Submitted to: Advances in Dairy Technology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: December 5, 2001
Publication Date: December 30, 2001
Citation: Varner, M., Hale, S., Capuco, A.V., Sanders, A., Erdman, R. 2002. Increasing milking frequency. Advances in Dairy Technology:proceedings of the Western Canadian Dairy Seminar, March 5-8, Red Deer, Alberta, pp. 265-271.
Interpretive Summary: Milking cows more frequently increases milk production. This increase is fixed and not proportional to level of milk production at the time of increased milking frequency. Milking cows more frequently during the first weeks of lactation may provide a significant improvement in milk production for the remainder of lactation. The minimum amount of time required is not known, but may be as little as three weeks. The increase in frequency does not appear to have to start immediately after calving and the milking intervals do not have to be equal in length. It appears that conducting the increased frequency milkings at the beginning and end of the herd¿s standard milking interval is sufficient to see the gain in milk production. This scheme minimizes the logistical and labor costs necessary to obtain increased milk production.
Milk Yield increases by a fixed amount due to increased milking frequency and not by some percentage of previous milk yields.
Six times-a-day milking frequency from calving through six weeks post-partum results in not only increased production during the period of high frequency milking by also in a significant carry-over during the remainder of lactation while milked three times-a-day.
Four times-a-day milking frequency from calving through four weeks postpartum also results in a significant carry-over effect on increased milk production during times of twice-daily milking. The four times-a-day milkings were not every six hours, but instead, conducted before and after the herd¿s normal twice-daily milkings on an eleven and thirteen hour interval basis.