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The Umhlanga Dog & Cat Grooming Parlour has been in existence for over 35 years, providing a service to pets in the Umhlanga and surrounding areas.
Dogs and cats come in to the parlour for grooming where they are washed and blow dried, get dipped (if necessary), have their nails clipped and we cut or shave them according to their breed. The turnaround time is two hours per animal groomed.
We are one of the few parlours in Durban that groom cats. We do all breeds from Main Coone and Persian to Siamese and Chinchilla. Cats are bathed and blow dried or shaved if the coats need it.
Although our clients come from far and wide to the parlour, we offer a collection and drop off service from Umhlanga to Durban North, La Lucia, Mt Edgecombe and La Mercy for a nominal fee.
We have a staff base of five women who are passionate about animals and are very knowledgeable in the grooming industry. Agina, who we call Mama, has been with this parlour since inception 35years ago!
Our parlour is conveniently situated in Chartwell Drive, Umhlanga Rocks in a very homely environment where you are welcome to sit and relax while waiting for your pets or you can pop into the Village a block away for shopping or a bite to eat.
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Title: Farm structures in tropical climates Division: Rural Infrastructure and Agro-Industries Division
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On commercial farms where several cows are milked at the time, a milking parlour becomes a feasible investment. Several types of milking parlours are in use in dairy regions throughout the world. Figure 10.16 a, b, c and d, illustrate some of the most common types.
Any type of parlour should have a high quality concrete floor and metal railings for durability and ease of cleaning. Walls are not required, but if supplied they should at least be plastered masonry walls. The pit where the milker stands should have a floor level 900mm below that of the cattle stands for the most comfortable work position.
The number of stands is determined by the allowable milking time of the herd or time taken to the concentrate ration.
The abreast parlour allows cows to enter and leave individually. The variation of this parlour shown here, in which the front of the stands can be opened so that the cows can proceed forward out of the parlour after milking has proved effective. The main drawback with the abreast parlour is the relatively long distance to walk between milking points, and cows obstructing the herdsman, since they share the same floor space.
The stands should be 1.0 to 1.1m wide when a bucket milking machine is used or when hand milking is practiced, while 0.7 to 0.8m is adequate when a pipeline milking system is installed. In both cases the width for the milker should be 0.6 to 0.8m. A two-level abreast parlour, in which the milker works at a lower level than the cows stand, is more difficult to construct and has no outstanding advantages over the single level type. The abreast parlour has been common in East Africa for herds of more than 40 cows, but its uses is decreasing and giving way to the double herringbone parlour.
The tandem parlour also allows for individual care of the cows. It is used mostly for smaller commercial herds and in particular, for herds with high yielding cows. The main drawbacks with this type of parlour are its larger space requirement and more expensive construction when compared to other types of parlours; of similar capacity. The parlour capacity in terms of cows milked per hour and labour efficiency can compare to that of a small herringbone parlour.
Figure 10.15 Milking parlour for a medium size herd.
In walk-through or chute parlours cows enter and leave in batches. They have been used mainly for small herds. Their narrow width can be an advantage where a parlour is to be fitted in an existing building, but it is inferior to other types in most other respects, however, it is cheaper to construct than a tandem parlour.
The herringbone parlour layout results in a compact working area and allows feeders to be fixed to the side walls. Four stands on each side of the pit, as shown in Figure 10.16c, is the minimum size of this type for high labour efficiency. If the herd has fewer than 80 cows, then a double-three parlour will keep the investment lower with only a small drop in labour efficiency. The popularity of the herringbone parlour is mainly due to its simplicity and its high capacity measured in numbers of cows milked per man-hour. (A man-hour is the equivalent of one man working for one hour). However, the risk of cows kicking the herdsman is greater in this type than in parlours where the herdsman stands alongside the cow.
Double 6, 8, 10 and even 12 stand parlours are used for very large herds. These larger parlours allow more cows to be milked per hour, but because of the need for more workers and the increased waiting time to allow all cows on one side to finish before they are released, the output per man-hour is usually less.
It is advantageous to equip milking parlours with grain feeders which allow each cow to be fed in ratio to her production. Since cows are more likely to enter the parlour when they expect to be feds some labour will be saved. Manual distribution of the concentrates with a measuring scoop is recommended except in the largest herds. Semi automatic and automatic systems are expensive to install and require spare parts and mechanics for their maintenance and these may not be available when needed.
Figure 10.16a Abreast parlour.
Figure 10.16c Walk through parlour.
Figure 10.16b Tandem parlour.
Figure 10.16d Herring-bone parlour.
