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GL 098 Milking Procedures for Dairy Cattle

Guidelines

This guideline is designed to give some general information about proper milking procedures that allow for production of high quality milk, protect the health and well being of cows, and provide an efficient milking routine for herd managers and personnel.  The overriding goal of all milking procedures is to attach milking units to clean, dry teats.  This guideline provides details about the key components of milking routines to optimize the milking hygiene and the cow’s milk letdown response, along with milking efficiency.  Research and on-farm trials have identified those techniques and timing parameters that cannot be ignored if the goals of optimum hygiene, optimum milk letdown and optimum milking efficiency all hope to be achieved. The purpose of this guideline is to provide a number of milking procedures that incorporate the techniques and timing that work best into milking routines that are easy to implement, keep consistent and maintain. The ultimate goal of this effort is to provide a guideline that makes it possible for every cow to be milked with the best routine possible, exactly the same way every shift no matter who is doing the milking or where the milking is done. Specific milking procedures and evaluation checklists are provided for thirteen situations, each representing a different combination of milk facility, number of milkers, and udder preparation choice. Also see GL 85, Six Steps to Success.

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