Skip to main content

Teatcups with automatic valves in machine milking of goats

  • Alberto Manzur (a1), José Ramón Díaz (a2), Nemesio Fernández (a3), Sebastià Balasch (a4) and Cristòfol Peris (a3)...

This Research Paper addresses the hypothesis that using teatcups with automatic valves, without cutting off the vacuum prior to cluster removal, could increases the risk of mastitis and affect other milking variables on goats. A first trial used 46 intramammary infection (IMI)-free goats that had been milked with normal teatcups (without automatic valves) during a pre-experimental period of 8 ± 2 d postpartum. These animals were divided into two groups (n = 23), randomly assigning each group to teatcups with automatic valves (teatcups A) or without automatic valves (teatcups B) for a 20-week experimental period. During this period, several strategies were applied to increase teat exposure to pathogens in both experimental groups. In the first eight weeks of the experimental period, the new IMI rate per gland was significantly higher (P < 0·05) in the group of animals milked with teatcups A (6 of 46; 13%) than in the group milked with teatcups B (1 of 46; 2%). However, throughout the rest of the experimental period the same number of glands appeared with new IMI (n = 7) in both animal groups. SCC was higher in goats milked with teatcups A, but no significant differences were found in the remaining variables (milk production and composition, frequency of liner slips + teatcup fall-off). In a second experiment, in a crossover design (54 goats in fourth month of lactation, 2 treatments – teatcups A and B – in 2 experimental periods each lasting 1 week), no differences were observed in total milk, average milk flow, total milking time or teat thickness changes after milking between both teatcups. However, teatcups A worsened slightly the maximum milk flow. We concluded that the use of teatcups with automatic valves, without cutting off the vacuum prior to cluster removal, increases the risk of mastitis on goat livestock farms.

Corresponding author
*For correspondence; e-mail:
Hide All
Ali, AKA & Shook, GE 1980 An optimum transformation for somatic cell concentration in milk. Journal of Dairy Science 63 487490
Bergonier, D, De Crémoux, R, Rupp, R, Lagriffoul, G & Berthelot, X 2003 Mastitis of dairy small ruminants. Veterinary Research 34 689716
Billon, P, Sauvee, O, Menard, JL & Gaudin, V 1998 Effects of milking and the milking machine on somatic cells counts and intramammary infections on dairy cows. Rencontres Recherches Ruminants 5 305311
Billon, P, Fernández, N, Ronningen, O, Sangorgi, F & Schuiling, E 2002 Quantitative recommendations for milking machines installations for small ruminants. Bulletin of the International Dairy Federation, Brussels, Belgium 370 419
Boletin Oficial del Estado 2005 Royal Decree 1201/2005 on the Protection of Animals Used for Experimentation and Other Scientific Purposes. Madrid, Spain. BOE 242 34367-34391
Bramley, AJ 1992 Mastitis and machine milking. In Machine Milking and Lactacion, pp. 243372. (Eds Bramley, AJ, Dodd, FH, Mein, GA & Bramley, JA) Vermont, USA: Insight Books
Contreras, A, Luengo, C, Sánchez, A & Corrales, JC 2003 The role of intramammary pathogens in dairy goats. Livestock Production Science 79 273283
Contreras, A, Sierra, D, Sánchez, A, Corrales, JC, Marco, JC, Paape, MJ & Gonzalo, C 2007 Mastitis in small ruminants. Small Ruminant Research 68 145153
Hubert, A, Poulet, JL & De Crèmoux, R 2015 Milking Clusters in Goats. Description and Features. Technical Data Sheets. Paris, France: Institut de l’Élevage
ISO 3918 2007. Milking Machine Installations-Vocabulary. Geneva, Switzerland: International Organization for Standardization
ISO 5707 2007. Milking Machine Installations-Construction and Performance. Geneva, Switzerland: International Organization for Standardization
Le Du, J 1985 Functional parameters affecting the efficiency of milking machines adapted to sheeps and goats. In 36th Annual meeting of the European Association for Animal Production, Kallithea, Greece, Vol. 1, pp. 430–431
Littell, RC, Henry, PR & Ammerman, CB 1998 Statistical analysis of repeated measures data using SAS procedures. Journal of Animal Science 76 12161231
Manzur, A, Díaz, JR, Mehdid, A, Fernández, N & Peris, C 2012 Effect of mid-line or low-line milking systems on milking characteristics in goats. Journal of Dairy Research 79 375382
Mein, G 2012 The role of the milking machine in mastitis control. Veterinary Clinics: Food Animal Practice 28 307320
Mein, G, Reinemann, D, Schuring, N & Ohnstad, I 2004 Milking machines and mastitis risk: a storm in a Teatcup. Meeting of the National Mastitis Council. In 43nd Annual Meeting of the National Mastitis Council, Charlotte (NC), USA, 1–4 February 2004. pp. 176–188
O'Shea, J 1987 Machine Milking Factors Affecting Mastitis- A Literature Review, pp. 532. Brusseles, Belgium: International Dairy Federation. Bulletin n° 215
O'Shea, J, O'Callaghan, E & Walsh, JP 1984 Milking machine research. In Moorepark 25th Anniversary Publication. Part II: Animal Health and Machine Milking, pp. 115214 (Ed. O'Shea, J). Fermoy, C. Cork, Ireland: Moorepark Research Center
Rasmussen, MD, Frimer, ES & Decker, L 1994 Reverse pressure gradients across the teat canal related to machine milking. Journal of Dairy Science 77 984993
SAS 2002 SAS User's Guide: Statistics. Release 9.1. Cary, NC, USA: SAS Institute Inc.
Thiel, CC, Cousins, CL, Westgarth, DR & Neave, FK 1973 The influence of some physical characteristics of the milking machine on the rate of new mastitis infections. Journal of Dairy Research 40 117129
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Dairy Research
  • ISSN: 0022-0299
  • EISSN: 1469-7629
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-dairy-research
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed