Useful Tips

How to milk a cow with your hands


Proper organization of the milking process helps to increase milk yield and improve the quality of milk, and also helps to prevent pathological changes in the udder of the cows. Every farmer should know how to milk a cow manually or with a milking machine. The methods of expressing milk and the prevention of mastitis will be discussed in this article.

How to milk a cow with your hands

The back, lower abdomen and limbs of the animal are wiped dry with a twisted plait of straw. The tail is neatly tied to the hind leg. The milkmaid prepares a container of warm water and a towel. Washes hands with soap and puts on a white bathrobe.

For maximum milk yield, the process of preparing the udder for milking is important. To do this, he is stroked and massaged a little to improve blood circulation and milk flow. Then rinse with warm water (40-45 degrees) or wipe with a damp towel. After washing, the udder is dried. The procedure takes 20–25 s, the massage is again called “false milking”, it should last no more than 15–18 s.

The milkmaid's skill lies in the very quick preparation of the udder for milking. The influx of milk occurs after about a minute of contact with it (washing and massage). The udders swell significantly, and milking gains elasticity. This indicates the readiness of the animal for the process.

The udder is checked manually, the milk ducts should be well probed, the flow of milk is increasing every second. If for some reason the flow is slow, then re-massage. Wrap your fingers around the left and right hands and gently massage. Sometimes it is possible to push the udder lobes up, imitating the movements of the muzzle of the calf.

A cow is caught sitting on a low stool on the right side. Substitute a container for collecting milk, the surface is tied with clean gauze (two or three layers). The milkmaid holds the bucket with his feet to control the process, in order to avoid tipping over.

Cow Training and Hygiene

The milking process is not spontaneous and requires preparation. The animal stall must be kept clean. It is necessary to remove all manure and change the litter to fresh. It is important to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and prepare the equipment in advance in the form of:

  • several enameled buckets or other containers for milk and water,
  • mugs or bowls with a small volume,
  • towels
  • ropes
  • benches or stool.

Everything should be clean and dry. When choosing containers for milk, galvanized materials should be avoided. If milking cows is planned to be carried out in the open air, then it is necessary to prepare a piece of gauze tissue to protect the product from particles from the environment. In the case of stall livestock, it is advisable to ventilate the room.

Particularly noteworthy are the cows, or rather their psychological state. Despite their large size, cows are sensitive and shy animals. Most representatives of this species are easily attached to people, and are also able to recognize voices and smells. This means that attempts by an outsider to milk the cow will not be crowned with great success.

If the burenka is anxious about the procedure, then it needs to be calmed down with gentle strokes, calm intonations and goodies. After that, it is fixed at the nearest strong support and the tail is tied to one of the hind limbs.

An important preparatory step is to clean the udder and the areas around it. Body parts are washed with warm water, the temperature of which should be within 40 ° C. Overheated water can damage delicate skin, and too cold can provoke a decrease in milk yield, stagnation of milk and, as a result, mastitis.

How to milk and train a cow to milking

The lactation of any mammal creature is designed to feed newborn babies. The work of the mammary glands is associated with the process of childbirth, therefore, the swelling of pregnant cows can begin as early as several hours after the appearance of the calf. Since the first time milk production occurs in an enhanced mode, the animal is milked at least six times a day for a month. After this, the procedure is reduced to four times a day, and another month later - up to three.

Following this method, the dispensation runs smoothly and gives an effective result, which under good conditions will be stable throughout the lactation period. Thanks to the achievements of breeding, farmers can collect products for 9 months.

Young, only calving individuals have not only to be crushed - they need to be accustomed to daily milking. Often, milking cows unaccustomed to this procedure can be difficult or even impossible. The animal can kick, butt and in every possible way interfere with the process.

Most often, this behavior is a reaction to an unfamiliar situation. You can correct the situation by calming the burenka. However, violent manifestations may be evidence of a severe nature, which is corrected by more stringent methods:

  • if the chick strives to kick, she is punished with a whip. A few times is usually enough to pacify an animal,
  • binding of the hind limbs also has an educational effect. This method requires attention, since tight ropes can hurt and hurt,
  • if the cow is butted, one of her ears is bandaged or pulled together with an elastic band. This part of the body is sensitive, so this method is painful and, as a result, effective.

Drawing up a clear schedule and discipline in following it will help to cows and accustom them to the daily process. Over time, the animal's body will be ready to please with fresh milk at the appointed hour.