The cows are normally assembled in a collecting yard (holding area) before milking. This may be a portion of the yard that is temporarily fenced off with chains. The collecting yard should have a minimum size of 1.1 to 2.0m² per cow. Large horned cows and a low herd number will require the largest space per cow. Provision must be made for water for the cows awaiting their turn to enter the parlour. The area should slope away from the parlour 20 to 100mm/m. This not only improves drainage, but also encourages the cows to face the entrance.
The collecting yard should be paved for easy cleaning and to allow for sanitary conditions in the parlour. A roof is desirable for shade and to avoid wet cows entering the parlour in the rainy season and it will reduce the amount of rainwater that has to be stored in the manure pit.
Entrance and Exit
An entrance into the parlour that is straight (no turns) will ensure a smooth and convenient operation. Once trained, cows and heifers will walk readily into the parlour. A single step of about 100mm will help to keep manure from being carried into the parlour.
An exit leading into an uncrowded area will facilitate animal flow. A straight exit is desirable but not as important as a straight entry. If exiting alleys are needed they should be narrow (700 to 900mm depending on cow size), to keep the cows from turning around.
One advantage of loose housing of cattle is the opportunity to construct the feed trough in the fence allowing easy access for filling. The simplest type of manger consists of a low barrier with a rail fixed above. However, cattle have a tendency to throw feed forwards while eating, but a wall in front, as shown in Figure 10.18, will reduce this problem. The dimensions of the trough must be chosen to conform with the height, reach and required width of the feeding space for the animals to be fed, while providing enough volume for the amount of feed distributed at each feeding time. Figures 10.17, 10.18 and 10.19.
Although timber construction is simple to install, concrete should be considered because of its greater durability. When timber is used, the base should be well treated with wood preservative. However, the preservative should not be used on any surface which cattle can reach to lick as some preservative materials are toxic to animals. When concrete is used, it should be at least C20, or a nominal mix of 1:2:4; since a lower grade concrete would soon deteriorate due to chemical attack by feed stuffs and the cow's saliva. The cows will press against the barrier before and during the feeding so that the head rail must be firmly fixed to the vertical posts, which are immovably set in the ground.
A 2.5m wide concrete apron along the feed trough will reduce the accumulation of mud. A narrow step next to the trough will help to keep the trough free of manure as animals will not back up on to such a step. The bottom of the feed trough should be at a level 100 to 400mm above the level at which the cow is standing with her front feet.
A slightly more elaborate feed trough separates the cattle by vertical rails or tomb stone barriers, as shown in Figure 10.19, to reduce competition during eating. The tombstone barrier may also reduce fodder spillage because the cow has to lift her head before withdrawing it from the trough.
A simple roof constructed over the feed trough and the area where the cows stand to eat will serve as a shade and encourage daytime feeding in bright weather while serving to protect the feed from water damage in rainy periods.
Drinking water for cattle must be clean. Impurities may disturb the microbiological activities in the rumen. Table 10.7 shows the requirement of drinking water, but a hot environment may considerably increase it. In dairy cows the need for water will increase with milk yield.
Figure 10.17 Dimension for feed trough design for cattle.
Figure 10.18a Perspective view of Timber Feed Trough.
Figure 10.18b Timber Trough.
Figure 10.18c Concrete Trough and a Step in front of the Trough.
Figure 10.18d Masonry Walls in the Trough.
Figure 10.19a Perspective view.
Figure 10.19b Section.
Figure 10.19c Alternative Design.
Table 10. 7 Drinking Water Requirement for Cattle
The size of a water trough depends on whether the herd is taken for watering periodically or is given water on a continuous basis. If water is limited, the length of the trough should be such that all of the cows can drink at one time. A trough space of 60 to 70cm should be allowed for each cow. For free choice, the trough should be sized for 2 to 3 cows at a time. One trough should be provided for each 50 animals. Figure 10.20a and b shows a well designed trough made of concrete. The length may be increased if necessary. A float valve installed on the water supply pipe will control the level automatically. A minimum flow rate of 5 to 8 litres per minute for each cow drinking at one time is desirable. To prevent contamination of the water trough with manure, the trough should preferably have a 300 to 400mm wide step along the front. The animals will readily step up to drink, but will not back up onto the raised area. An alternative is to make the sides facing the cattle sloping as shown in Figure 10.20c.
Young stock held in a loose housing system require one water trough for each 50 to 60 animals. A 60cm height is satisfactory. A minimum flow rate of 4 to 5 litres per minute for each animal drinking at one time is desirable.
Figure 10.20 Concrete water trough.
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