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Cleaning Brushes - When is the optimal time to change them?

Are you double brushing your cows? Are you using USA Pretreatment? Got to love the options! But there is something to keep in mind. Udder cleaning brushes are designed for 30000 cleanings until replacement is suggested. You’re thinking I know this, T4C tells me so! That’s a great thing to keep an eye on, but there’s a caveat. It does not take into consideration if you double brush or extend brushing time nor USA Pretreatment. Just simply changing your pretreatment to x2 means your brushes wear out twice as fast - which is now the standard and pretty much every farm is on 2x brushing per quarter. That’s 15000 milkings. Increase your brushing time x2 then even less. Throw in USA pretreatment on top of this and you’re looking at changing brushes around 7500 milkings. I see double brushing alone or USA pretreatment separately often. So this is easy, 15000 milkings. So for now, when doing your daily maintenance check your brushes and change when worn. There should be little to no gap between the two brushes where the teat would be. Also, once the bristles start to bend more than 75 degrees it’s showing wear, bristles tend to be lost then. Check for missing bristles and always make sure your brushes are turning.

Don't wait until your brushes look like this!

If you don't know this already, the brushes are designed to properly stimulate and clean the cows teat with 2 different bristle types. If you wait until those bristles are worn out, it is harder to get the proper stimulation and cleaning. If that's the case then we risk a higher chance of contamination, mastitis, bi-modal milking, teat end damage, lower milk speed, and increased box time. But who cares right? I can save 140$ per year if I change them only at 30,000 milking. At about 60,000 milking/robot/year that's the difference; changing the brushes 4 times versus twice a year. The median cost of a mastitis case in Canada is 662$ (Frontiers of Vetenary Science 2018). You only need to save one mastitis case every 4 years and you cover the extra cost. Is it worth the savings? Not enough? Ok let's say that because we don't change the brushes as often we have an increased box time of 10 seconds/milking. 170 milkings per day gives me 28 extra minutes of box time per day with the same cows. That's a whole extra cow milking 3x. At 35kg/day, that's a potential gain of 10,000$/year. Is the extra 140$ still not worth it?

Now on to the pro tip part: When you do change the brushes and set the date in T4C only set the date half way back. IE: Changed in January, alert appears June. Set month to March. This should leave 15000 milkings on the counter and will alert at 30000 milkings.

Report 57 shows the status of all components

You can view the status of your brushes from the System app or on T4C on report 57 or under Configuration->Devices->and select the device you whish to see.

Reach out to one of our Technician or your FMS specialist to learn more.

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