Why does the cow have milk?

The decline in milk quality can be a serious problem for the owner of cattle. Bitterness may be present initially (in freshly milked milk) or appear after twelve hours of infusion. In addition, in the winter months, a bitter product is more common than in the summer. So, let's see what are the causes of this phenomenon and what are the ways to solve the problem of bitterness.

The main causes of bitterness of milk and how to eliminate them

The quality factor of the product, the presence or absence of bitterness in it is due to several factors:

  • the state of health of the cows;
  • the nature of the feed;
  • conditions of detention.


A bitter aftertaste can be caused by cattle ailments such as:

  • mastitis;
  • chronic ketosis;
  • various infections;
  • liver pathology;
  • pathology of the gallbladder.

Learn how to recognize one or another ailment from a burenka and what to do in each specific case.


A change in taste is often a consequence of liver pathologies. This organ of the animal is influenced by viral infections, germs, poisons and helminths. In the hot season, when harmful microorganisms multiply actively, the risk of developing leptospirosis (liver damage due to intoxication) increases. And hepatitis in Burenka can lead to malnutrition and various abnormalities of the circulatory system.

Liver damage in cattle can be recognized by the following symptoms:

  • vomiting
  • severe diarrhea;
  • fever;
  • decrease in milk production and its quality deterioration.
Did you know? While serving a prison term, V.I. Lenin wrote letters to freedom with the help of milk. When the old liquid dried, it became invisible. And when the paper was heated above the light, the text could be easily read. This group of diseases not only spoils the taste of milk, but also threatens the life of a cow. Diagnostics will require a series of laboratory tests. With early treatment, the animal has a chance to fully recover. The therapy is carried out under the supervision of a veterinarian.


Among congenital deformities in cows, gallbladder curvature or too narrow bile ducts are often diagnosed. The abnormal structure of these organs causes chronic cholestasis (accumulation of bile in the body), which, in turn, increases the risk of gallstones. Similar problems negatively affect the quality of dairy products - milk acquires a mustard color and a bitter taste.

However, these pathologies are almost always asymptomatic. In rare cases, they may express themselves through high body temperature, diarrhea, jaundice, or dark urine.

You should contact a specialist who, focusing on the degree of neglect of the ailment, will prescribe all the medicines necessary for recovery. Medicines and special diets will help eliminate stagnation of bile. But in the case of congenital pathologies, it is not always possible to completely eliminate the bitter taste of milk.


Mastitis of the udder is a very common cause of bitterness in milk. This ailment is provoked by genital infections, injuries of the udder, neglect of the rules for expressing and violation of the conditions of the animal. Milk from cows suffering from mastitis is unfit for consumption and, therefore, should not be used for the production of dairy products.

Udder mastitis In veterinary practice, chronic mastitis is more often diagnosed than acute inflammation. A sign of an acute form is edema of the udder, followed by gangrene. In addition, when expressing, purulent clots and blood can be detected. Acute mastitis in cattle threatens their lives and should be treated immediately.

Signs of chronic mastitis:

  • heterogeneous nonfat milk containing clots;
  • bitter aftertaste;
  • the presence of seals in the udder.

Chronic disease can also occur without obvious symptoms - you will notice only a change in the taste of the product. If you suspect a chronic illness, you should pass the milk for analysis. The development of mastitis is effectively prevented by the introduction of special drugs (for example, “Bayokloks” or “Amokloks”) into the nipple canal. Treatment measures should be carried out after the last decantation of milk.

Helminth infection

It is also possible that a domestic cow became infected with helminths. Bitterness is the result of the presence of helminths in the liver (fascioliasis). The disease affects the whole body.

Fascioliasis The cow looks depressed, suffers from high temperature (up to 41 degrees), loss of appetite, and vomiting. When feeling, you can find that the liver is enlarged, and the abdominal muscles are tense.

Most of these symptoms are more likely to occur in the summer heat. In winter, a bitter taste of milk is a clear sign of worm infection. The thick top layer of the product is especially unpleasant. If infection symptoms are found, take the manure samples for analysis. This is best done in December. Important! Even if the product is not bitter, it is important to regularly (twice a year) for preventive purposes test the manure of individual cows - before grazing (from April to May) and late autumn. Also, twice a year, cattle should be given prophylactic agents against parasites. If laboratory studies have shown the suitability of the bitter product for consumption, then the question of how to remove the bitterness becomes relevant. It must be heated to 40 degrees and cooled - bitterness must disappear.

