Liners are the only part of the milking parlour that come into direct contact with a cow’s teat, making them arguably the most important part to keep clean.

On most dairy farms the milking parlour is used twice-a-day, seven days/week for up to 12 months/year.

Liners, like most parts, wear, so ensuring they are in good condition and are changed at the correct time is critical for controlling somatic cell counts (SCC).

Liners are expected to last for 2,000 milkings or six months, depending on which comes around first. However, if a herd has increased in size, they need to be changed more often than this.

Changing liners

The major factor that determines when liners need to be changed is the number of cows going through the parlour.

A farmer milking nine rows of cows means the liner is completing 18 milkings/day.

That means the liners in the parlour need to be changed very 111 days (2,000/18 = 111 days).

This means that the liners in this parlour need to be changed at least twice a year in a spring-calving herd that has a two-month dry period.

If calving began in early February on this farm, they would need to be changed in the coming weeks.

When changing liners it is important that the new ones are installed correctly, and failure to do so will result in cows not being milked properly.

Other timely checks

It is also important that you inspect the rest of the rubber in your parlour.

An inspection of the pulsation tubes and the milk line should be completed to ensure that these lines are not becoming frayed or damaged in any way.

Any rubber that has become either frayed or damaged should be replaced to avoid a possible issue developing during milking in the near future.