Technique and basic rules

The process of milking from the very beginning to the end is accompanied by a massage. The washed and dry udders are gently massaged up and down, from the front to the back, from the left to the right. Such manipulations contribute to the release of milk, and are also a way to examine part of the body and prevent mastitis. You need to massage and milk the cow with warm hands. To avoid damage, a thin layer of petroleum jelly is applied to the animal’s nipples.

There are two ways to milk a burenka manually:

  1. Using a fist.
  2. Using thumb and forefinger.

The first method is safer, therefore it is recommended for use by both experienced farmers and veterinarians. To correctly perform this technique, you need to place your palm in a position where the index finger is at the base of the nipple, and the little finger is at its sphincter. The gradual compression of the fist from top to bottom will create the necessary pressure, providing a flow of milk out into the prepared container. In this case, it is important to ensure that the nipples are straight and not bent.

Two-finger milking is the actual pulling away of the working part of the udder. This practice is associated with a high risk of tissue damage, as well as their stretching. However, its use is necessary in cases where the size of the cow's nipples is too small for the whole palm.

Milk production should be intense. The optimal compression rate should be around 70 per minute. This requires a certain endurance, since it is possible to milk a cow correctly and productively only with rhythmic movements of the hands for a long time. Particularly great efforts are required during the period when milking is performed 6 times a day. In this case, you can not stop the process until the udder is empty completely, as evidenced by lethargy of the nipples.

The first milk stream should be poured into a separate shallow container.

The appearance, smell and consistency of the liquid will indicate the state of health of the cows and the suitability of the product for consumption. If blood impurities, pus, atypical color and smell are found in milk, this can be considered a direct signal of the need for a veterinary examination.

Preparing for the milking process

Before considering the different ways of milking cows, you need to understand how to prepare the animal for this process. Any animal feels affection very well, therefore you should not yell at a cow without a reason, let alone beat it. If your cow is especially shy, you need to approach it so that the animal can see you.

Methods for milking a cow manually

There are two milking methods:

The plucking method requires special professionalism and not every milkmaid can demonstrate the ability. Often, inexperienced milkmaids, grasping the nipple with two fingers (thumb and forefinger), can damage the vessels inside.

The fist method can be learned quickly without harming the animal. To do this, bring the palm to the nipple, grasp it so that the little finger is at the level of its lower part, and the upper part of the palm is at the base. Thus, all fingers are involved, during milking they alternately squeeze the nipple. This reduces injuries, contributes to the rapid release of the nipple tank. Squeezes per minute should be no more than 80–90.

During milking, you can carry out the process with two hands, in different rows of nipples, alternating them. The combination leads to a uniform release of the udder from milk and a uniform filling of the nipples. The skill of the milkmaid is to maintain the health of the animal, preventing mastitis.

If the milkmaid noticed that the cow has problems with milking (curdled or blood clots with the first trickles of milk), then she collects the material and passes it to the laboratory to determine the problem. Finishing milking, the milkmaid necessarily wipes the nipples and the udder with a wet towel, then again with a dry cloth, the nipples are treated with boron vaseline.

During milking, the cow can be given concentrates plus oil cake additives to keep it busy. Impurities improve milk. It is desirable that the environment is as calm as possible, the animal is very sensitive to this.

Preparation of premises and cows

With tethered content, you first need to prepare the room, for this, clean it from manure and bring some fresh litter, if necessary. The animal needs to be tied; quite rarely, the owners milk the cows when it stands just like that. Predicting the actions of a cow is quite difficult, it can just go when you are sitting under it. Some representatives even fix one hind leg, if the Burenka likes to buck.

Immediately before milking, you need to tie the tail to the hind leg, the animal will try to drive insects away, it may inadvertently hit them with a miller. Tie with a special thin rope or with the hair itself at the tip of the tail.

Milkmaid preparation

It doesn’t matter if the cows are automatically milked by the machine, or if you manually wash your hands. The hands of the person who is milking should be warm. The area around the udder should be wiped with a dry cloth, and the udder should be washed with warm water, the temperature is from 40 to 45 ° C. After that, the udder must be wiped dry. Thus, you can not only get rid of dirt on milking, but also make a small massage to make the cow milking easier.

Massage before milking

In addition, you can make a real massage, which lasts no more than a minute. This will not only speed up the milking of the cow, but also allow you to get good milk yield. Massage consists in stroking the udder, if this is not done, the milk will not be fully dispensed, over time its amount will decrease, which sometimes ends with the development of mastitis.

Hand milking

Some, especially caring owners, flush the first two streams from each milking in a separate dish covered with gauze. This allows you to reduce the number of bacteria in milk and in the early stages to determine the development of diseases. A bucket is used for the entire mass of milk; for simple milking, some owners lubricate the milking of the cow with petroleum jelly or pork fat. This can be done at will, dry milking is also acceptable.

