Quarter-controlled milking in dairy cows

A.H. Ipema, P.H. Hogewerf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The design of a milking stall with special functions for monitoring and control is described. The milk removal process per quarter is described. The milking stall was equipped with four milk containers, whose advancing weight was recorded permanently. The data were online converted into milk flow rate profiles for each quarter. Quarter milk flow profiles were analysed and translated into variables such as milk yield and milking duration for the whole milking or for the increase, steady state, declining and overmilking phases. These variables were used to test the effect of technical milking machine settings (pulsation or milking vacuum, pulsation rate or ratio and detachment level) on quarter milking performance. Also the effects of the factors of quarter position and milking time were examined. An experiment with three milking vacuum levels, carried out in a milking parlour with these quarter milking facilities is described. Significant effects of vacuum level, quarter position and time of milking on milk yield and milking duration in the defined milk removal phases were shown. Moreover, the effects differed significantly among cows and quarters. The study reveals marked differences in milk flow profiles per quarter. For optimal milking the milking process control should anticipate these differences and use the information for more efficient milking and safeguarding teat and udder health.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-66
JournalComputers and Electronics in Agriculture
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • udder

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