Short communication: Herd-level variables associated with overmilking in Michigan dairy herds

R. Moore-Foster, B. Norby, R. L. Schewe, R. Thomson, P. C. Bartlett, R. J. Erskine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to determine the herd-level variables that are associated with overmilking in 64 Michigan dairy herds with a mean herd size of 451 cows (range: 59–2,771 cows). Participating producers completed surveys to indicate their mastitis management practices and attitudes. Additionally, milking protocols were observed and milk flow dynamics for 3,824 cows were estimated using digital vacuum recorders. The median duration of overmilking was 47 s (95% confidence interval, CI: 38.6 to 55.9 s), with a mean of 55% (95% CI: 49.5 to 61.1%) of cows within each herd overmilked by at least 30 s. Median milking time for all herds was 324 s (95% CI: 302 to 346 s) and was found to be positively correlated with median duration of overmilking (r = 0.670). Backward multivariate analysis was used to determine which of 45 herd-level milking and management variables were associated with median duration of overmilking. Median duration of overmilking was negatively associated with the duration of time needed to complete 1 milking for the entire herd (adjusted R2 = 0.13). Herds that operate milking facilities below maximum daily capacity may be prone to overmilking. Given the low coefficient of determination, variables unaccounted for in this study, such as equipment function or manual detachment by milking operators, are likely the most important risk factors for overmilking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8400-8404
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2019


  • labor management
  • milking protocol
  • overmilking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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