But the most important thing is to know how to milk a cow by hand. There are two main ways. The first consists in milking with a fist, the second - using only 2 fingers. The latter is used much less often, because milking in this way ends with an injury to the udder, which will negatively affect the health of the cows.


When milked with a fist, the nipple is completely gripped by the hand, the thumb is located above the index finger, and the little finger will be closest to the milking sphincter. In the process, make sure that milk does not get into your hands. You need to squeeze the nipple with your hand, while leaving the hand stationary, after which the fist is unclenched slightly so that the milk enters the nipple canal and the procedure is repeated. Sometimes when milking with a fist, the nipple is pulled down a couple of centimeters.

There is no special secret on how to learn to milk a cow; practice plays a big role here. At first, the hands will be unusually sore, but over time this process will not be any different from daily work.

Two finger milking

The technology of milking cows with two fingers is used much less often and in the vast majority of cases it is used for first-calf heifers. The reason for this is the small size of the boards, which are difficult, and sometimes simply impossible to grab with your fist. When milking with the fingertips occurs, this must be done carefully to create as little discomfort as possible to the animal. When milking with a pinch, the nipple is captured in the upper part and descends to the bottom. If the owners have not yet decided for themselves how to milk the cow, it is better to abandon this method, this method causes pain in the animal, and milking stretches over time and can reach 20 cm in length.

It is necessary to milk a cow without a break, and over time, accelerate the pace, if you suddenly stop and return to the process again, the cow can “get caught”. It doesn’t matter how exactly you decide to milk the cow; the main thing is to collect all the milk completely. This is not only a way to increase milk yield, but also the prevention of mastitis.

After the completion of the main process, the milking of the animal is wiped and a cream is used for the udder of cows, this will get rid of microcracks, which is especially important on hot days of summer. It is better to feed the animal after manual milking, so that milk does not absorb a pungent smell, and dry food can get into the bucket.

Using the apparatus

If the farm has more than 2-3 cows, it makes sense to purchase equipment for milking cows. If earlier milking robots were used only on large farms, now technology allows you to buy compact milking machines. They consist of a special unit, which can be used for milking, and there is also a can where milk flows.

If milking machines are used, the rules for milking must be observed:

  1. The preparation of the udder of the animal occurs in the same way both with automatic and manual milking,
  2. Make sure that the milking units are working correctly and that there are no malfunctions, the can is clean and empty,
  3. Turn on the device and let it build up pressure,
  4. The milking robot should work no more than 7 minutes, this will not harm the animal and at the same time milk all the contents in the udder,
  5. When milk is absorbed, the pressure must be slightly relieved. The ripple frequency ranges from 45 to 60 beats per minute. The vacuum in the collector must not exceed 41 kPa,
  6. Despite the fact that manual labor is not used during automatic milking, the owner constantly monitors the process, if the cow has a little milk and quickly quits, milk collection can be completed earlier,
  7. At the end of the squeeze, the collector is pulled a little, and then returned to its place. With this milking, you can achieve better results in terms of milk,
  8. When the udder becomes sluggish, you can turn off the milking machines and then remove the headers,
  9. After that, the milk can is emptied,
  10. All parts of the apparatus, including the can, must be washed, this will increase the life of the apparatus.

If the farm has an apparatus, dairy cows and the livestock, it makes sense to make or buy a special machine for milking cows. How to teach a burenka to such a method of milking? Usually a calm voice helps, stroking the animal.

Preparatory stage

Before milking, the farmer puts on clean clothes and thoroughly washes his hands. Those who have scratches or cuts on their skin should wear gloves. This measure will help prevent the entry of dangerous bacteria into the cow's udder. The tail of the cow is usually tied to the hind limb before milking. The farmer sits on the right side of the animal in a low chair, and under the udder puts a clean bucket, covering it with gauze folded in half.

The mammary gland of the burenka should also be prepared for decantation - it is washed with warm water (about 42 degrees), wiped with a clean towel. Then do a short massage, stroking the udder first in the direction from top to bottom, to the nipples, and then - from the bottom up to the base. During the massage, it is recommended to lift the mammary gland upwards, as the calf does when applied to the nipple.

Massage helps increase blood circulation and stimulates the outflow and production of milk. So prepare the cow for milking in a small farm. Preparation for milking should not last more than 1 minute. The hormone oxytocin, which stimulates milk production, is produced during such a period of time.

Attention! It is important to organize milking the cow at the same time. Это позволит повысить молочную продуктивность и избежать мастита.

