It is imperative that as we go into modern ways of farming where hybrid cows are involved, we should know the proper procedures of milking. This will greatly help us in fighting diseases that would affect us and our cows.
Proper milking procedures, a positive attitude, and a clean environment are required to minimize mastitis and maximize the production of quality milk from a herd. Milking should be done by people who are responsible, trained, and conscientious.
A consistent operating routine for bringing cows and milking machines together is essential. Cows that are frightened or excited before milking may not have a normal milk letdown response in spite of an effective preparation routine.
Hormones released into the bloodstream during periods of stress may interfere with normal milk letdown. A milking environment that chronically stresses cows may predispose cows to a greater rate of mastitis.
Removing hair from udders reduces the amount of dirt and manure that may adhere to the udder and contaminate milk. Udders with long hair are difficult to clean and dry.
Milking wet and/or dirty teats increases the risk of high bacterial counts in milk and also increases the probability of new intra-mammary infection.
Before milking begins, hands should be thoroughly washed with soap and water and then dried. If hands become soiled during milking, wash and dry them again.
Clean, dry, healthy hands minimize the spread of mastitis-causing organisms from cow-to-cow. Mastitis can be detected by using the hand to physically examine the udder and by using a strip cup or plate to examine foremilk prior to each milking.
Correct use of a strip cup can be a valuable aid in detecting mastitis symptoms which include “clotty, stringy, or watery” milk.
This observation should be made on each quarter of every cow at each milking. Because organisms may be spread by using unclean strip cups, strip cups should be cleaned and sanitized after each milking.
A common procedure for fore stripping in parlours is to strip directly onto the floor, followed by hosing the floor immediately. Milk should never be stripped into the hand because this routine spreads organisms from teat-to-teat and from cow-to-cow.