Cows are most vulnerable at the time of milking!
For this reason, in nature, cows usually suckle their calves very early in the morning and very late in the evening.
This makes them less noticeable to natural predators.
Rest and regularity is therefore of great importance in our milking parlor and affects the final milk yield.
Low Stress Stockmanship, even in the milking parlor!
Milk release is hormonally regulated.
This occurs through stimulation of the brain under influence of external factors.
For example, the sound of the milking machine, seeing the calf or by a pretreatment of the teats and/or the udder.
By pre-treating the teats, nerves are stimulated.
These nerves then command the brain to lead oxytocin into the bloodstream. This oxytocin is produced in the Hypothalamus.
(Oxytocin is also called the "cuddle hormone" in human science because it promotes the mother/child connection).
Once enough oxytocin is circulating in the blood stream, the muscles in the udder tissue contract, increasing the pressure in the udder and causing the cow to release her milk.
Pretreating the teats has the effect of filling the teat cistern with milk.
The result is pressure increase in the teat orifice.
The speed of this hormonal action during milking varies from cow to cow.
Some cows release the milk after only 30 seconds, others after 2 minutes.
My advice as a guideline:
The most appropriate time of attaching the Milk Claw Cluster is at 1.5 to 2 minutes AFTER the cow has been pre-treated.
Note, this is not a rule but a guideline.
The stimulation at the teats must be strong and of sufficient duration. Only then can you milk a cow properly.
It is mainly the pulsation in the teat cup that causes the stimulation, which allows up to 90% of the total amount of milk to be milked out of the udder.
Cows are autistic
You can see this before and during the milking process.
It is because of this that cows do not release their milk only through pre-treatment.
External factors that are standard to the milking process can also stimulate the animal to lactate.
Concentrate feeding in the milking robot is such a typical example of an external factor.
The release of oxytocin by the Hypothalamus takes about 8 minutes.
The peak in release is at about 3 minutes after the Milk Claw Cluster is connected.
Skilled milking means as little residual milk in the cow as possible. When milking the modern dairy cow, about 10% residual milk is often left in the udder after milking.
This residual milk contains a relatively high amount of fat. The fat content in the residual milk can vary between 5% and 20%.
The amount of residual milk depends on various factors.
For example, the cow itself plays a major role. Some cows are better at milking than others. The time of lactation is also of great influence. The amount of residual milk at the end of lactation can easily be as much as 2.5 kg, while at the beginning of lactation it is often less than 100 grams!
Everything depends on a correct pre-treatment of the udder.
Without pre-treatment, the amount of residual milk is just as high, only the total milking process per cow takes much longer.
There will also be more "loose milk" released. This is milk from the glandular tissue left at the bottom of the udder and stored there.