Performance Evaluation of Portable Milking Machine on Machine Economy, Milk Yield, Milking Time, and Milk Constituents of Nepalese Cattle
Hand milking, a most common practice for majority of the farm households is a labor and time intensive process in Nepal. Effect of milking machine on milk yield, milking time, milking rate and milk composition, and economical aspects of machine use was investigated on cow milking applying portable two cluster bucket type milking machine. Three treatments were investigated as follows: hand milking, machine milking (M1) @330 mmHg vacuum pressure and machine milking (M2) @290 mmHg vacuum pressure. The obtained daily milk yield for hand milking (7.58±1.28 Kg) was 7.3% and 2.4% higher than machine milking M1 (7.02±1.89 Kg), and M2 (7.40±1.69 kg), respectively. The milk yield did not differ statistically between hand and machine milking methods (p > 0.05). Milking machine signiﬁcantly shortened the cow milking time from 11.91 minutes (hand milking) to 5.38 minutes (M1) and 4.98 minutes (M2) respectively. Similarly, milk flow rate for hand milking (0.32 kg/min) was 52.9 % (0.68 kg/min) and 57.3% (0.75 kg/min) lower than M1 and M2, respectively. There were significant differences in milking time and milk flow rate between machine milking and hand milking (P<0.05). Results indicated that there was no any difference between milking methods in the incidence of milk composition (P>0.05). The use of a milking machine saves more than one half the labor required for milking a herd of 17 cows. Cost saving achieved by our result were 39.47-58.98% for machine milking depending on the number of cluster. Therefore, we concluded that greater saving in labor and cost can be occurred in larger and higher producing herds by the use of two or more cluster milking machine. Importantly, an economical aspect of the milking machine use is basically proportional to the size of the herd.