How to milk a cow with a milking machine?

Dairy farming continues to actively switch to automated milking of cows. This is largely due to the saving of time and human resources, but there are reasons why not everyone refused manual milking. Milking machines have many advantages, but are not suitable in all cases.

Milking a cow with a milking machine

The transition from manual milking to automated milking is justified by great benefits, especially for large farmers. When thinking about switching to mechanical milking, keep in mind that returning to manual milking is strongly not recommended. In cows, productivity often decreases and milk production is disrupted.


  • Automatic milking has many advantages, namely:
  • milking is many times faster than an independent bypass of the herd, and a large number of milkmaids are not required;
  • healthy and free hands - a frequent disease in those who milk the cows by hand, this is arthritis;
  • the capacity of the device is tightly closed, wool, garbage, dust do not get into milk;
  • milk yield has a higher fat content than with the manual method of collecting milk;
  • simple operation;
  • low power consumption;
  • does not require the purchase of additional devices.

You get high-quality, maximum milk yield in a minimum time period and without much physical effort.


  • The disadvantages of using the milking machine are several, since it:
  • requires regular maintenance - if the device is oily, it is necessary to carefully monitor the oil level;
  • dry type apparatuses are noisy and require prior training of cows to their sound;
  • sensitive to low temperatures;
  • does not tolerate moisture in the pump;
  • not all cows are suitable due to the individual characteristics of the animal.

The cost of the device is not always advisable if the farm has only one cow.

Types of milking machines

Machine milking works on a single principle, but the machines themselves are either 2-stroke or 3-stroke. The latter yield better milk yield, since they have a vacuum differential pressure and there is a pause mode - for animals such an aggregate is more comfortable, they experience less stress. The degree of automation of devices is different, you can connect to a portable one cow, or immediately up to 20. For large farms there are milking systems designed for the number from two dozen to hundreds of heads.

Today, there are models on the market that are as close as possible to the natural process of milk collection. Devices are:

  1. Three - stroke - compression of the nipple, decantation, rest, repetition of the cycle.
  2. Asynchronous - first, removal of the posterior glands, then the anterior ones.
  3. Stroke is a number equal to the calf’s sucking movements.
An equally important criterion when choosing is the type of motor, of which there are only two:

  1. Oily - quiet in operation, reasonable price, good for milking a large number of cows.
  2. Dry - more expensive than oil, resistant to temperature extremes, has a low weight, is not demanding in maintenance and does not pollute the environment with emissions.
The classes of vacuum pumps are also different:

  1. Membrane - for several units of livestock, more often applicable in budget devices.
  2. Piston - not very convenient due to the large size, noise and at the same time not the most durable.
  3. Rotary - almost silent.

The method of milk extraction from the units is vacuum. In milking machines, an electric drive pump creates this vacuum, depending on the settings on the manometer and regulator, maintaining the necessary pressure in the process. The pneumatic pulsator gives impulses, you can adjust the feed rate yourself.

How to teach a cow to the device?

To accustom a cow to a mechanical unit should be before calving. First, an animal or a group of unaccustomed animals is placed in the milking parlor, fed and the apparatus is turned on idle - this is necessary so that the cows are accustomed to the sound and not be afraid of it.

Read about how many times a day you need to milk a cow, and what happens if you don’t milk a cow.

The livestock quickly adapts if you select a device that is comfortable for animals and gradually accustom it, eliminating violence (forcing a frightened cow, beating, screaming - productivity decreases greatly due to stress). Before connecting the device, the udder must be examined and make sure that it is without signs of disease.

Keep track of the remaining milk after dispensing - check manually. If after mechanical milking more than 0.5 liters of milk remain in the udder, such a cow must be left on manual milking.

On the manual method, animals remain whose productivity begins to decline on machine milking. This is due to the individual characteristics of individual individuals.

General milking rules

The rules, even with an automated, even with a manual milking method, are unchanged:

  • the better you relate to individuals, the higher the quality of the feed, the more and tastier the milk yield;
  • set and observe the milking schedule - at the same time every day in the usual way;
  • restless animals need to be reassured by stroking or distracting food during work;
  • inspect the udder every time, no matter how much they inflate per day;
  • the udder is washed before each milking;
  • Before putting on the milking machine, it is important to stimulate the nipple reflex in the nipples before the milk is allowed;
  • it is impossible to overexposure the device on the udder - productivity will fall, the cow will have to be treated;
  • hands of the milkmaid, the device must be disinfected.
After milk production, the udder is treated with an antiseptic.

