You can consider milking your cows by using a milking machine if there are too many cows in your herd, or if you don’t have enough time to milk the cows by hand. You will need to know about how to milk a cow by machine if you want to milk your cow with a milking machine. Actually milking the cows with a milking machine requires less labor and it’s pretty easy (although you have the extra duties for cleaning the machine before and after using it).
Today, most of the large dairy cattle farmers and also small scale farmers are using milking machine for milking their cows easily. Generally large dairy farmers use a large and more complex machine that has extensive piping. And the piping system goes from the milking parlour to a large milk tank. In large commercial dairy farms, the milking parlours can vary in shape and size (ranging from having 8 cows per stanchion to as many as 50 or more cows). Actually the size and shape of the milking parlour depends on the size of the dairy herd. And the larger the herd, the bigger the milking parlour.
On the other hand, the small scale farmers can use individual milking machine. Actually such small milking machine is ideal for dairy farms with around or less than 10 cows. Individual milking machines have a tank attached to it with 4 suckers for attaching to the teats. And the machine acts almost like a vacuum cleaner. It creates a vacuum on the teats that actively collect the milk.
How to Milk a Cow by Machine
Milking machine actually helps you to collect milk from your cow, and it saves you time and labor. Here we are describing more about how to milk a cow by machine. Follow the steps carefully for milking your cow properly.
Check the Machine Before Using
First of all, check the milking machine before using it. Regular cleaning and maintenance is necessary for keeping your machine to work good for a long time. So you must have to clean the machine before and after daily use. And maintenance on the machine should be done once a month or after every 2 or 3 months. Regular maintenance is mandatory to ensure the parts are well oiled or greased (and any repairs that may need to be done before things get worse).
Secure the Cow and Clean Her Udder & Teats
Follow the steps we have mentioned previously for milking a cow by hand. Process of cleaning and securing the cow are same whether you milk your cow by hand or with a milking machine. After following those steps, follow the steps mentioned below.
Turn On the Machine
Turn on the machine before start milking by the machine. Because before you begin milking the cow, the machine will need to be running for a few minutes for building pressure. You can secure the cow and wash and dry it’s udder during this time.
Before start milking with the machine, you need to hand milk each teat for a few times to let down the milk. And as we have mentioned previously, this system is called ‘stripping’. Stripping will not only encourage milk to flow from the teat, but also help to squirt out any dirt or bacteria that has built up in the cow’s teat. You should not take the milk produced from stripping, because it may contaminate the rest of the milk.
Place Suction Device
After stripping, release the machine’s pressure and place each suction device on each teat of your cow. And suction will begin as soon as you release the pressure buildup on the machine. Adjust the devices so that they hang straight down from the udder when milk begins to flow from the teats into the suction device.
Keep the Machine On
Keep the machine on and leave it for around 5 minutes, and wait until the machine draws all of the milk out of the udder. Although exact time can vary depending on the cattle breed you are raising, but most of them will be fully milked out within 5 minutes. Remove the device as soon as milk stops flowing.
Turn Off the Machine
Turn of the device’s suction and remove the suction devices from the teats. You will need to maintain an order; turning off the device’s suction first and then remove it. But if you try to remove the milking device while suction is on, then you risk causing pain to the cow and possibly damaging the sensitive tissue around her teats.
Today, there are many modern milking machines available that do not require the person milking the cow to manually remove the suction cups. The suction cups automatically fall off one by one, once one quarter has been milked dry.
Clean the Cow’s Udder & Teats
Perfectly clean the udder and teats of the cow after successful milking by machine. Because cow’s teats are vulnerable to bacteria and infection immediately after having been milked. So their teats should be properly cleaned and protected from bacteria. You can apply a post-milking disinfectant for protecting your cow.
Tips for Milking a Cow by Machine
- When you move around the milking area while milking, be careful not to trip over the milking machine’s tubes or wires.
- Most of the cows generally like to eat after they have been milked. So, provide the cow with grain, fresh grass or hay.
- While stripping, don’t pull so hard on the udder, because it can cause the cow pain and discomfort.
- You probably know, ‘anything that is not respectful and gentle to a cow is actually the wrong way to milk her’. So don’t beat or hit your cow if she puts her tail in your face or tries to kick you or even kicks the pail out. Be as gentle as possible.
- Don’t approach your cow suddenly when milking. Gentle and slow movement will be good for both of you and your cow.
- Some cow can drop a ‘cow pie’ in the middle of her milking, don’t be surprised if you notice so (some cows will urinate as well). You should watch her back and if it arches, you should grab the bucket and move back.