Northern Dairy Equipment won this year’s RABDF Livestock Machinery and Equipment Award for its Teat Sanicleanse System.

The Preston-based firm started selling the system at the beginning of the year and has already sold units to some 40 farms, in the UK, US and Canada.

The principle is simple. Cow’s teats always tend to be mucky and farmers spend a lot of time and money cleaning them with paper towels, medicated wipes and cloths.

The Sanicleanse system takes a completely different tack, employing a cleaning head with three revolving soft brushes and a warm water spray to do the job mechanically. The company says that the massage effect of the brushes helps to stimulate milk let-down.

It’s a very quick process, with each set of four teats taking just five to 10 seconds to clean. The back of the cleaning head is open, allowing muck and straw to fall to the floor. Dairy disinfectant is also metered into the water to provide a sanitising effect.

A flexible shaft-drive takes power to the head and it’s a 24v DC system, so there’s no danger from mains power.

How many units do you need? Northern Dairy’s Matt Wiggans says one unit could service a rotary parlour or a herringbone parlour for up to 300 cows. Herringbone parlours for 300 or 400 cows would probably need two units.

Cost is £3,800 for one unit and £5,200 for two.

For more on this topic

See our Livestock 2012  event page