Milk Recording

Milk Recording is a core service provided by Munster Bovine for its farmer customers. By using the information provided from each recording, farmers can make informed management decisions and can improve the overall herd production performance and animal health.

Milk Recording offers several benefits to both dairy farmers and the industry as a whole. Here are some of the key benefits of milk recording:

Benefits of Milk Recording.

Milk recording allows farmers to obtain detailed information about the milk production performance of individual cows. By tracking factors such as milk yield, milk composition (fat, protein), and somatic cell count, farmers can identify cows with superior genetic traits for milk production. This information is valuable for making informed decisions regarding breeding, selection, and culling, leading to the improvement of the overall herd's productivity. 

Regular milk recording provides insights into the health and performance of individual cows. Abnormalities in milk composition or somatic cell count can indicate health issues, such as mastitis or metabolic disorders. Identifying such problems early enables timely intervention, including veterinary care and adjustments to feeding or management practices. By addressing health issues promptly, farmers can improve animal welfare, minimize production losses, and reduce the need for antibiotics. 

Milk recording allows farmers to monitor the performance of their cows over time. By comparing data from different lactations or periods, they can assess the progress or decline in individual cow productivity. This information helps farmers identify trends, evaluate the effectiveness of management strategies, and make data-driven decisions regarding nutrition, breeding, or culling. 

Milk recording data is crucial for dairy cattle breeding programmes. By collecting and analysing performance data, individual cows can be ranked within the herd. These values are used to select bulls and cows with desirable traits for future generations.   

Milk Recording Options

Munster Bovine offers herdowners two different milk recording options. 

1. Electronic DIY (EDIY) Milk Recording 

2. Manual Milk Recording

Electronic DIY (EDIY) Milk Recording

This service uses electronic meters which record milk volume and take test samples automatically. The herdowner carries out the recording himself / herself (DIY). Munster Bovine offers full training and support and should extra assistance be needed, we can provide an assistant. 

Instead of a recorder coming into your parlour to carry out the milk recording, for EDIY milk recording a technician delivers electronic meters to the farm. The electronic meter records the milk weight and automatically takes a sample for each cow. 

Our team of EDIY technicians will call ahead to schedule your milk recording and arrange a suitable time to drop meters for pm milking. If you are new to the service, our technician will stay for the first milking for training purposes. The farmer then completes the recording and reporting process and the samples are collected. (Single sample - pm/am Yields pm+am). 

A full set of instructions are provided for ongoing referral. If a farmer needs assistance, a milk recording assistant can complete the recording at an extra cost. 

Reports will be accessible approximately one week from date of recording. Farmers will receive a text message with the 5 highest SCC cows as soon as herd is processed. A full report will then be available immediately online at and by post the next day.  

Milk Recording Image

About the Manual Milk Recording process

If you have your own ICAR approved meters or jars, you can avail of the Munster Bovine manual milk recording services. This is where a Munster Bovine Milk recorder goes to the farm and records PM and AM volume for each cow as well as taking a sample for constituent analysis.  

Milk Recording Image 1

What is involved in this process.

  • Farmer will receive a call from Munster Milk Recorder to schedule appointment.
  • Note: Prior to this appointment, farmer must ensure that their equipment is fit for purpose and ICAR approved. Electronic meters and jars must be calibrated and serviced with Milking Machine supplier. Munster can provide calibration and servicing of milk meters if dropped to Munster offices. - For Milk Recording to commence, farmer must ensure Cow Identification is adequate. The is the sole responsibility of the farmer.
  • Milk recorder will attend 2 consecutive milkings - Single sample - pm/am Yields pm + am
  • Reports will be accessible approximately one week from date of recording. Farmers will receive a text with 5 highest SCC cows as soon as herd is processed. A full report will then be available immediately online at and by post next day 

Herdowner Guidelines for Milk Recording

  • Schedule:  Organise the recording schedule for your herd and system with your designated recorder. In seasonal herds, recording within 60 days from start of calving and 30 days before dry-off contributes powerful data for SCC control.
  • Cow Identification: Cows must be identified clearly by freeze brand or easy to read tag. Clip the freeze brands of the cows before recording.  
  • Data Update: Please update the cow ID’s, calving and dry off dates on ICBF in advance of recording - this ensures correct information is on the data handler on the day of the recording and more accurate reports are generated subsequently.
  • Time for recording: On the day of the recording, allow extra time for milking to ensure a successful and stress-free recording. 
  • Milking interval: Maintain your normal milking interval and feeding pattern prior to and during the recording. 

Milking Machine 

  • Machine vacuum: The machine vacuum reserve must be sufficient and milk lines of adequate size to maintain normal milking conditions during the recording and ensure even milk flow through meters. There must be adequate washing vacuum reserve to ensure the meters are washed properly.
  • Cluster Flush: Cluster flush must be turned off for the duration of the recording. Residual wash water in the plant must be removed before recording commences to avoid affecting the sample concentration.
  • Cluster Air Bleeds: Clear all cluster air bleeds before recording commences.
  • Air leaks: There must be no air leaks from perished rubber ware, split liners, or faulty connections to meters and meter fittings.  


  • Calibration & Servicing: Manual and electronic ICAR approved meters must be calibrated and serviced at least annually and/or according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Meters Level: Milk meters must hang level.  More than 5o tilt will result in an uneven flow in the meter and affect results. 
  • Tubing lengths: Ensure pipes in and out of the meter should not exceed the original long milk tube by more than 50 cms to maintain normal milking conditions.
  • Cleaning taps on manual meters and jars: Taps on manual meters and Jars must be cleaned before all recordings as they are not part of the wash cycle. 
  • Cleaning EDIY meters: All meters must be properly cleaned and ready for collection by the EDIY technician.  


  • High Line Milking Machines: Ensure that the sample bottles can be reached in parlours with milk meters positioned high on the milk line. Provide stable steps where necessary.
  • Lighting: Ensure a safe working environment with adequate lighting in parlours. 
Milk Recording Manual

Interpreting your Milk Recording Results.

Use your Milk Recording & Lifetime Summary Report to make the best decisions for your herd  

  • Breeding from your better performing higher genetic merit cows will drive genetic gain and improve future performance.
  • Avoid breeding replacements from cows in red (bottom 20%) for either lifetime, year to date or both (double reds). Use high beef subindex dairy beef sires, with suitable calving difficulty on these cows.
  • Use an appropriate number of dairy straws (conventional, sexed or both), to breed your future replacements from the better performing non red cows  

  • Achieving good fertility performance combined with good health (low incidence of lameness, mastitis, SCC etc), creating the opportunity for you to sell your poorest performing cows. » If selling for poor performance, target cows in red on lifetime margin per day and red on year to date ‘double reds’.
  • Improved performance of the bottom 20% will see the red churn at the top of your report become fuller, indicating better overall performance and a more uniform production herd.  

  • Achieving a low SCC will result in better performance (more milk in the tank), and lower antibiotic usage.
  • Each milk recording allows you to monitor each cow for SCC individually, building an SCC history and enabling you to make decisions on milking routine, treatment, culling etc.
  • The milk recording lifetime report categorises each cow depending on the infection status (persistently infected, recently infected cured and healthy), allowing easy identify cation of cows that need attention. 

Useful Resources

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As a company we pride ourselves on our dedication to bringing the best genetics to our farmer customers. Our experienced team are on hand, ready to assist you with your specific breeding requirements and to offer the best advice on how our services can help you achieve the best results for your herd. Get in touch with us today to find out more.

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Munster Bovine are committed to providing farmers with the best genetics and services to improve productivity and profitability ensuring a sustainable farm business for future generations.

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