Module 6. Milking

Lesson 9

9.1 Introduction

Methods of milking influence the quality and quantity of milk produced at the dairy farm. Proper method of milking results in the removal of entire milk present in the udder resulting in optimal milk production in a particular lactation besides avoiding injuries to the teat and udder and improving the udder health. Disturbances like noises, movement of personnel during milking etc are to be avoided to cause least disturbance to the milking cows and avoiding with holding of milk at some times.

9.2 Milking Methods

Cows are milked from left side. Teats may be milked diagonally or forequarters together and then hind quarters together. The milk must be squeezed and not dragged out of teats in order to prevent injury to teats. The first few strips of milk from each teat are let on strip-cup to check for possible incidence of mastitis. It also helps in discharging out of bacteria which have accessed and collected in teat canal. Dry milking is preferred since there is no contamination by water. Wet milking after wetting the udder is not advisable as water itself may be a source of contamination. The different milking methods are

1. Stripping method
2. Full hand method
3. Knuckling method
4. Machine milking

9.2.1. Stripping method

Stripping consists of firmly seizing the teat at its base between the thumb and forefinger and drawing them down. The entire length of the teat is pressed simultaneously to cause milk ejection and to flow down in streams. The process is repeated in succession. Generally stripping method is adopted in small cows with narrow teats. Sometimes it is followed to draw the last strips of milk containing more fat. A combination of initial full hand milking method followed by stripping at the end is a good method of milking.


Fig. 9.1 Stripping

9.2.2. Full hand method

It is the best method as it causes minimum injuries to the teats. In this method teat is circled with index finger and thumb at the junction of teat and udder, the other portion of teat is closed with remaining fingers and pressed on all sides against the palm.

full hand

Fig.9.2 Full hand

Full hand milking stimulates natural suckling of a calf. Cows with large teats and buffaloes are milked with full hand method. Full hand method removes milk quicker than stripping because of no loss of time in changing the position of the hand. Even by efficient method of milking only 85% of milk comes out from udder and 15% still remains in udder which is called residual milk.


Fig. 9.3 Knuckling method

It is pressing the thumb against the teats while the teats are in between thumb and fingers. It may cause injury to the teat. This method is not advisable and is least recommended of all milking methods

9.2.4. Machine milking

Milking is done by using machine and generally adopted for herds with large number of cows and with high yielders. The milk flow is continuous in this method. Advantages are reduced labour cost, short time for milking, less injury to teats, hygienic method of milk production etc. The parts of a machine milking system are milking unit, pulsator system, vacuum supply system and milk flow system. The milking unit attached to the udder has a teat-cup assembly, suspension cup, and connecting air and milk tubes. The teat cup consists of a steel shell with a liner which fits over teats called as inflation. The inflation squeezes and relaxes on the teat as the pulsator operates causing the milk to flow into the system. The pulsation ratio is the time between milking and resting phases of pulsation cycle. The pulsation ratio refers to the number of pulsations per minute. The pulsation ratio usually varies from 1:1 to 2.5:1. Set the pulsation rate around 48 to 72 cycles per minute to avoid excessive slow or fast speed and subsequent decline in milk flow rate. Always maintain the measure of vacuum by operating the milking machine between 10 and 16 inches of Hg. Apply milking machine gently within 30 to 60 seconds of washing of udder. Remove milking machine promptly as soon as milk flow stops by breaking vacuum first. Disinfect the teat ends by dipping them in antiseptic solution. Milk utensils and teat cups are immediately washed with warm water.


Fig. 9.4 Machine milking

Last modified: Saturday, 29 September 2012, 10:13 AM