How clean is clean and other milking questions

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Christina R., Feb 2, 2005.

  1. Christina R.

    Christina R. Well-Known Member

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    When I wash Corabelle before milking, I wash her teats and udder immaculately, wash her flank and belly and the inside of her legs that are near her udder. Her flanks, belly, and legs can be muddy, poopy, etc, and seem to not get quite clean (on somedays, LIKE TODAY). I don't want to drag out a hose (especially in this weather), but I want to make sure all is clean enough. The parts I'm talking about don't touch the milk bucket, so I think all is okay, but I wanted to check with those who have done this longer than me. Common sense tells me all is okay as it would take hours to get everything as clean as her udder and teats.

    Second question... She was bred about 2 weeks ago after having her calf last Aug. (I had to bring her to the bull and it's been quite a winter here). These last two days her milk production has dropped about 1/2 a gallon. Is this probably a result of being bred or just because of any other reason under the sun?

    Also, this was her first calf, so we were only getting 3-4 gallons a day. If I'm getting a little less than a gallon and a half in the am, can I milk her only at night and still maybe get the 3 gallons a day? Or will she cut back to the evening amount only?

    Thanks everyone.
     
  2. Snugglebunny

    Snugglebunny Well-Known Member

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    I've heard of people placing a couple layers of cheesecloth over the bucket while they milk, so the milk is 'pre-filtered'. Then if you want you can pour the milk into your jars and jugs, placing more cheesecloth over the tops to filter them again. This would at least help ease your mind about missing a spot in your cleaning, or worrying you didn't clean well enough.
     

  3. Christina R.

    Christina R. Well-Known Member

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    I have cheesecloth (the good kind, not the cheap kind)on the bucket. I guess I was overwhelmed this morning when I saw how dirty her legs and belly were and even though I washed them down by hand, they were still dirty and I just want to make sure I'm doing things right. Thanks again.
     
  4. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    I use muslin rather than cheesecloth. Put it on loosely, so the milk can pool up a bit on top and drain through.

    Anyway it sounds like you are being plenty clean! I only washed Dawnna's udder, and then only if it was mucky. She was a pretty tidy cow, and I was milking in summer so it wasn't as big of a deal. In the winter, they can get pretty mucky, can't they?!

    It is normal for milk production to fall off a bit when a cow's in heat. If she was trailered to the bull ( = stress) that might have an effect as well. Sometimes the onset of mastitis can make production drop, so keep a close eye on her when you strip her the next few days.

    I don't think it will hurt her at this point to go down to 1 milking a day, but yeah her production will probably drop further. Is there a possibility you can stick a calf on her? Put the calf on at night and pen him up during the day? Of course that would take up some of your milk, though -- darn!
     
  5. jerzeygurl

    jerzeygurl woolgathering

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    i was the teats and udders, then i strain it when i get in the house, i put the regular dairy filters inside of on of those reusable gold mesh coffee filters, or use a funnel.
     
  6. Christina R.

    Christina R. Well-Known Member

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    Thanks folks, everything sounds like what I'm doing. I just look at those legs, flanks, and belly....always try to wash them up too, then think they are still filthy.

    Can't wait until next week to see if Corabelle hopefully shows no signs of heat!!!
     
  7. Paula

    Paula Well-Known Member

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    I remember when we got our first milk cow. I was obsessed with cleanliness - to the point of even washing her down with the hose at times in cold weather. As time went on I relaxed some. I still wipe down her udder with a warm cloth, but unless she just has a huge mess on her flank, leg or belly I just put the bucket more to the side (out from under her) so stuff doesn't fall in the milk. It also helped when I read about a study that compared introduced bacterial growth in fresh raw milk versus in pasturized store milk. The bacteria didn't grow in the fresh milk, but went crazy in the pasturized milk.
    If you go to once a day milking your cows output will go down a little, but not nearly by half. Do you need all the milk you're getting now? We usually purposely slow our cow down to just the amount we need. Less feed, less hassle.
    I wanted to mention also something I noticed when we used to strain our milk through paper milk filters. The chemicals in the paper do something to the milk because I could never make buttermilk with milk strained through them unless I pasturized it first. It just turned out gross, sort of rotted instead of the culture growing. We now use white hankies cut into fourths instead. The milk now cultures fine without pasturizing. You have to rinse the milk out of the cloths and hang them to dry right away though or they smell awful even after they are washed.
     
  8. luvrulz

    luvrulz Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have specific fabric swatches (more like a big napkin...) that are used for straining and filtering. 100% cotton and bleachable. They get pretty stinky if you don't soak them in like a diaper pail or some such arrangement in between washings. I also throw them in the with whites when I do laundry and add bleach to the load.

    We use a warm wet washcloth to clean up Daisy before milking too and it seems to suffice! I found a screen like kind of filter thing to use when we pour it out of the bucket into glass jugs for the fridge. It's a very small screen and catches everything, we hope!
     
  9. george darby

    george darby Well-Known Member

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    might help to clip any long hair on the udder ,long as the udder and teats are clean you should be okay i use the comercial milk strainer pads ..... i rinse them and pop them in the freezer till the next day and re use them quite a few times you cant let them air dry or they will smell thats why i would be leary of using a cloth i usually have my daughter strain the milk she got lazy once and didnt do it ....... got caught though when i found cow hair in my coffey.....