Cow milking technology
Milking is one of the main processes in both large and small livestock farming. The quantity and quality of milk often depends not only on the diet, but also on the milking regimen of the cow, therefore, every representative of the farm should ideally master its technique. But quite often, many cattle breeders make mistakes during milking, which leads not only to a decrease in milk yield, but also to injury to animals. We will examine in detail the main subtleties of manual and machine milking, as well as tell you where to start.
How many times a day you need to milk a cow
A cow is perhaps the only animal on the planet that, under favorable conditions, is capable of year-round lactation. This means that in modern cattle breeding, an animal can daily delight a person with a fresh portion of nutritious milk.
But for this, the cow must be provided with high-quality nutrition, as well as accustomed to the regular withdrawal of milk. At the same time, the issue of the number of milks per day remains open for many farmers.
Did you know? Cows are able to sense the Earth's magnetic field, while during grazing and resting animals line up along the lines of force of the planet.
This depends primarily on many physiological factors, which include:
- general health
- udder condition;
- lactational activity.
This mode is the most optimal for technological purposes, as it makes it possible to establish an uninterrupted process for the production of milk and all kinds of dairy products, as well as receive high-quality dairy raw materials throughout the year.
However, veterinarians claim that such a regimen is insufficient. The accumulation of milk in the udder can cause an excessive burden of the body, which is harmful enough for the general health of animals. The question is particularly acute for highly productive breeds of the dairy direction, which are capable of producing more than 10 liters of raw materials per day.
Therefore, the optimal regimen from the veterinary point of view is a regime that includes three milking cycles - in the morning, afternoon and evening. But if the animal is not able to give more than 8-10 liters, you can go on a two-time milking.
Cows require special treatment after calving. At this time, there is increased lactation in their body, aimed at filling the needs of a fast-growing calf product. During this period, animals may require up to 5 milks per day.
Important! If frequent milking causes damage to the udder in the cow, the number of milking should be reduced, otherwise the process may cause inflammation or purulent organ damage.
In this case, it is necessary to calculate an equal period of time between each procedure, since uneven milking can lead to spontaneous extraction of milk.
Preparing cows for milking
Herders often neglect this step, but it is no less important than the milking process itself. It is strongly discouraged to extract milk from a cow without prior preparation, as this often leads to excessive damage to the nipples.
In addition, it also provokes stagnation of milk in the udder, since an unprepared body is often not able to give all the milk.
Begin the preparation of animals with hygienic cleaning of the udder. The process makes it possible to avoid infection of the organ with pathogenic bacteria, and also eliminates the likelihood of milk infection. Perform the procedure using warm water (40-50 ° C).
The entire organ is subject to washing, and especially the nipples and the space between them. To do this, spray water with a small mug or under pressure, from a hose. Pressure washing is preferable, as in this case the animal receives a gentle relaxing massage.
Next, the body is treated with a special cleaning solution and wiped dry.
Important! If milking fails to be carried out efficiently, massage the udder is repeated. This makes it possible to increase milk yield to 70–80%.
After hygiene procedures, the animal needs to have a relaxing massage. The procedure is reduced to longitudinal, transverse and circular stroking of the udder, especially the nipples. After this, you need to massage the nipples and squeeze them slightly, simulating milking. Massage the udder is carried out twice - before extracting milk and before dosing.
Methods for milking cows
Today, two methods of milking livestock are known - manual and machine. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages. Machine and manual milking are used for specific purposes and in special circumstances that preclude interchangeability of procedures.
It will also be useful for you to find out what to do if the cow gives little milk.
Hand milking is one of the oldest agricultural processes known to mankind. It has been used since the taming of artiodactyls to this day, for about 8 thousand years.
Traditionally, it is considered one of the most popular for private pastoralists and small farms, numbering only a few animals, since automatic systems provide for the presence of at least a small herd of cows.
The milking process is carried out in two ways:
- pinch - the technique involves the use of only two fingers. The method is quite traumatic for cows, but indispensable if the farm has an animal with nipples of different lengths;
- fist - the whole brush is involved in the process. This method is often considered the most appropriate, since it is not only effective, but also does not cause excessive tissue irritation.
- Take a comfortable position near the cow.
- Grasp the top of the nipple with your thumb and forefinger and squeeze it lightly.
- Perform a pulling motion from top to bottom, squeezing milk.
- When the fingers reach the edge of the nipple, unclench them and move them to their original position.
- Repeat for other nipples.
Cow milking technique:
- Sit comfortably near the cow.
- Place the leading hand’s palm on the nipple and grip it with all fingers so that the index finger is above the thumb.
- Squeeze the nipple with your thumb and forefinger.
- Keeping your fingers pressed, alternately squeeze the middle, ring fingers and little finger. Thus, the movement should push the accumulated milk out of the nipple.
- Release your fingers for 1–2 seconds, and then repeat steps 3 and 4 again.
- Follow the procedure for the remaining nipples.
Shared devices replaced the manual extraction of milk relatively recently. The presence of modern models today is a prerequisite for all professional farms, since only with their help it is possible to ensure uninterrupted milking with minimal resources and time.
Did you know? The milking machine was invented and patented in 1894 by the Swedish scientist Carl de Laval. But the device gained mass distribution only in the first half of the XX century.
It is not difficult to organize this process, and this brings such machines additional popularity among most farmers.
- Prepare the device for the process, inspect all technical nodes for serviceability and functionality.
- Rinse with clean water all parts of the machine that come in direct contact with the udder.
- Turn on the device and enter the operating mode (pulsation frequency - 45-60 cycles per minute, total pressure in the glass - 36–41 kPa).
- Connect the glasses to the udder.
- After the intensity of the milk flow from the udder decreases markedly, pull the collector down, and then return to its original position. This will help remove residual milk from the udder.
- As soon as the milk flow stops, turn off the topping machine. It is forbidden to tear off glasses yourself from the udder, you must always wait until the pressure is equalized, and they themselves will disconnect from the nipples.
- Check the integrity of the nipples of the cow, clean the unit under running water.
Learn how to determine and increase the fat content of milk at home, and also - why the cow is getting milk.
Actions after milking
The final stage of milking is the cleaning of the udder from the remnants of milk. To do this, the nipples are wiped with a damp cloth, and then wiped dry. In this case, it is imperative to inspect each nipple for damage and, if necessary, treat the wounds with a disinfectant solution.
To avoid drying out and cracking of the skin of the nipples, they are lubricated with petroleum jelly or any other interchangeable veterinary product. Also, after milking, it is recommended to treat the cattle with some delicacy - this will help to position the animals to themselves, as well as simplify the interaction during subsequent milking.
What will happen if you do not milk the cow
To refuse milking even for a short time is not possible. Regardless of the goals of cattle breeding, each cow necessarily requires daily milking, since the course of many physiological processes depends on this.
But first of all, this affects the well-being of animals: the udder overflowing with milk becomes a burden on the body, which causes cows suffering and often excruciating pains.
In advanced cases, this becomes the cause of serious pathologies that lead to:
- hyperthermia (fever);
- fatal outcome.
Important! Milking a cow should be carried out using one of the methods described above on an ongoing basis. The transition from one system to another should be carried out smoothly, over several weeks.
Even with the resumption of milking, previously acquired pathologies can reduce the quality of raw milk and even lead to its complete unsuitability. In this case, the animal becomes completely useless for farming and is often euthanized.
But despite the final technology, the main stage of the process is qualified preparation - only it will help to adapt the cow to milking, as well as increase the efficiency of milk extraction at times.