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close this bookEnvironmentally Sound Technologies for Women in Agriculture (IIRR, 1996, 213 p.)
close this folderAnimal husbandry and dairying
View the documentSelection and breeding of cattle buffaloes
View the documentSelection and breeding of goats and sheep
View the documentSelection and breeding of swine
View the documentCommunity pasture management
View the documentCattle feeding
View the documentMake hay to preserve fodder
View the documentMake silage to preserve green fodder
View the documentImprove dry fodder by adding urea
View the documentUrea-molasses liquid mixture
View the documentUrea-molasses-mineral lick
View the documentClean milk production
View the documentLivestock diseases
View the documentCommon maladies in cattle
View the documentProtect your cattle from poisoning
View the documentAdaptation of livestock

Clean milk production

Most farm families like to keep milch cattle. However, keeping milch cattle Is one thing, and producing clean milk is quite another. Women are often responsible for milking cows and storing and handling the milk.

Why clean' milk?

Milk and milk products are good for the health of every member of the family- young and old. But milk should be clean. Unclean milk causes iliness and poor health. Also, milk is a perishable commodity. Unclean milk gets spoiled quickly; it fetches a low price in the market, or may be unsalable.

What is clean milk?

Milk is clean when it does not contain any harmful bacteria and/or foreign matter, such as dust, cow dung, hair, flies, etc.

A number of things are required to produce clean milk These include clean environment and premises, clean containers, clean and healthy animals, clean milking habits, and finally, clean and healthy milkers

Clean environment and premises

- The cow shed should be well-lit and ventilated. The floor should be made of smooth concrete or brick and should have a drain. Smooth ceilings and walls help keep the shed clean

- Clean and disinfect the floor and the drains with water, using 2 percent phenyl after milking.

- Periodically, whitewash the ceilings and walls. Keep them free from cobwebs, dust, and dirt.

- Avoid feeding the animal fodder, straw, etc., immediately before milking as these can raise dust. Concentrates prepared beforehand can be given.

Clean vessels

Use only clean utensils for collecting milk. Dirty utensils are the main source of harmful bacteria in milk.

Clean all milk utensils promptly after use. Do not keep them unattended for long.

Clean the utensils with warm water using an alkali washing powder (such as sodium hypochlorite) and a stiff brush. When ash is used, rinse the utensils thoroughly. Avoid using clay to clean utensils. Dry utensils thoroughly after washing by stacking them upside down, preferably in direct sun for three hours.

Use clean water for washing milk utensils.

Milk containers

- Use a narrow-mouthed pail for milking. An open-top pail allows easy access to dirt, cow dung, etc., in the milk.

- Use a seamless pail, if possible, or the seams of the pail should be smooth and easily washable.

Clean animals

- Before milking, wipe the animal's udder, flanks, and tail with a clean, damp cloth.

- Clean the udder and teats with lukewarm water. Add potassium permanganate to the water (one pinch in a bucket of water).

- Wipe the udder and the teats dry with a clean rough cloth after washing.

- Preferably, keep the tail of the animal tied to its hind legs during milking, to keep it from flicking dirt into the milk.

Use a narrow-mouthed, seamless pail.

Tie the animal's tail to its hind legs while milking.

Wipe the udder with a clean cloth before milking.

Healthy animals

- Ensure that the milch animal is healthy and free from diseases communicable to people. Tuberculosis and other diseases can spread through milk.

- Examine the animal's udder every day for cracks. Treat these with an antiseptic ointment. Swelling of the udder, or pus or blood in the milk are signs of mastitis. If you see these signs, call a veterinarian.

Clean milking

Wash your hands and arms with soap thoroughly before milking.

Trim your fingernails short.

Cover your head to prevent your hair from falling in the milk.

Wear clean clothes.

Your hands should be dry when you milk the animal. The udder and teats should also be dry, as moisture on teats can lead to cracks. Wipe the teats dry after every milking.

Milk the animal using the full-hand method. The thumb should not be pressed inward; the thumb knuckle should not press against the teat.

Use the full-hand method.

Healthy milkers

- The person milking the animal should be healthy. Diseases, such as cholera, typhoid, and scarlet fever can be carried from infected persons into the milk.

Clean milk storage

- Aluminum or stainless steel cans with tight lids are good for storing and transporting milk. When tin or chrome-plated iron cans are used, see that there are no rust spots.

- Cover the milk with a cloth to keep out dust and flies.

- Don't keep the milk in direct sunlight as the taste of the milk changes and some vitamins are destroyed.

- To keep milk cool, place milk cans in a tub containing cold water.

- Don't mix fresh milk with old milk.

- Empty milk vessels should be washed and cleaned immediately.

Clean milk production will help you avoid unnecessary financial losses through spoilage of milk. It will also guard the members of your family against diseases carried in unclean milk.

Contributors: Mrs. Ritu Chakravarty, Dr. Ram Chant, Mr. B. S. Mittra, Mrs. Parvinder Sharma, and Dr. Jaddish Singh