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FACILITIES & EQUIPMENT

Whether using a tie stall, freestall, dry lot or pasture, here are some tips for cow comfort and maintaining farm facilities and equipment.

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Now is the ideal time to assess your equipment. It’s wise to do a full inspection of your equipment during the winter months so it will be ready to go in the spring.

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Winter is the season most associated with the issue of a dead car, truck or tractor battery. Indeed, even the way we purchase batteries for vehicles suggests this.

Cold-cranking amps (CCAs) are listed on many, if not all, batteries as a means to suggest the battery’s ability to crank a stubborn, cold-natured piece of equipment.

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There are many things to consider when building a new parlour. A dairyman needs to look at the size of the milking parlour he wants to build, how many cows he will milk and the amount of time he is willing to spend milking.

But most importantly, a dairyman needs to know what type of milkability and milk quality he wants to get out of his parlour.

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High bacteria counts are always a concern for a dairy, but fluctuating bacteria counts can signify even more complex problems.

The CIP detectives recently visited a 300-cow dairy in northwestern Wisconsin that was facing such a problem. With a major mystery to solve, we put on our gumshoes and went to work solving the “Case of the Big, Bad Bacteria Counts.”

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The foundation of all mastitis control programs revolves around two very simple things. One is reducing the amount of bacteria on the cow’s teat, and two is preventing those bacteria from getting into the cow’s udder.

Three areas need to be addressed when attempting to achieve progress on these two factors: milking equipment, milking technique and the environment itself.

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How low can you go? That’s what producers are asking after installing a new oval-barrel milking liner designed to operate at very low vacuum levels while maintaining milking speed.

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