There are many ways to move cows into the milking parlor. Some are acceptable methods. Others cost you time, money and create undue stress for both the cows and the Milker.
There are dozens of designs of acceptable crowd gates - everything from plastic to wood. The only incorrect type of crowd gate is the one that scares the cows into moving forward with electric shocks.
Right before milking cows ought to be perfectly relaxed, chewing their cud, anticipating what's going to happen. In our opinion anything that raises the cow's stress level prior to milking puts some adrenaline into the blood stream, which directly affects the level of Oxytocin reaching the udder.
So, it's only a little stress and let-down is only a little weaker. Milk-out time only a little longer, teat condition only a little worse, somatic cells are only a little higher, but 2 or 3 times a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year....What is it costing you?
Not Every Parlor Needs a Crowd Gate
Some operators teach their cows to come into the parlor by themselves. Some call them by their names, every single one of them. Given infinite patience, anything is possible. Point being - if you can't afford a Crowd Gate - what are you going to do?
Crowd Gates Cost How Much?
If you are milking several hundred cows or more, if you milk with hired hands and if you have some turnover of both cows and people, you need a crowd gate.
That doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune. There are four groups of Crowd Gates:
- Home-made Gates of many different designs - Less than $500
- Electrified Gates - those that shock cows to get moving - Not an Option
- Medium Duty Gates available from most Milking Equipment Suppliers including TechForAg - $8,500 to $12,000. Our medium duty gates are driven by an electric motor, not air.
- Heavy Duty Gates made by TechForAg, Vandenberg, Albers, BouMatic, DeLaval, Germania, Westfalia-Surge, Blue Diamond, Norbco - $ 12,000 to $25,000 depending on size of holding pen
- Heavy Duty, One-of-a-Kind, All-Stainless Gates with Automatic Manure Scrapers - only from TechForAg - $18,000 to $35,000 depending on size of holding pen
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Technology For Agriculture LLC
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Take the rodeo out of milking!
Crowd Gates dramatically improve productivity
- Calling them by their names is the lowest cost option
- Next - pull a link chain across the holding pen two thirds up the pen, or
- Install two swinging gates you buy at XYZ Feed Store or your local implement dealer. Close them when you are milking the last 1/3rd of the herd. Not elegant, but quite workable and darn cost effective.
Will they break thru these low cost gates?
- Yes, if you permit the 'Holding Pen Rodeo'.
- No, not if you go nice & easy.
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