“Ten Do’s and Don’ts for ‘Low-Cost’ & ‘Retrofit’ Milking Parlors”


‘Low-cost’ is not the same as ‘cheap’ when converting an existing building into a milking center. Careful planning and attention to detail are essential for creating a safe and productive milking environment for cows and employees.

Dr. Doug Reinemann, Professor, Biological Systems Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, proposes these 10 do’s and don’ts for planning a milking parlor, especially for ‘retrofit’ and ‘low-cost’ alternatives:


  1. Know how much you can spend.
  2. Let the installer design the milking system.
  3. Don’t overestimate the value of old equipment.
  4. Get the building right.
  5. Plan the building, stalls and holding area for good cow flow.
  6. Rewire if you remodel.
  7. Put in good quality, energy-efficient lights.
  8. Invest in energy saving technology.
  9. Make sure floors drain well.
  10. Install good ventilation.
Source: “Ten Do’s & Don’ts for ‘Low-Cost’ & ‘Retrofit’ Milking Parlors” article by Dan F. McFarland. Penn State Extension’s The Dairy Focus, August 2011, Volume 12 Issue 3.

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