The weather has become increasingly unpredictable in recent years; periods of drought or flood; rare sweltering summers, and occasional unprecedented blistering cold snaps.
It is the blistering cold snap that can affect milking parlours the hardest.
Listed below are some of the routines and equipment used to fight the freeze:
- Frost Heaters fitted over the parlour that come on with a ‘Frost Stat’
- Curtains or doors to enclose the parlour, dairy and lines.
- Water & Milk line pipe insulation.
- Tarpaulin, bales, barriers in open doorways.
- Tarpaulin over the parlour.
- Manual Space Heaters blowing hot air into the parlour (into the tarpaulin)
- Hot wash the parlour and allow it to drain. Turn on the vacuum pump and vacuumise the parlour. Take the first cluster off its jetter and allow it to vent to atmosphere for 15 seconds, then press stop on that unit and hang it down over the parlour floor – fold away the jetter. Do this for the whole parlour until all units have been vented and are dangling down just above the floor.
- (If possible) Take the green servo tube off the top of the milk meter flask and the meter terminal, and blow down it to remove condensates of water – then reattach.
- Make sure that the milk & wash lines have drained properly. Remove all manual drains; empty the receiver and milk pump; pneumatically purge the lines; remove lines to drain and then refit. All lying water to be drained away from lines, tubes and vessels.
Recovery when Frozen
It is difficult to reheat a frozen milking parlour if no fixtures are in place or no preventative routines have been carried out.
- Start the parlour on a hot wash.
- Space Heaters (Ambient Heat) into the parlour.
- Submerge, pour over or douse frozen clusters and lines with hot water. (Not the electrical devices).
Suck up hot water into individual clusters.
- Bring the cows into the parlour stalls and collecting area to gen-tly raise the local temperature.
- Wait until the morning temperature rises?
Needless to say, prevention is better than cure.
We recommend that you prepare for the winter by stocking up on frost prevention fixtures and by carrying-out the prevention routines if a freeze is likely.
Hope this helps.
Please keep warm this winter.