milker. Looking for tips and tricks and suggestions.

Postby snake67 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:45 pm

CobaltSmith wrote:I recently started a new job milking cows at a local privately owned farm. I started in Oct and my arms have taken a brutal beating. I've tried long sleeve shirts. All they do is get ripped, torn and become a cesspool of bacteria and filth. I'm looking for a way to protect my arms from getting the crap beat out of them from kicks. I am one of 7 milkers and sadly, not all of us follow the rules of how to properly milk. Thus, our 300+ cows get a bit antsy and jumpy when they come into the parlor.

I'm 6'2" and the parlor was designed for someone 5ft tall or shorter. So, the contortion act I have to do every day is always fun. But it's also why I have so much trouble keeping my arms from being bashed. I'm gentle so they don't hurt but they have no reason to trust me so I just have to deal with the kicks. Any help is appreciated.


Use your size to sort out the two legged riff raff that are causing the problems and the cows will settle.

Otherwise move on - not worth it.

Bez
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Re: New milker. Looking for tips and tricks and suggestions.

Postby I luv herfrds » Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:53 pm

My Jersey kicked me 3 times just below my knee in the same spot and I ended up having an ultrasound done to make sure nothing was broke or I had a blood clot.
I know it hurts like fire.
If these cows have been hit and screamed at as you say then they do not trust people. I bet as long as you continue the way you are going these cows will get used to you and will calm down around you.
This will make you a better herdsman! :D
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Re: New milker. Looking for tips and tricks and suggestions.

Postby CobaltSmith » Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:28 am

I luv herfrds wrote:My Jersey kicked me 3 times just below my knee in the same spot and I ended up having an ultrasound done to make sure nothing was broke or I had a blood clot.
I know it hurts like fire.
If these cows have been hit and screamed at as you say then they do not trust people. I bet as long as you continue the way you are going these cows will get used to you and will calm down around you.
This will make you a better herdsman! :D



I only started in Oct and already I feel like I know a great deal more than some who have been there 5yrs and more. You wouldn't believe the arrogance and snide remarks when I repeat what I was trained to do as they decide to do something else. My favorite was when someone didn't change a pipe and we dumped over 200 gallons of milk right down the drain. Few days later I commented on how they were doing something wrong while cleaning the milkers. They replied, "I've been doing this for 12 years, I think I know what I'm doing....". Thus, it would seem the biggest problem I have to contend with is everyone "knowing" more than everyone else. It's maddening.

They do have sleeves and one of them JUST fits me so that makes me happy. :D The heffers are still driving me insane and REFUSE to calm down. I don't know, I try my best and I'll just have to continue to do so. But I gotta talk to the boss about my pay. When the average salery in Michigan for my job is 22k and I'm getting around 15k AND have to tolerate a beating because of be nice employees. Oh well, time will tell.

Are we allowed to post pics and such? I took a pic of how I have to contort to reach them properly. Just don't want to break anymore rules........
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Re: New milker. Looking for tips and tricks and suggestions.

Postby I luv herfrds » Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:00 am

Yeah heifers are a pain. It is their first year as milkers and they are not sure what to do.

Oh yeah fellow employees stuck in their own routine and know more then the newbie who has been trained by the owner. :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:
Been there dealt with it.

Yes we can post pictures.
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Re: New milker. Looking for tips and tricks and suggestions.

Postby regolith » Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:48 pm

You can post pics, but the solutions to being too tall aren't easy ones.
I'm guessing that if you're milking Holstein cows an appropriate difference between your floor level and the cows' feet should be around three and a half feet. If so adjusting milking technique might help, if it's less than that your time in that shed may be limited if you don't want to spend your future in a back brace.
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Re: New milker. Looking for tips and tricks and suggestions.

Postby chippie » Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:17 pm

Something is wrong if the cows don't want to be milked. The vacuum could be adjusted wrong and they could be getting shocked as mentioned.
We have milk cows and cows want to be milked. They are not dumb. They are intelligent and when mis handled or treated poorly, you can't expect them to be happy to be milked in a bad environment where each person treats them differently.

Stressed and anxious cows will produce less milk. This sounds like a management problem too. Unless all of the milkers treat the cows in a calm and respectful way, they will not calm down. Ask about putting a kick stop on them to help protect yourself.
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Re: New milker. Looking for tips and tricks and suggestions.

Postby jerry27150 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:07 pm

if you have stray voltage, you should have a lot of mastitis & high cell count, if not I would say the pulsators may not be working correctly or vacuum could be too high
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