Module 6. Milking

Lesson 10

10.1 Introduction

Knowledge of the possible unhygienic practices that lead to the gross contamination of milk will be useful in realizing the gravity of the situation and in evolving improved strategies. The possible undesirable practices that are prevalent may broadly be classified into four categories:

· Practices related to the animal: unhealthy animal, unclean body and udder of the animal
· Practices related to the milking personnel: unhealthy milker, unclean hands and clothes of the milker, unhygienic personal habits of the milker
· Practices related to the milking process: incomplete milking, wrong milking procedure, unclean vessels for milk collection
· Practices related to the environment: poor housing and feeding of the animal, unhygienic surroundings

10.2 Milking Procedures for Clean Milk Production

Milk is considered clean or of high quality if it is free from dirt, sediments and has low bacterial & somatic cell counts, with no addition of water and off flavors. The managemental factors that influence the clean milk production are

1. Cleanliness of animal
2. Cleanliness of utensils and milkers
3. Health condition of cows
4. Proper cleaning of the milking area.

10.2.1 Cleanliness of animal

The coat of the animal should be washed, brushed and clipped regularly. This is more important in the case of buffaloes, as they wallow in dirty ponds and carry mud and filth on their body. The grooming of the animals should be done well before the milking process, so that the dirt particles in the air do not fall into milk. From time to time, hair from hind legs, udder and tail of the animal to be milked should be shaved off.

clean udder

Fig. 10.1 Cleanliness of animal
10.2.2 Cleanliness of utensils and milkers

All milking utensils should be of uniform size. They should have small mouths to avoid external contamination. They should be made of a non-rusting and non-absorbent material such as aluminium or galvanized iron. Stainless steel would be ideal, but for the cost considerations.The utensils to be used for milking should be clean and sterilized. Dome shaped stainless steel vessels are desirable and washed with 200 ppm of chlorine solution. They should be regularly cleaned with sanitizers.

Clothes & attire of the milking personnel should be clean. They should cover their head to avoid hair falling into the milk. Persons with injury, skin and infectious diseases should not handle the milk. There should be no smoking, eating, chewing pan, spitting, cleaning nose etc. during milking. The milker should keep his fingernails short and clean. He should clean his hands with soap and clean water followed by an antiseptic solution. They should then be wiped dry with a clean towel. It is recommended that persons engaged in milking and handling of milk should be subjected to regular medical inspection.

10.2.3 Health condition of cows

The animals should be examined periodically for udder and other infections. Infected animals should be treated by a qualified veterinarian and should be isolated. Sanitary precautions to prevent and control the disease should be adopted. In case of disease like mastitis, animals which are in healthy condition are to be milked first followed by infected animals. In case of infected animals, the quarters which are not affected are to be milked first. Milk of the infected animal should never be pooled with the bulk milk and disposed off properly until the animal recovers from the illness fully.


Fig. 10.2 Regular inspection of animals

10.2.4 Proper cleaning of the milking area

Before milking, the surrounding area should be thoroughly cleaned. All gutters, floor should be cleaned well. In case of mud floors, water is to be sprinkled to prevent dust falling into milk.

cleaning of area

Fig.10.3 Cleaning of milking area

10.3 Practices for Quality Milk Production

General practices followed for obtaining a good quality and low bacterial count milk are:

10.3.1 Animals

· Purchased animals are tested for Tuberculosis and brucellosis and quarantined

· Animals are regularly checked for mastitis and udder lesions

· Isolation of infected animals and following prescribed treatment

· Milk of infected animal should not be mixed with bulk milk.

· Clean the animals atleast 15min before milking.

· Clip the long hair around flanks, udder and tail.

· Udder and teats are cleaned just before milking and wiping with a cloth. use warm water if possible & usage of chlorinated water is good practice.

10.3.2 Milker

Milker should be free from infectious diseases

· Milker should cut his nails regularly (to avoid staphyolococci)

· Milker should clean hands with soap and water before milking

· Milker should wear clean cloths and caps

10.3.3 Utensils

· Use utensils which have smooth surface and free from dents and crevices

· Utensils should be cleaned with detergent – sanitizer formulae (Sod.carb+Iodophores)

· Do not use wider mouth utensils

10.3.4 Milking processes

· Complete milking and elimination of fore milk which contains higher bacteria.

· Follow full hand milking; Dry milking and Fat milking (a flavourless fat as lubricant; not used widely but a good method).

· Use strip cup test.

· Cool milk on farm preferably to <5°c

10.3.5 Environment

· Separate housing away from human dwelling, sewage, manure pits and stagnant water pools.

· House – well ventilated; normal sloppy drainage, water proof floors, hard and easy to clean.

· Feed manger smooth without ridges.

· Ample sunlight – North & south direction.

· Air space 500 cft/cow.

· Dry bedding.

· Periodic lime washing.

10.3.6 Others

· General quietness in the shed.

· Speedy milking is desirable.

· Clean and adequate water supply on the farm.

· Use wet or pellet food stuffs during milking.

· Keep feed and weed flavours out of milk.

· Proper manure disposal – pit away from farm and remove manure periodically.

· Control of flies and insects.

· Employing incentive payment plan

Last modified: Saturday, 29 September 2012, 10:26 AM