This month’s VAS DC305 Tip is on parlor performance. Using the Parlor Performance Reports in DC305 can helps you take advantage of many of the benefits of daily milk meters plus look for cows that fail to produce the expected amount of milk.
This data will help you:
- Find meters that are not functioning properly
- Identify cows milk in wrong pens
- Monitor employee milking performance
- Evaluate changes in milking procedures to determine their benefits or detriment
**The data for this information will vary from one meter manufacturer to another.
There are 2 Parlor Performance reports in DC305, one from the MILK command and one from the PARLOR command. While they are very similar, there are two major differences. MILK parlor performance is from the standpoint of the cows and where they located in their pens in DC305, while the PARLOR is by pens in the presumed order they were milked. The second difference is the MILK report lists errors and problems with the milkings while PARLOR report lists errors of cows found in wrong pens during milking. For this article we will be looking at the PARLOR report.
The summary is of one milking (Fig 1). Since this is a PARLOR report the pens are as the cows were millked in the parlor and the “Cows” column may better be described as the number of milk weights from the milking. Even if the cows were not identified but the system knew they were there, they will be counted. Most of the columns are self-explanatory but a couple that need explaination are deviation and Not ID. The Deviation is the average deviation from expected milk. The Not ID is the number from each pen that did not ID when they came in the parlor. A negative number indicates that MORE cows were milked in that pen than what DC305 has. This is usually due to mixed up cows. The Summary portion of the report is very helpful to monitor milker performance. Look at start times for consistancy, length of milking or negative not ID for number in wrong pens, total production per pen and average duration. Average duration goals are for the first 25 pounds 4 minutes or less and for each additional 10 pounds .5 minutes or less.
The next section (Fig 2) shows the Meter Performance. The best overall parlor efficiency measure is pounds of milk per hour per stall. This requires high producing cows, fast milking cows with prompt milk removal and smooth, rapid parlor turnover. Goal is, on three times a day milking, greater than 100 pounds per stall per hour is considered GOOD and greater than 130 pounds per stall per hour is considered EXCELLENT. The best indicator of udder preparation and cow handling is the first 2 minutes of attachment. Goal for three times a day milking is greater than 14.5 pounds.
Meter Function (Fig 3) is a very important sections which can let you know that a meter is not working correctly before you would normall recognize it. This section will show any stall that was out of tolerance for that milking. If you are seeing the same stall each milking, attention is needed. It shows the stall only if it is out of tolerance. In Fig 4 you will see that stall 3 is flagged for time, mode and MDet (manual detact). Looking at the MDet of 29 which is out of the tolerance of 14. This is a meter that needs to be looked at for malfuctioning.
PARLOR also has a very useful graph (fig 4) which allows you to see a very good overall picture of that is happening in the parlor at a glance. The left side of the graph is the stalls and the bottom the times. Each box is a cow. You are able to see how milkers are being attached, how long each cow is being milked by the length of the box, if cows are in wrong pens by mix colors, reattachs which are the white boxes and by hovering over any box see all the detail for that cow.
You are also able to look at historical milk data, back as long as you have had DairyComp and Daily Milk. You will see in Fig 5, a graph showing the pounds of milk per stall, per hour. You will see I have chosen to see it by milking. Milking 1 and Milking 2 are looking good at over 100 pounds per stall, per hour. Milking 3 actually is having times of very low production. This is something that would be a red flag and need to be investigated as to why. See how Fig 6 is more consistent on all three milkings.
Parlor performance reports are extremely important for finding meters not functioning properly right away, monitoring employee milking performance and evaluating changes in milking procedures to assure an efficient running parlor.