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How To Milk A Cow?

Posted on: November 14, 2019, by Victoria

1. Prepare for milking
First, the milkman wears overalls. Before milking, he should wash his hands and cut his nails short to avoid damaging cows’ breasts and nipples. Prepare tools for milking, including milk buckets, towels, and buckets for breast scrubbing, filter gauze, etc. Clean up the mattress and the feces in the lying area 1/3 behind the cattle bed to keep the cattle clean. Cut off the long hair on the cow's breast to facilitate milking. At the same time, it is necessary to wash the cattle's rear-drive and avoid the dirt, grass and other debris that stick to the cow's body falling into the milk during the milking process.

Technical essentials of manual milking of dairy cows
Technical essentials of manual milking of dairy cows

2. Breast scrubbing and massage

Before milking, it is necessary to scrub the breast to clean the dirt in the breast area, to ensure the cleanliness of the milk, stimulate the nerve excitation of the breast, accelerate the blood circulation of the breast, and facilitate the secretion and discharge of milk. The temperature of breast scrubbing water should be controlled at 40-55 ℃ in summer and 50-55 ℃ in winter. The method is to dip the towel into warm water, wipe the towel with water according to the order of nipple hole, nipple, around nipple, breast mirror, breast sides and thighs, and finally dry it with a dry towel. If the breast after scrubbing appears obvious swelling, the breast vein becomes thicker and more obvious, and the sphincter of the nipple gradually relaxes, it should be milked immediately, otherwise, a hot towel is needed to be hotly compressed again to enhance stimulation.

The purpose of massage on cow's breast is to stimulate the secretion and excretion of milk as well as to scrub the breast. Massage is a more powerful stimulation. When the milkman massages the breast, he sits on the right side of the cow and holds the right half of the breast with his hands. His thumbs are on the right side. The other fingers are placed in the middle groove of the breast. He massages repeatedly for 1-2 minutes from top to bottom and from bottom to top. The top-down gesture is heavier and the bottom-up gesture is lighter. Then hold the left half of the breast with both hands and massage the right side of the breast.

After massage, the breast swells obviously, the blood vessels of the mammary veins on the skin surface are dilated, the nipples are full and tense, the internal pressure of the breast increases, showing a light red color, the temperature of the breast skin rises, and the breast is hard, which is the symbol of secretion of breast. Milking immediately when the reflex begins, otherwise, it will destroy the emulsification reflex, prolong the time of emulsification, time-consuming and laborious, and will also lead to the decrease of milk production, easily lead to the occurrence of mastitis, and cause unnecessary losses to production. Massage the breasts before each milking can increase milk production.

Technical essentials of manual milking of dairy cows
Technical essentials of manual milking of dairy cows

3. Milking operation

Before milking, the nipples must be disinfected to prevent bacteria on the surface from contaminating the milk. The milkman sits on the back third of the cow's right side with a stool, and the milk bucket is clamped between the legs, usually discarding the first 1-2 milk. Artificial milking is usually done by pressing. Its technical key is to hold the nipple in four fingers, the lower end of the nipple is exposed a little so that the milk does not touch the finger, nor does it damage the nipple, so that the operation can ensure uniform force, fast speed, and not easy to fatigue. Press the base of the nipple with thumb and index finger and the nipple tube from top to bottom with the middle finger, ring finger and pinky finger, and squeeze the milk through the rhythmic continuous pressing of left and right hands. Do this over and over until the milk is completely milked.

This method is characterized by uniform pressure on nipple tube, regular discharge of milk, clean, hygienic and dry hands and nipples, fast lactation speed and short duration. When milking, the action should be fast, steady and powerful, not stop in the middle, and complete at one time. Milking action should be from slow to fast, 80-120 times per minute. When milking, we should ensure that the first two nipples are milked, then the two nipples and the time should be controlled in 5-8 minutes.

Another method of milking is a slide-down method, which is suitable for primiparous cows because the nipples are too small to be milked by the squeezing method. This method is to clamp the base of nipples with thumb and index finger, avoid clamping the nipples, slide from top to bottom to squeeze the nipples, and repeatedly to clean the milk. This method is simple and easy to learn, but in the process of milking, it is easy to cause deformation or damage of the nipple, and in the process of milking, wetting the milk is not hygienic, but also makes the nipple easy to crack, so it is not recommended to use this method under normal circumstances.

After milking, wipe the breasts and nipples with a dry towel, massage the breasts, clean each nipple, and then disinfect with a medicinal bath. After milking, the nipple mouth is closed for about 15 to 30 minutes. To kill the bacteria attached to the nipple, the medicinal bath should be disinfected in time after milking. It is necessary to disinfect the nipples with special medicines so that the disinfectant is attached to the nipples to form a protective film, to prevent bacteria from immersing in the nipples between two milking times and causing nipple damage, thus reducing the incidence of mastitis.

Technical essentials of manual milking of dairy cows
Technical essentials of manual milking of dairy cows

4.Matters needing attention in milking

In milking, milkmen should know some precautions to complete the work well. Dust and a large number of bacteria stick to the coat of cattle, so it is necessary to brush cattle regularly to ensure cleanliness and health. Before milking, the cow's hind body and breast area should be cleaned, and the hair around the breast should be cut short. To ensure a quiet milking environment, in the process of milking to prevent external interference, and can not operate rough and frighten cows, thereby affecting the normal milk production of cows.

Milking hygiene has a direct impact on milk production and quality. Milk is very susceptible to bacterial contamination, so it is necessary to minimize unnecessary contamination and eliminate adverse factors such as high temperature, cold and harmful gases before milking cows. Milking tools used for cleaning should be specially used for cattle. Healthy cows should be separated from cows suffering from mastitis and cleaned and disinfected in time.

When cows change from lying to standing, they will kick and wipe their nipples with their hooves, causing nipples to be injured. When milking, they will cause nipples to become infected, which will affect the yield and quality of milk. Therefore, it is necessary to regularly trim their hooves to avoid this phenomenon.

In milking, the first milk discharged should be discarded, because the milk contains numerous bacteria, which can cause pollution and spread diseases. When milking, we should pay attention to the gesture and order of milking. When operating, we should exert even force, be skilled and master the speed.

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