Частота доения

Большинство начинающих хозяев интересует вопрос, сколько раз доить корову в сутки? Ответ на этот вопрос зависит от многих факторов. В первую очередь это зависит от того, когда корова отелилась, первые дни доить корову нужно около 4-5 раз в сутки, далее частота уменьшается.

Special dairy breeds need to be milked more often. In households, the daily regimen includes morning and evening milking. Experts advise milking the animal 3 times a day. When a cow starts to run, she cannot boast of a large milk yield and it is enough to collect milk 2 times a day.


Listen to the advice of experienced owners and specialists, including veterinarians. In compliance with the technique of milking and the absence of a correct, good attitude to the animal, some farmers do not get the desired result. Decide in the family who will milk the cow, the animal remembers the owner well and may not completely give the milk to another person.

If milking is in favor of the automatic method, make sure that the machine is set up, the can is clean, and the animal is prepared for the process.

When milking is difficult and some kind of disease is detected in the animal, you need to consult a veterinarian. It may be necessary for a burenka to purchase a milk catheter, which is placed inside the milker.

In order to avoid unforeseen situations, tethered keeping is required, the cow must be locked in one position. Constantly you need to smear the nipples with a special ointment, because in addition to the correct content, it is important to monitor the condition of the udder of the cows.

In order for the milking process to proceed normally, it is necessary to monitor the behavior of the animal and whether it is comfortable during the process. The most gentle milking method is worth choosing. You need to constantly monitor the health of the cows, as this can affect the quality of milk and the number of milk yield.

Growing and caring for a calf

During milking, the cow can be given concentrated feed plus cake (linseed, rapeseed, cotton, sunflower) so that she is busy and not afraid again. Impurities contribute to excellent milk formation. It is desirable that the environment is not aggressive, the animal is very sensitive to this, and milk yield will become scarce.

From about a week old, they begin to feed him. Give gentle hay, interspersed with a talker (steamed oatmeal in milk). To teach the baby to chew faster, take a handful of dry oatmeal and bring it to your mouth. He swallows dry food and tries to chew. Thus, his digestive system will be rebuilt faster and will be able to digest roughage. Starting from the age of one month, the calf can be given cooked vegetables: potatoes, beets and carrots.

Walking calves

If the weather is warm and dry, the calf is released into the sun already 10 days after birth. Immediately start with a 5-10 minute walk, eventually increase to half an hour.

The physiology of the cow is such that after calving, the hunt sets in for 20-30 days. Therefore, it is important to cover it at this moment. Nowadays, they often resort to artificial insemination. This method gives excellent results, the procedure is carried out by a veterinarian.

Milking methods

There are two methods of milking:

  • manual,
  • hardware.

Manual milking of cows

In private courtyards where one or more cows are kept, the manual method is used. It is more laborious because it requires the direct participation of the milkmaid. The second method is hardware, it is used on large farms. In this case, all the work, instead of a person, is performed by a breast pump. The hardware method has several advantages:

  • reduces milking time,
  • as close as possible to the natural process, since milk in this case is not squeezed out, but sucked off,
  • during hardware milking, the udder is almost completely empty,
  • milk obtained by this method is always more pure.

Manual milking of cows takes a lot of time and energy from the milkmaid. Need experience in this matter. Manual milking is done in two ways:

To milk a cow by pinching, you need to take two nipples of a burenka and pinch them between the thumb and forefinger of the right and left hand. In this position, the fingers quickly move down, as a result, a stream of milk is released from the nipple under pressure. Then the fingers relax and return them to the base of the nipple. These manipulations must be done with the same frequency and speed. Experienced milkmaids make about 70-90 squeezes every minute.

The pinching method is more traumatic for the cow. Given this, the milkmaid should learn how to milk a cow with his fist. Its essence lies in the fact that the nipple is captured with all fingers, and decantation is performed by sequentially compressing them. The thumb and forefinger are at the base of the nipple, the rest are lower. First, the milkmaid squeezes the upper fingers, then alternately the lower. Due to the pressure created, milk begins to stand out from the udder. Each hand works in turn.

Attention! At the same time, you can milk the right and left lobes of the udder, the front and back, as well as decant diagonally located nipples.


The technique of milking cows using the hardware method includes the same preparatory manipulations with the udder. First, the mammary gland is washed with warm water, wiped with a towel or napkin, then the udder is massaged for 40-50 seconds.

The technique of milking cows with a hardware method

Immediately after this, the cow lets the milk out, only then the milkmaid puts fractional glasses on the nipples. It is necessary to ensure their reliable fixation on the udder.

