Crowd Gates can dramatically improve the flow of cows into the parlor, and therefore the efficiency of your milking operation, if:
- If you install the correct gate, and - If you use it correctly
There are dozens of models and designs of acceptable crowd gates
- Galvanized, stainless, wood or PVC
- driven hydraulically, mechanically, with compressed air or pulled forward on ropes.
All are good gates - but obviously at dramatically different costs
There's really only one incorrect type of gate - gates that scare the cows into moving forward with electric shocks. Don't even think about it....
Tangible Benefits of a Well Designed Crowd Gate:
- Reduces the cost of labor, because it eliminates the perceived need for a second Milker in the pit.
(In case you were wondering: for normal parlors any dbl. 12 or smaller is a comfortable 1-man operation)
- Eliminates the 'Holding Pen Rodeo' where the Milker relentlessly chases cows and the cows get even by slinging used feed at him
- Reduces stress on the cows, eliminating adrenaline in the blood stream
- Reduces stress on the Milker
- greatly improving milk let-down, since there's no adrenaline to neutralize the oxytocin on the way to the udder
- which reduces the need for extended udder preparation
- Reduces the time-lag between prepping and attaching
- Reduces machine-on time, which
- Improves teat condition, which
- Contributes to lower SCCs, which
- Improves average production
- Reduces the rate of crapping as the cows enter the parlor
- Significantly reduces kicking
- Significantly increases cows milked per hour and even more so
- Cows milked per man hour.
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