Thompson’s SeconDairy switched to Lauren Liners for their robotic milking operation. When they compared the performance of their new liners with the previous product, they were happy with the higher level of performance, efficiency and cow comfort. Travis Thompson, DVM, an 18-year veterinarian, and fourth-generation dairy farmer, provides a rundown of the results.
Why did your dairy go to automated milking machines?
Dairy farming has changed, and I’ve been blown away by advancements. We have automation throughout the whole process now and have used robots for five years. Two people run our dairy, my wife and me. Any extra time we can get to manage the business better is welcome. Robotic milking gives us a lot of that time back. But we weren’t satisfied with the liners and shell options we had from other companies. So, we gave Lauren Liners a try.
What type of results did you see?
First, we were very impressed by the data. We got better milk flow rates than what we had before. By about 20%. And it was more milk in less time. And the increase in refusal rates means cows were getting milked when they should, and they were coming back more often than normal because the liners were comfortable. It was a good experience for them.
What else stood out?
I was impressed with teat-end health. The teat ends looked fantastic, with no rings on top of the teat. There were very few instances of cows kicking or dancing around. As a veterinarian who’s also a dairy farmer, cow health is very important to me, and I liked what I saw with Lauren. Lauren also set things up nicely. We have lower-statured cows, and Lauren helped us with changing parameters on the robot to use these liners.
What about the liner design?
Installing Lauren’s liner into the shell is so easy, even compared to the one that came with the robot. Basically, it’s pulling it through the shell and lining it up. We worry about twisting within the shell on other liners, but the way Lauren has designed the shell, it goes right along with the inflation. There’s no twisting.