Animal ProductionDairy Farming

Advantages and Disadvantages of Milking Machines

Are you building a dairy farm in Kenya and are having trouble deciding between hiring labour or buying automatic milking machine? Or is your traditional dairy farm simply growing and you are considering an upgrade to milking machines? In either case, it is essential to make your choice depending on the advantages and disadvantages of both systems.

Advantages of Milking Machines

Considering how many farmers in Kenya turn to them, milking machinery are bound to have numerous advantages that allow dairy farms in Kenya to operate effectively while optimizing profits.

  • First of all, it allows the dairy farm to increase their activity with a larger herd. Indeed, proper milking machinery can manage herds faster while ensuring the quality of the milk, which allows farmers to harvest from more cattle than they could with traditional means.
  • The second advantage is quite obvious and lies in the money saved by avoiding labour expenses. A big dairy farm in Kenya that harvests manually will normally require at least a dozen of employees to function properly. With automatic milking machinery, only a few will be required.
  • Thirdly, still considering the labour factor, milking machinery also reduces the farm’s dependency on workers. On a traditional farm in Kenya, if skilled workers cannot work anymore or decide to leave the farm, this would have a great effect on the milk production, and affect the sales. With milking machinery, it would be quite easy to find someone to operate the machines and ensure that the dairy farm will remain in activity at all times.
  • Finally, a proper milking routine will reduce the stress on the stock, which not only improves the health of the animals, but also ensure a higher quality in the dairy harvest.

Disadvantages of Milking Machines

However, like with any other business, choosing to machinery to machinery come with certain limitations.

  • Older Cattle: The most obvious disadvantage will come with older cattle. Normally used to hand milking, older cows will have trouble adjusting to automatic milking machinery. This may increase their stress levels, and thus the milk quality. Thankfully, the next generation will be used to the milking machinery, which makes this a short term disadvantage.
  • Secondly, the machinery will need a constant supply of electricity. This means that in cases of damages to the power supply system or during blackouts, the dairy farm will not be able to operate properly. These effects can however be minimized with emergency power supply systems.
  • Finally, while not technically a disadvantage since the staff if hired for that, milking machinery require strict cleaning procedures. Indeed, improperly cleaned machinery can lead to infections.

In conclusion, if a proper policy is put in place, switching to an automatic milking system can be the best investment a dairy farm can make to meet the highest standards in terms of quality and performance.