Help with milking machine (pics)

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8 years 4 months ago #517196 by Leonie
Hi all,
I purchased a one cow milking machine off trade me a few years ago & was wondering if ANYONE has ANY experience with it's type. NO brand name.
Just started using it with our first ever house cow & we are having some trouble with the pressure settings etc.

It has a screw type release valve on the claw, one at the bottom of the silver cylinder (which sits on top of the milking machine) & one on top.
Have worked out that we can semi control the pressure with the one on the bottom of the silver cylinder but it still leaves our cows teats too swollen. Don't know if it's the cups or machine.
Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated as we are newbies at this .

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8 years 4 months ago #517203 by Stikkibeek
The silver cylinder at the top of the plant is a vacuum tank. The vacuum should be adjusted until the gauge is showing the appropriate level for a cow. For your cow to appear swollen after milking then either the cup inflations are too small or hard, or the pulsation is not working correctly. Your machine is similar to my goat milker, but mine doesn't have that blue tank. What is it for?
Have you got the tubes set up properly? There should be a large air tube going from the top of the vacuum tank to one of the apertures on the milking can, then to the milk line on the cups. A second, probably lighter line (may be double line) goes from the bottom of the pulsator to the air line on the cup claw. Can you post another photo to show how you have these lines set up/

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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8 years 4 months ago #517204 by Stikkibeek
My machine is like this one. The dark blue adjuster is visible on top of the vacuum tank. Just behind it also on the tank, is the pulsator a different blue, and the gauge behind that. this picture shows quite clearly the set-up.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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8 years 4 months ago #517205 by Leonie
Hi Stikkibeek... Yes there is a line from the vacuum tank to the lid of the can & another from the lid of the can to the cups. Then another smaller air line to the top of the claw which looks absolutely nothing like yours.
I'll post more pics later on today of the claw etc.
The blue cylinder has a disc in it with lubricant. Is that the pulsator? It has an air line going to the vacuum tank.

I think we are going to need new cups & maybe a new claw. We have no site glass on ours & to place them on we have to bend the rubber tubing on the cups to gain pressure & if one loses pressure while being put on they all fall off. Tried adjusting the valve on the cups but it doesn't really do anything except when we turn the machine off & release the cups. You'll see what I mean when I post the pics.

Thanks by the way :)

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8 years 4 months ago #517238 by Leonie
Okay so I'm not using this set of cups on her anymore as they are causing too much discomfort. So we will be hand milking her (sighs). Good learning curve.
Here are the pics of the claw.


This was taken a few days ago
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8 years 4 months ago #517286 by thevarneys
Howdy neighbour.
We used to also fold over the rubber tubing to the cups as we were putting them on to keep the pressure up. We have some spare sets of cups/claws and could pop over (with DH who set up our system and is a bit knowledgable at these things) ;)
Maybe when the rain stops lol
Sounds like the cups are probably fine, most likely a pressure thing.

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8 years 4 months ago #517288 by katieb
if you take it into your local milking machine service place they will be able to help you out. Too much vacumn can damage the cows teats & too little can cuse them to not milkout properly which can result in mastitis

Animals rule our place... cows, calves, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, donkeys, chickens, ducks... the list goes on
...."lifestyle block like" 25 or so acres around the house attached to a rather large farm with dairy drystock & a 600 cow dairy conversion :)....1500 acres to call home

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8 years 4 months ago #517290 by Leonie
Hiya neighbour :)
We would be very grateful if you could pop over & help us out with our machine as controlling the pressure is an issue & her teats were getting very swollen..... We've been hand milking since yesterday & OMGosh it's taking us forever.
She has one teat that sprays & seems shorter than the rest which has caused us some trouble.
But yes please your help would be very welcome :)
We milk around 10 am. I'll message you our ph number :)

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8 years 4 months ago #517291 by Leonie
Thanks Katieb,
Yes she wasn't milking out properly on one quarter & did get mastitis but she's getting better.
Yes it's definitely a pressure thing & maybe the cups.
But being the weekend (New Years)& DH having work (12 hour shifts) we've been unable to get into town so have had to strip her out by hand.
It's her first calf (which isn't with her now).
Must persevere. :)

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8 years 4 months ago #517295 by Stikkibeek
Yes, it's normal to fold the rubber on the claw to keep up the vacuum. I'm used to a claw that has sidexside air/milk lines, so may need to adapt my method, but here's what I do. If you are right handed, fold two cups on right of claw down and under the claw and hold in place with right hand. Fold rear left cup up and across and hold with thumb inside the cup using right hand. Fold left front cup down, then up in pincer grip between thumb and forefinger of left hand. This becomes the first cup you put on and would normally be the far side rear teat you put it on first. release the left rear cup to left hand and place on teats. Should now have both back teats on. Transfer the hold of folded right cup closest to you, to left hand by hooking thumb over the claw but keeping the rubbers bent underneath the claw and use right hand to place right front claw on far teat then release the last cup to right hand for last teat.

If you milk only from the cows near side (her left) then swap the above to the other hand/s. It's normal to fold the cup rubbers (called inflation rubbers) Only cluster claws could sustain enough fold to stay vacuum closed as far as I remember, but they are a bit of a pain to clean.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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8 years 4 months ago #517314 by Leonie
Thanks Stikkibeek we will try that :)

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8 years 4 months ago #517357 by tonybaker
the claw is usually designed so that when the cups are hanging down, the angled cut on the claw pipe closes off the rubber tube. You need to have 15" hg suction and the vacuum pump should be powerful enough to cope with a cup or two falling off. Pulsation cycle is crucial to efficient milking, this is the on/off action of the vacuum in the cup.
Plenty of info on the www.

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8 years 4 months ago #517358 by Leonie
I took the claw apart lastnight & gave it a good clean. While I was standing there looking over the tubes etc I thought hmmm the air intake tubes should be at a ontop position. After putting everything back together & milking with the Machine this morning...... Guess what? As the cups were hanging it closed off without having to bend anything (laughs).
The way they were positioned before was to the side. So now we don't have a problem with that.
We also worked with the vacuum/pressure adjustment & have almost worked it out. Pepper emptied right out this morning, though I think the cups/rubbers are too small so will get some new ones.
We got 12 litres this morning.

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8 years 4 months ago #517362 by katieb

Leonie wrote: pepper emptied right out this morning, though I think the cups/rubbers are too small so will get some new ones.
We got 12 litres this morning.


Yay for getting it sorted :)

What do you mean the cups/rubbers are too small? Are you concerned her teats dont fit in or are they ending up misshapen at the end of milking? What breed is she?

Animals rule our place... cows, calves, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, donkeys, chickens, ducks... the list goes on
...."lifestyle block like" 25 or so acres around the house attached to a rather large farm with dairy drystock & a 600 cow dairy conversion :)....1500 acres to call home

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8 years 4 months ago #517391 by Leonie
katieb, I think my rubber inflations/cups may be too small. They fit but just. Our neighbour where she came from have cups just a bit bigger.
Pepper is a Jersey x.
She's doing great but I think would be even better with cups just a little bigger.
Just over 12 litres this morning. Took me 4 & a 1/2 minutes to empty her out completely (timed it).She is more relaxed & getting better with her routine, as am I lol.

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