Important! Milking containers are disinfected after each milking.

The suitability of cows for milking is determined by the shape of the udder. There are several types of mammary glands:

  • cup-shaped - the length of the udder is more than 15% more than its width,
  • bath-like - the length of the udder exceeds its width by 10-15%,
  • rounded - the length of the mammary gland is almost equal to its width,
  • goat
  • underdeveloped udder - nipples are close to each other.

Cows with goats and underdeveloped udders on large farms are rejected.

Attention! The milk yield of cows with a cup-shaped and bath-like form of the mammary gland is almost a quarter higher than the rest.

Mastitis Prevention

Mastitis is a disease of the udder that can cause significant damage to farming. It is impossible to sell and drink milk from a sick cow, and in advanced cases, mastitis can take the life of a burenka. That is why the prevention of this disease is paid much attention on farms.

Preventive measures include:

  1. Hygiene of the udder. Before each milking and after it is necessary to wash the mammary gland.
  2. Massage. Heifers are prepared for lactation during pregnancy, stop doing udder massage about a month before calving.
  3. Daily inspection of the milk tank for seals, bruises and other damage.
  4. Testing expressed milk with special testers. They allow you to identify even mastitis, proceeding in a latent form.
  5. Lubricating the nipples with petroleum jelly to avoid the appearance of cracks where the infection can penetrate.
  6. Maintaining clean litter.
  7. Organization of the correct milking regimen. If you skip decantation, this will lead to stagnant processes and the development of inflammation.

Symptoms of mastitis

The inflammatory process in the milk tank can begin unnoticed by the farmer. Moreover, there is a hidden form of the disease, in which no symptoms appear at all. As the inflammatory process develops, it affects one or several lobes of the udder, while milk changes its taste, color and texture.

Mastitis in a cow

Consider the signs of mastitis in cows:

  1. Consolidation in one or more lobes of the mammary gland.
  2. Soreness of the udder, swelling, redness.
  3. Reduced milk yield.
  4. Loss of appetite.
  5. The presence of cereal in milk.
  6. The watery structure of milk. Change its color.
  7. Blood, pus in the first portion of milk.

Important! Having noticed at least one of the listed signs of inflammation of the milk tank, the farmer should immediately begin treatment. Otherwise, the disease will take on complicated forms and may lead to the death of the cow.

Mastitis occurs in different ways, therefore, the treatment of the disease is carried out in various ways. In uncomplicated cases, it is enough to carry out frequent expressing of milk and use special ointments. If the disease is severe and pus forms in the milk tank, then antibiotics cannot be dispensed with.

In addition to antibacterial drugs that are administered intramuscularly, the cow makes various poultices and lotions to the udder. A good effect is the washing of the milk ducts with disinfectants and antibiotics. A sick cow is protected from cold and draft.

Cow mastitis treatment

Proper udder massage

Massage of the udder before each milking serves not only to stimulate the production of oxytocin, but also allows to detect pathological processes that have begun in the mammary gland. The milkmaid strokes the udder with her palms, changing the direction of movement from top to bottom, and then from bottom to top. With her fingers she probes the nipples and the base of the mammary gland, lifting it. Experience allows her to detect nodules, seals in the udder, to determine whether it is hotter. The first portion of milk released is expressed in a separate container, which makes it possible to detect pus impurities, curdled clots or blood in it.

How many times a day is a cow milked?

It is important for the farmer to train a cow to milk. This is especially true for heifers. In the first 2 weeks after the birth of the calf, they are milked 4 times a day. Subsequently, they switch to three times milking. Highly milked cows should be milked three times a day so that milk productivity does not decrease, and stagnation does not occur in the udder.

Attention! It is very important for the farmer to strictly observe the interval between milking. With a two-time milking regimen it should not exceed 12 hours, with a three-time milking - 8-9 hours.

What will happen if you do not milk the cow?

If skipping milking or decanting a cow less often than before, milk yield will decrease. If you do not milk the cow at all, stagnation of milk will occur in the udder, which is fraught with the development of mastitis. The transition to the dry period is always carried out gradually, while this cow imposes nutrition restrictions. The launch of the animal is carried out about two months before calving. This process is aimed at increasing milk yield after the calf is born.

Knowing the rules for milking cows and putting them into practice is very important for the farmer. If we neglect them, the productivity of animals will decrease, and business will bring less profit. Much attention should be paid to the hygiene of the udder: to wash and massage it before and after milking, as well as to thoroughly process the teat cups if a hardware milking method is used. Having discovered the symptoms of inflammation, you must immediately proceed to the treatment of mastitis.