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Measuring milking performance matters – Part 2: How milk meters work and how to choose the right one

Having demonstrated the potential benefits of milk meters, let’s discover how they work and how to recognize the best products for your herd.

After our introduction on the possible features a milk meter can have, and why it can be the right choice to optimize your milking efficiency, in this episode not only are we going to discover how this tool works, but we will also share some aspects to be considered when selecting the milk meter for your parlour. To provide you with the most reliable content, once again we count on Simone Pezzi’s support, our PCI Product Manager.

 “Fill & Dump” technology milk meters

 In this episode we will focus on the “Fill & Dump” technology. As the name itself suggests, this tool is composed by one or more chambers containing a level sensor. As the milk enters, the sensor recognizes a certain amount of milk, allowing us to understand how much milk flows. Once the second level is reached, the dump valve opens and the vacuum beneath it enables the milk to flow towards the milk line.

Being located between animal and milk line, the milk meter might affect vacuum stability, if not properly managed. In fact, it could slow down milking, while representing a danger for the teat ends, causing issues to both the process and the animal. Therefore, a crucial aspect to be considered when selecting the product is making sure it maintains vacuum stability beneath the udder, allowing the milk to flow from the udder to the milk line, without ever hindering the flow or respraying to the teat. If the milk meter measures conductivity and temperatures, two tiny sensors then register the two values from the milk between the first and second level.

 On the panel display you can keep track of the milking performance, through the milk production indicators.

To maximise the potential of measuring milk flow, connection to a Herd Management Software plays a key role, as it enables storing and monitoring all the data related to each animal, evaluating the performance related to each KPI. This insight then provides an overview of the milking routine’s efficiency, enables detection of any abnormality during the process, and developing a suitable strategy for the needs of each cow, maximising farm profitability.

 Maintenance is a further aspect not to be underestimated. Therefore, make sure you follow the routine suggested by the system manufacturer, to get the most out of your milk meter.

 What are the most reliable milk meters?

 We are sure you only want the best equipment for your herd, therefore when choosing the right milk meter, we suggest you consider two main aspects:

  • Certified products, awarded by institutions that carefully evaluate the performance of milk meters, analysing their impact on the milk flowing in it. Among these, ICAR certification is an excellent example. By examining samples, it demonstrates that products have a <2% margin of error, so the milk meter has no impact either on milk properties, or on cow health, preserving the quality of milk.

  • Equipment from high-quality brands on the market. In fact, these products receive a Quality Certificate, ensuring they comply with milk flow, fluid dynamics and animal well-being parameters.

 While closing this series of Blog episodes about milk meters, we hope it has contributed to proof that they are the right tool to choose, to be aware of your herd’s performance, optimize your milking routine, and spot any issue in advance. These elements all lead up to milking efficiency, and isn’t that what you are looking for?

 Once again, MI thank Simone Pezzi for his support.


  • It’s all in the flow Sipka, Wieland, Geary – Hoard’s Dairyman, 10/2021

Date: 06 December 2021

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