A stochastic simulation model for predicting cow throughputs in dairy parlors

T. F. Burks, L. W. Turner, R. S. Gates, T. C. Bridges, W. L. Grist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A stochastic dairy parlor simulation model, PARSIM, has been developed using discrete modeling techniques. The model can be utilized by dairy farmers, agricultural extension personnel and parlor and/or equipment designers to determine dairy parlor performance. PARSIM was developed to simulate side opening, herringbone, polygon and trigon style milking parlors with varying degrees of automation and managerial techniques. A sensitivity analysis showed that changes in milk production level did not have a significant effect on herd throughput rate in parlors with high operator utilization (above 97%). Model analysis compared predicted cow throughput for PARSIM simulation results and six parlor configurations reported by other researcher's time and motion studies and simulations. It was concluded that PARSIM accurately predicts parlor throughput in small to medium size herringbone, side opening, and trigon parlors (2.4% high to 5.7% low relative error).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1789-1797
Number of pages9
JournalTransactions of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Dairy cattle
  • Milking parlors
  • Operations research
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)

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