3. Practices Related to the Milking Process
The way the dairy animals are milked, whether by hand or machine, whether full hand is used, how skilled the milking person is determines the health of animals & saving them from diseases like mastitis. The udder should be washed and cleaned gently so as not to damage the teats & udder. For all washing, the best practice is to keep two buckets (one with plain water and a second, which carries the disinfecting solution) with two separate cloths for both the purposes are required. A third bucket with a mild detergent solution and a third cloth is recommended for wiping the teats after milking. The first wash with tepid water should remove all dirt particles from the udder. A gentle detergent solution may be employed to remove persistent dirt. If the dirt is wiped off with a wet cloth, the cloth should be wrung outside the bucket.During severe winters, lukewarm water should be used for udder washing to avoid chills. The temperature of the wash water should be below 55”C. Addition of hypochlorite solution (500 ppm) helps to disinfect the udder. Solutions of quaternary ammonium compounds (200 to 400 ppm) are better substitutes due to their less harmful effect on tissues. Under Indian conditions, the easily available Dettol or Savlon may be diluted as per the manufacturers’ instructions and used to disinfect the udder and teats. After washing, these organs should be dried before milking. A different wash cloth as well as drying cloth is recommended for each cow. The towel used should also be washed after each milking and disinfected by boiling from time to time.
Disposable paper towels may be used instead of cloth. The udder and teats should be wiped with clean cloth dipped in detergent solution after milking.
Hygienic practices during milking:
After cleaning the udder & teats the next step is milking. During milking the first few ml of milk should be discarded, as it contains a large number of microorganisms. The initial milk should be collected in a cup or a utensil and should not be thrown on the floor, so that flies and other insects may not be attracted towards it. The milking should be complete, with no milk left in the udder after milking.
Milking should be done with full hands, quickly and completely, followed by stripping, if so required. In farms with more than 8 high-yielding cows, it is preferable to use a milking machine. If the herd exceeds 100, a separate milking parlour will ensure better hygiene. Unhygienic practices such as dipping the fingers in milk and then wetting the teats to soften them should not be permitted. Milking with the full hands and not with the knuckles is preferred as the knuckling leads to more chances of teat injury.Sick cows should be milked at the end to prevent infection. The animals should be dried off 60-70 days before calving.
Hygiene of milking utensils:
The clean milk production practices are useless if the clean milk is to be stored in utensils that are not clean. Milk being a perishable commodity and easy carrier of off flavours has special requirement with regard to storage infrastructure & the milking. The milking utensils should be uniform; 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. The use of vessels such as empty paint buckets, dalda tins, pesticide/insecticide containers, teapots etc. should be avoided. The utensils should be free from dents, cracks and crevices. The utensils should be scrubbed and cleaned before and after each milking. The detergents and chemicals used should be non-injurious to health, and non-abrasive to hands. At farm level, use of washing soda coupled with exposure to sunlight or rinsing with scalding water or use of detergents-cum-disinfectants such as iodophors is recommended. The cleaned vessels should be placed inverted for complete drainage of water after milking, so as to avoid contamination from bacteria of the air, insects, rodents, mosquitoes, reptiles etc. In villages where milk collection is carried out by co-operative societies, the use of community milking byres/parlours with facility to clean and disinfect udders/teats as well as milking equipments under the supervision of the society officials is recommended. Milk should immediately be transferred from the barn to an appropriate place.
4. Practices Related to the Environment
The environment in which the animals are kept & milked plays an important role in determining the cleanliness of milk production. An environment full of mosquitoes & flies will hamper the milk productivity of animal as well as quality of the milk produced.
The places, where housing, feeding and milking of the animals are done, need special care in
order to minimize contamination of the milk. The animal house is a special building, which should be carefully designed and constructed so as to provide maximum comfortable and healthy housing facility for the dairy animals and at the same time to enable them to be milked in clean conditions. For maintaining good environment use of modern technological aids like insectocutors, pest control systems use of mosquito nets is preferred. It should be coupled with natural elements like planting trees in cattle yard & making clean water accessible. The animal house should be situated at an appropriate site. Water should be available in plenty and proper drainage facilities must be there. There should be ample ere…
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