Decreased milk yield is associated with delayed milk ejection.


Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824. Electronic address: [Email]


To determine whether individual cow milking vacuum (within the short milk tube and the liner mouthpiece) could be substituted for milk flow technology to identify delayed (bimodal) milk ejection, and the possible relationship between bimodal milk flow and milk yield, we recorded milking data from 663 Holstein cows on a 3,600-cow Michigan dairy that milked 3 times per day. Overall, delayed milk ejection occurred in 45.6% of the milkings, and 98% of the cows with delayed milk ejection also had bimodal flow. Multivariable analysis revealed that milk yield during each individual cow milking was positively associated with increasing lactation number but negatively associated with increasing days in milk and delayed milk ejection. As the time between unit attachment and the estimated milk letdown (the lag period) increased, milk yield decreased; relative to a lag of <30 s, milk yield decreased by 1.8 and 3.1 kg for lags of 30-59 and ≥60 s, respectively. The final multivariate model had an adjusted coefficient of determination of 0.27. The negative association between delayed milk ejection and decreased milk yield in this study suggested that milking vacuum parameters from individual cows could serve as a useful tool to qualitatively estimate milk flow within a herd and that this information may be used to enhance herd productivity.


delayed milk ejection,milk flow,milk yield,