We've got your dairy shed covered

We've got your dairy shed covered

1 May 2022

Skellerup's milking liner and dairy shed accessories range is designed and manufactured in New Zealand, specifically to match cow herds to the many different configurations of milking equipment on New Zealand dairy farms.

We've been providing quality rubberware to New Zealand farmers for over 60 years, and our team has been providing local expertise around the country for many years. Outlined below are the most common issues, and how to avoid them.

Common issues in the dairy shed and how to troubleshoot them

Liner tail pieces slipping off

Check liner tail piece is the right size for your claw. Slipping off tends to happen when tail piece is too large.

Liner tail pieces splitting

Check liner tail piece is the right size for your claw. Splitting tends to be when tail piece is too small, or when liners are not fully pushed onto the claw.

Tail piece puncturing or splitting

Check claws for sharp edges / burring. Sharpness or burring on the claw will increase any impact damage on the interior of the short milk tube of the liner.

Liners splitting in barrels or visibly distorted mouthpieces

This typically happens when liners are well beyond 2,500 milkings.

Cup slip

Check the cluster is sitting square under the udder during milking. TIP: use the head of an old liner slipped onto milk tube and sit this on the kick rail as an alignment tool.

Alignment issues

Ensure milk and air tubes are the correct length. Short tubes pull on the cluster and long sagging tubes can also affect complete milk out.

Rubberware degrading quickly

Clean all rubberware with approved chemicals as per the manufacturer's instructions and use water at the correct temperature to avoid issues. Regularly check the internal condition of milk tubes for degradation of the rubber.

How and when to check rubberware?

The four major adversaries of dairy rubberware are:

  • Tension
  • Sunlight
  • Milkfat
  • Incorrect usage of chemicals

Including regular checks of rubberware to your dairy shed checklist will ensure any potential issues can be picked up early and rectified. Both the internal and external surfaces of rubberware need to be checked.

When do my liners need changing?

The industry standard from DairyNZ is after 2,500 milkings it's time to change your liners.

As liners age, their shape, tension and surface condition can have subtle but significant effects on their milking performance. The internal surface and the milking performance of liners tends to deteriorate very quickly after they pass 2,500 milkings.

Things to look out for:

  • Average milking time increases
  • Frequency of liner slips increases
  • Incomplete milk out occurs
  • Teat end condition deteriorates

Any effect on teat end condition or increased liner slips are particularly significant for the increased risk of mastitis. Contact your Farm Source rep who can liaise with the Skellerup team to make recommendations if in doubt.

Milking liner change calculator

Example: 400 cows x two milkings per day = 800 milkings. 800 (milkings) divided by 40 clusters in shed = 20 milkings per liner per day. 2,500 milkings divided by 20 (milkings per liner per day) = 125. 125 days (recommended liner life) or roughly every four months.

Use the Skellerup liner change calculator and set a calendar reminder for your next change ➔

The right liner makes a difference

The milking liner connects the milking machine and the cow. Milking liners have a significant impact on milking efficiency, hygiene and cow comfort compared to other milking machine components.

Scott Joblin from Eltham uses VacPlus Square milking liners with great results. "When I changed to VacPlus Square milking liners, I noticed we had no split liners, less cup slip and we had a drop of approx. 20% in somatic cell count (SCC). The cows milked out well, we're pleased we made the change."

Small cost of changing liners ensures future benefits

Aged and worn liners cannot apply the correct massage force needed for good stimulation and the prevention of oedema. Consequently, milk flow using worn out liners will always be lower than that of a comparable new liner.

Worn liners will also contribute to an extension of milking time and can lead to an increase in mastitis. Losses of up to 5% in milk yield can also possibly be expected from worn liners due to under-milking.

As a rule of thumb, if you notice an improvement in milking performance after replacing liners, the old ones were in for too long!

View the full range of dairy rubberware, including the popular VacPlus Square milking liners in your local store or on the Farm Source website.

Article supplied by Skellerup Industries Ltd.