How to milk a cow correctly?

The milking technique is not complicated, but requires a number of rules to be followed each time you start work. First, a cow is prepared - it is calmed, examined and an udder is prepared: it is washed, disinfected, wiped dry (including the stomach around the udder, hind legs).

Find out what to do if the cow gives little milk.

Step-by-step processing technique:

  1. Prepare a slightly warm solution of water and laundry soap.
  2. Rinse with udder.
  3. Rinse with water.
  4. Disinfect with an antiseptic.
  5. Dry the nipples with a towel, napkins.
  6. Massage the udder with your hands.
  7. Proceed to milking.
After milking, disinfect the udder immediately and wash the milking unit.

By machine

Preparing the udder for work is universal for both automated milking and manual. Everything needs to be done quickly - no more than a minute should elapse between the end of processing and putting on the device. The glasses are connected in turn, after which the installation is turned on, the settings are checked and the start button is turned on.

The system gains vacuum for about 5-7 minutes. To check its pressure there is a vacuum gauge. The working pressure of each device may vary slightly, see the data sheet. This is approximately 50 kPa. If the indicator is higher, it should be adjusted.

Video: Milking a cow with a milking machine

Work with mounted units is simple: all 4 glasses go down, the manifold valve is pressed, filling with vacuum and readiness for work. The milk hose is clamped with your fingers or with a special clothespin. Glasses are put on the nipples strictly vertically. A glass filled with vacuum captures the nipple itself, which you previously direct inward. After pinching, the hose is removed, and the process automatically starts and lasts about 8 minutes.

Did you know? The composition of milk obtained from the same cow may not coincide. This is due to the fact that the shares of the udder are not related to each other. The tubes of the milking machine are transparent, so you can easily control the process and stop it when the milk intake stops. The remainder is important to combine completely. Upon completion of milking, press the manifold valve, wait 2 minutes to normalize the pressure and remove the glasses. If you force them off, you will hurt the cow and injure your nipples.


At the end of the processing of the udder, as recommended above, take your time and proceed to manual milking carefully - the cows are quite sensitive and shy. When approaching an individual, try to be in the field of her vision. Hands are washed, sanitized and dry.

Manual massage is required, it lasts 30 seconds before the milk is allowed from the udder. After the massage, slightly raise the udder with your hand and push it, simulating the movement of the calf.

Important! Drain the first 3 streams of milk into a separate mug covered with clean gauze. So you can identify diseases in a timely manner. There are two ways of manual milking - pinching and fist. Which one is more convenient - each one chooses independently.

With a pinch (with two fingers)

This method is best used for heifers with short nipples. Careful milking with fingertips. The technique is not complicated: hold the nipple in its upper part with two fingers - thumb and forefinger, move your fingers down, squeezing milk into a bucket or other prepared dishes. A pinch is often painful for cows, so be careful. Do not overdo it by stretching the nipples, otherwise tear the muscle tissue.

First they extract the anterior, followed by the posterior lobes. Alternate pairs: milked a little the first, proceeded to the second, returned to the first. Movements must be made smooth, unhurried, gradually accelerating. You can’t interrupt even if you’re very tired.

Squeeze everything without a trace to avoid the development of mastitis and contribute to an increase in milk yield in the future. Then treat the nipples and wipe dry with a clean cloth. If this is not done, microscopic cracks may form on them, and it hurts and causes bacteria to multiply.

Fist (five fingers)

Milking technique: grab the nipple immediately with five fingers, the index one under the thumb, the little finger - outside the end of the nipple. The latter should be even, and milk should not flow by hand. Successively, the nipples are compressed from top to bottom. Only fingers work, do not move with a brush. The fist is opened without interruption from the nipple, so that a new portion of milk flows to the latter.

Milking a cow with a "fist": a - fingers are weakened, milk enters the nipple cavity; b - the thumb and forefinger block the cistern of the udder and the nipple cavity, the reverse flow of milk from the nipple to the udder is impossible; c - other fingers alternately (from top to bottom) squeeze the nipple and dispense milk. Milking with a fist is characterized by the fact that the milk stream runs continuously. First, front lobes should be shed, after - back ones. The completion of the procedure is standard - rinse, disinfect, wipe the udder.