Content Features

The quality of the milk is directly affected by the conditions in which the cows are kept. Moreover, caring for cattle in the warm and cold season is fundamentally different. Beginner farmers are often interested in what specifically it is necessary to protect the burenka from so that it does not become infected with bacteria.

In the hot season

During the summer, cows spend much more time in the pasture, so the problem of keeping them at this time is not so acute. However, land can become a source of infection by invasive ailments. Lowlands and marshy meadows are especially dangerous. In warm months, cows can become infected with leptospirosis through the water. Did you know? Poppea, Nero’s second wife took 500 donkey milk baths every day. Contemporaries of Poppea claimed that her skin looked very soft and smooth. Therefore, summer walking should begin with the preparation of the area. Drain the lowland wetlands by drainage. Graze dairy cows far from rivers and lakes, and prepare a stationary point for watering. Summer maintenance should be switched over gradually. The first week of grazing should last no longer than 2-3 hours.

In winter time

The bitter aftertaste is found mainly in winter. This is due to the fact that, at low temperatures, the bacteria that cause bitterness develop faster than the bacteria that cause souring.

The insulated room must be well ventilated, but in any case, livestock should not be kept indoors all winter. Set up a walking area near the barn. It will have to be systematically cleaned of snow and manure. On a pasture, place a haystack so that the bunny is supplied with rough food.


Bacteria that provoke bitterness, through dust in the barn, can penetrate into the body of the cows. And through unwashed dishes used in milking, bacteria enter directly into milk. The container must be sterile. In addition, do not forget to wash the udder with clean boiled water and wipe it with a clean cloth. The first jets must be decanted into a separate bowl.

This is due to the fact that they contain a large amount of reductase - a substance that gives bitterness. The barn needs to be cleaned systematically. Litter should always be clean and dry, because in humid conditions bacteria actively develop. Today, the technology of keeping livestock on a deep litter is increasingly practiced. In this case, manure is harvested once a year (in spring), but only if it is often aired.


What feed cattle significantly affects the taste and smell of milk. It should be remembered that some components of the feed can get into the milk from the body. Important! Malnutrition, especially in winter, can cause a lack of sugar and organic matter in milk. In the cold season, it is recommended to increase portions of feed, as well as add a little sugar to it. In addition, vitamins must be injected subcutaneously in the cows. Eating large portions leads to a bitter taste:

  • alfalfa;
  • raw potatoes;
  • turnips;
  • wormwood;
  • lupine;
  • wild daisies;
  • acorns;
  • chestnuts.

A number of plants growing on pastures can give milk a bitterness:

  • onion;
  • garlic;
  • tarragon;
  • chestnut leaves;
  • thistle.

A significant influence on the characteristics of milk and its usefulness in the production of dairy products is the fact of feeding animals with various types of silage, whether it beet leaves, potatoes or corn.

Why milk is bitter after calving

The unpleasant taste of milk is often found in a pregnant cow. However, the threshold for the onset of taste damage is individual for each individual: this usually occurs after seven pregnancies and two months before the upcoming calving. Burenka begins to prepare to feed her cub.

During this period, it is undesirable for a person to consume liquid with bitterness, but pets are allowed to give this product. During pregnancy and after calving, you must carefully monitor the feeding of the cow. After calving, it is important to check whether mastitis occurs.

Preventative measures

Summing up, we list the main preventive measures that will protect the palatability of your burenka’s milk:

  1. In the spring and autumn months, solder animals with anthelmintic agents.
  2. In the cold season, make up for the lack of organic matter in feed.
  3. Do not allow through winds in cowsheds.
  4. Provide frequent outdoor walks.
  5. Follow the simplest hygiene standards, including hygiene when milking. Cleanrooms and sterile dishes prevent bitterness.
  6. Do not mix milk yield obtained at different times (it is advisable to store them in separate containers with a tightly sealed lid).

If you daily follow the preventive norms and hygienic procedures, you will receive only tasty and fresh milk from the burenka without any bitterness.

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