If you have been a farmer or have farmed different livestock before, you would know that there are animals that are beneficial to human beings and are considered an asset. One of these animals is the cow, known for its rich dairy resources that produce milk for human consumption. To get a proper amount of milk from a cow, you should know the appropriate way(s) and procedures needed to milk a cow
The milky resource gotten from a cow is gotten first of all by identifying a cow that is lactating- the ability to produce milk. This invariably means that the cow you want to milk should be one that has just given birth and is nursing her infant’s calf.
In older times, milking a cow used to be done traditionally with someone directly milking the breast of the cow. Nowadays, mechanization has taken over this process with milking machines automating the process.
However you choose to milk a cow, there are specific procedures you must follow to obtain the dairy product safely and safely.
HOW LONG TO MILK A COW BY HAND
Milking a cow by hand doesn’t have to take too long. It majorly depends on the cow being milked, and how fast she can bring out milk. Generally, it takes you close to ten minutes to milk a cow by hand.
If it is s freshly lactating cow, it can take you less than ten minutes to milk it since it has a large reserve of milk.
Feeding your cow with the appropriate diet can help improve lactation and greatly increase the flow of the milk.
STEP BY STEP PROCESS TO MILK A COW BY HAND
- Get Your Milking Equipment Ready
Make sure that every tool you are going to be using to milk the cow is prepped up and ready. Your milking bucket should be kept clean and ready to collect the milk that is being dropped. It is recommended that you use stainless steel buckets or a modified stainless steel bucket for specifically for the process of milking a cow.
- Restrain The Cow
Most times, your cow can become very uncooperative and wouldn’t just let you milk her. You can go ahead to restrain her from moving when you don’t need her to.
Use restraining devices like a neck collar or a halter(rope used for tying an animal) to keep your cow steady for you to milk her successfully. However, you might not necessarily need to do this over time, as your cow might come to understand that you want to milk her and choose to cooperate with you.
- Prepare The Udder
You might need to clean the udder with a warm towel that has a little soap on it before you start milking. This is done so as to clean the udder and prepare it for the process of milking.
However, if the udder has not been exposed to mud or cow dung, it is also okay to start milking immediately. You would however need to wipe the udder with a soft rag to get it ready for milking.
- Milk The Front Teats
You can now start the process of milking the cow after you must have prepped the udder. First of all, focus on the front two teats and begin to milk them.
To be sure of the quality of milk you will be getting, you can put the first few drops of milk into a container by seeing through the screen on top and checking for irregularities.
If all checks out well and there are no irregularities, you can now begin to milk from the front teats. Squeeze the teats of the front quarters until all the milk content has come out and has been successfully squeezed.
To know if the teats have been successfully squeezed, check for soft skin which indicates the absence of milk component.
- Milk The Back Teats
After the two front tits have been successfully milked, you can now proceed to milk the back teats. Locate the back teats behind the two front ones and begin milking them alternatively.
Milking the teats is done by a series of hand movements on the udder. Put your hand up the udder as though you want to grab something. The movement of your hands should be such that your palms are facing towards you.
Take a pinch stance with your thumb and first finger. This is done to lock the flow of the milk downwards. Afterward, squeeze down with other fingers for the milk to flow into the bucket.
Slide the bucket from under once you’re done milking to prevent any of the teats from dipping into it. You wouldn’t want foreign elements in your freshly extracted milk.
- Teat Dip The Cow
Once the cow has been milked, you should perform what is known as Teat dipping. Teat dipping is the process of flushing the milk residue left on the teat caused by exposure to a vacuum during the process of milking.
If this milk residue is not flushed off properly, it can cause bacteria to develop on the teat skin before the next milking appointment. After the milk residue has been flushed off, performing a teat dip is necessary to kill any bacteria present on teat skin. The teat dip contains a germicide that kills off bacteria that might want to infect the teat.
One thing that should be taken into consideration during a teat dip is that the teat should be perfectly covered with the teat dip. Most people will prefer to spray the dip on the teat, but it is advisable to perform a proper dipping of the teat into the teat dip.
Teat dipping should be carried out carefully and constantly, and the progress should be monitored to prevent the growth of any bacteria on the skin of the teat.
After your milking process has been finished, you can now free the cow from her restraint and let her move about to refresh and enjoy nature again.
It’s quite important to have her relaxed and cooperative for the next milking appointment so that she can supply you with milk constantly.