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close this bookBetter Farming Series 11- Cattle Breeding (FAO - INADES, 1977, 63 p.)
close this folderWhat cattle produce
View the documentMeat production
View the documentMilk production

Milk production

Milk is formed in the cow's udder.

The milk comes out through the teats.

Squeezing the teat makes the milk come out.

The milk is produced by the blood that circulates in each quarter of the udder.

If plenty of blood circulates in the udder, plenty of milk is produced.

Emptying the cow's udder of milk may take 5 to 10 minutes.

The cow's udder

For good milking, the cow must be calm; if you strike her or she is frightened, she will not let herself be milked easily.

Make sure you always empty the udder. If all the milk is taken away the udder can develop. A well developed udder can give more milk. Often a cow gives more milk after her third calving than after the first.

Milking must be done every day at the same time, for example, in the morning, before going to the pasture. The cow gets into the habit of giving her milk at the same time every day.

A cow with large blood vessels can have a lot of milk.

Milk production changes greatly according to:

· breed

Some breeds yield more milk than others.

· health

Cows that are ill give little milk.

· age

At the first calving, cows have little milk; afterwards they produce more. When they are old, production is less.

· time of calving

If the cow calves in the rainy season, when there is plenty of good grass, she gives a lot of milk.

· feeding A well fed cow gives more milk than a badly fed cow. A cow in milk needs a feed supplement and plenty of water.

Use of milk

· Milk is food for calves.

To grow, a calf needs to drink a lot of milk.

If you milk the cow there is not enough for the calf, and the calf cannot gain weight; it will be less resistant to diseases. Many calves die because they lack milk.

When the calf has finished drinking you can milk the cow if there is any milk left in the udder. You can also milk the cow after some months, when the calf has begun to eat grass and feed supplements.

· Milk is food for people.

Cow's milk is very good for both children and adults.