How many times a day do you need to milk a cow?

The number of milkings per day depends on the cow, its productivity, feeding, and health. But the animal should be milked at least twice a day. The optimal quantity is three, but they switch to the three-time regime only if the cow gives high milk yield.

If you do not milk the cow or milk less than it needs individually, the milk will expire spontaneously. This leads to inflammation of the udder and its roughening.

Important! After calving, it is important to milk cows every three hours to help improve lactation. They switch to double milking six months later. If you milk a cow thrice a day, but it gives less than 10 liters of milk or not more, transfer it to a two-time regimen.

It is important to observe the animal, take into account its personal characteristics, observe the same intervals between milking and deal with it at the same time of day.

Why does the cow not give milk or beat when milking?

Often the lack of milk or unwillingness to milk happens in young animals, heifers. Adult individuals are also sometimes subject to this, which cannot be ignored. There may be several reasons:

  • the cow is not accustomed to the owners and is nervous - you need to calm, gentle voice, stroking, caution, without sudden movements, noise, give a treat;
  • the animal is milked incorrectly - this happens with inexperienced owners;
  • discomfort from the milking machine - make sure that it is worn and adjusted correctly;
  • pain in the udder - this may be chapping, frostbite, splintering or a sign of illness.

If there is no milk, the cow is beating; there is a specific reason for this, which must be immediately determined. This behavior in cattle does not happen due to the picky nature, find the problem and fix it.

Did you know? The inscriptions made on paper with milk become invisible - they can be read when the letter is heated. This encryption method was used by V.I. Lenin when he was taken into custody. There are many common diseases of the udder, due to which problems with milking can occur. Among them are:

  1. Mastitis - the udder increases in size, redness is visible, seals are felt, when touched, pain occurs, there may be swelling and fever. During treatment, milk is removed every 2-3 hours. Carefully knead the seals three times a day for 15 minutes, but only if there is no purulent discharge. Part of the juicy feed and concentrate is removed from the diet. Streptomycin or penicillin is injected intramuscularly, dissolving in novocaine - per 5 ml of 0.25% 500-800 thousand units of medicine. If there are purulent formations, the same medicine is injected through a catheter directly into the udder - 100-300 thousand units are diluted in 25-150 ml of distilled water. To resolve the seals, do warm wraps, lubricate the tissues with ichthyol ointment.
  2. Edema is a problem of highly dairy cows. It manifests itself in the form of an increase in the udder, there is no pain, but there is discomfort. Serious intervention is not required, do massage in the direction of the base of the udder, you can make a supporting dressing. Let the cow walk more, reduce the amount of succulent food and water.
  3. A bruise is a painful problem, the temperature of damaged tissues rises, and swelling is observed. There may be bruising, blood in the milk. Cold compress treatment for up to 3 days, after - warm. Need a supporting dressing. Massage can not be done, hand over very carefully.
  4. Delay - manifested in the absence of milk. It occurs more often due to rough treatment, stress. The udder can be filled, but when milking, the result is zero. As a solution to the problem - calm the animal, feed with treats.
  5. The narrowing of the channel is a thin stream, the pressure for extrusion is strong. If obstruction - there is no milk yield at all, despite the fact that there is milk. Treatment - baths for lobes (hot), ichthyol ointment for lubrication, warm wraps, milk through a catheter. If the case is chronic, an operation is required that the veterinarian must do.
  6. Furuncle - the focus may be one or more, a painful seal the size of a nut (forest or walnut). The focus is opened and rotting. It is treated with ichthyol ointment. Mature boils need to be opened and greased with iodine tincture. The diet should be improved, increased hygiene requirements.
  7. Cracks - visible to the naked eye. They are cleaned with saline 1 or 2%. Lubricate with streptocid, ichthyol or zinc ointment. Special ointments are sold to soften the udder in veterinary pharmacies.
For the prevention of diseases, monitor the cleanliness of the barn, regularly wash the udder, hands, milking machine, provide quality nutrition to the cows.

Milk and dairy products can be your main source of profit, but you should not neglect the needs of the livestock and ignore the rules for caring for it. Trying to increase milk yield by any means, you can achieve the opposite result.

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