How to Get more Milk
out of your Milking Cows with Good Feed and Care
Are you getting enough milk from your milking cows?
Know how to care for your dairy cow with the right cattle
feed and care. The first thing you need to look at is whether you have
chosen the right type of dairy cattle. While most farmers think that
Holstein dairy cattle are the best breed around, they actually make
poor foragers, and unless you have excellent pastures the quality of
the milk you will get from your Holsteins will be below par.
Others like the Channel Island dairy cattle breeds for milking such as
the Guernsey, the Jersey and the Alderney. These cows are famous for
the richnes.s of their milk but they need to have a higher level of
care in their stabling, diet and handling than other breeds of cattle.
Out of the 3 types of Channel Island breeds the Guersney is the most
manageable and the hardiest.
Then there is the Ayrshire dairy cattle. These are hardy cows that may
not give as much milk as the Holstein, or produce milk that is as rich
as the Channel Island breeds but the milk is full of flavor and are
And although many people who are homesteading either keep
goats or cows for
milking the success in dairy farming depends largely upon the proper
stock. Without proper feeding, your milk yields will be much lower than
expected. So how do you improve your milk yields?
There are two questions that the dairy farmer should always
1) Am I feeding my milking
cows as cheaply as I can?
2) Am I feeding the best
rations for milk and butter production?
Of course the dairy cow can be kept
and in fairly good milk flow on many different kinds of food, but in
feeding, as in everything else, there is an ideal to be sought.
What, then, is an ideal ration for milking cows?
this question the word ration needs to be
explained. By ration is
meant a sufficient quantity of food to support properly an animal for
one day. If the animal is to have a proper ration, we must bear in mind
what the animal needs in order to be best nourished. To get material
muscle, for blood, for milk, and for some other things, the animal
needs, in the first place, food that contains protein. To keep warm and
fat, the animal must, in the second place, have food containing
carbohydrates and fats. These foods must be mixed in right proportions.
With these facts in mind we are prepared for an answer to the
What is an ideal ration for milking cows?
it is a ration that, without waste, furnishes both in
bulk of dry matter a sufficient amount of digestible, nutritious food.
it is a ration that is comparatively cheap.
it is a ration in which the milk-forming food (protein)
rightly proportioned to the heat-making and fat-making food
(carbohydrates and fat). Any ration in which this proportion is
neglected is badly balanced.
Now test one or two commonly used rations for milking cows by
Would a ration
of cotton-seed meal and cotton-seed hulls be a model ration?
No. Such a
ration, since the seeds are grown at home, would be cheap enough.
However, it is badly balanced, for it is too rich in protein; hence it
is a wasteful ration.
Would a ration of corn meal
and corn stover be a
This, too, since the corn is home-grown, would be
cheap for the farmer; but, like the other, it is badly balanced, for it
contains too much carbohydrate food and is therefore a wasteful ration.
A badly balanced ration does harm to milking cows in two ways:
first, the milk
the dairy cow is lessened by such a ration; second, the dairy cow does
profitably use the food that she eats.
The following table gives an excellent dairy ration for the
has a silo. If he does not have a silo, some other food can be used in
place of the ensilage. The table also shows what each food
hay = 15
stover = 10
ensilage = 30
meal = 2
Total = 57 pounds
Care of Miking Cows
As the cow is one of the best
money-makers on the
farm, she should, for this reason, if for no other, be comfortably
housed, well fed and watered, and most kindly treated. In your thoughts
for her well-being, bear the following directions in mind on how to
milk a cow:
1. If you are not following a balanced ration, feed each day
different kinds of food. In this way you will be least likely to waste
2. Feed at regular hours. Milking cows, like people, thrive
lives are orderly.
3. Milk your milking cows at regular hours.
4. Brush the udder carefully with a moist cloth before you
milk. Cleanliness in handling makes the milk keep longer.
5. Always milk in buckets or cups that have been scalded since
using. The hot water kills the bacteria that collect in the dents or
cracks of the utensil.
6. Never let the milk pail remain in the stable. Milk rapidly
impurities. These spoil the flavor and cause the milk to sour.
7. Never scold or strike the dairy cow. She is a nervous
usage checks the milk flow.
Dairy Rules for
Caring for your
1. Whitewash the stable once or twice each year; use land
or loam daily in the manure-gutters.
2. On their way to pasture or the milking-place, do not allow
milking cows to be
driven at a faster gait than a comfortable walk.
3. Give abundance of pure water.
4. Do not change feed suddenly.
5. Keep salt always within reach of each cow.
Tips for Milking
1. Milk with dry hands.
2. Never allow the milk to touch the milker's hands.
3. Require the milker to be clean in person and dress.
4. Milk quietly, quickly, thoroughly. Never leave a drop of
milk in the
5. Do not allow cats, dogs, or other animals around at
1. Use only tin or metal cans and pails.
2. See that all utensils are thoroughly clean and free from
3. Require all cans and pails to be scalded immediately after
4. After milking, keep the utensils inverted in pure air, and
if possible, until they are wanted for use.
5. Always sterilize the churn with steam or boiling water
after churning. This prevents any odors or bad flavors from affecting
the butter. All cans, pails, and bottles should also be sterilized
How to Prevent the Souring of Milk in the Dairy
In the first place, milk sours
because bacteria from the air fall into the milk, begin to grow, and
very shortly change the sugar of the milk to an acid. When this acid
becomes abundant, the milk from your hardworking milking cows begins to
curdle. As you know, the bacteria
are in air, in water, and in barn dust; they stick on bits of hay and
also stick to the dairy cow.
They are most plentiful, however, in milk that has
soured; hence, if we pour a little sour milk into a pail of fresh milk,
the fresh milk will sour very quickly, because we have, so to speak,
"seeded" or "planted" the fresh milk with the souring germs.
No one, of
course, ever does this purposely in the dairy, yet people sometimes do
what amounts to the same thing—that is, put fresh milk into poorly
cleaned pails or pans,
the cracks and corners of which are cozy homes
for millions of germs left from the last sour milk contained in the
vessel. It follows, then, that all utensils used for your milking cows
thoroughly scalded so as to kill all germs present, and particular care
should be taken to clean the cracks and crevices, for in them the germs
In addition to this thorough cleansing with hot water, we
careful never to stir up the dust of the barn just before milking your
dusty work as pitching hay or stover or arranging bedding should be
either after or long before milking-time, for more germs fall into the
milk if the air be full of dust.
To further avoid germs the milker should wear clean overalls,
have clean hands, and, above all, should never wet his hands with milk.
This last habit, in addition to being filthy, lessens the keeping power
of the milk. The milker should also moisten the parts of the milking
are nearest him, so that dust from the milking cow's sides may not fall
milker's pail. For greater cleanliness and safety many milkmen curry
The first few streams from each teat should be thrown away,
teat at its mouth is filled with milk which, having been exposed to the
air, is full of germs, and will do much toward souring the other milk
the pail. Not much will be lost by throwing the first drawings
away, and this of the poorest milk too. The increase in the keeping
quality of the milk will much more than repay the small loss. If these
precautions are taken, the milk will keep several hours or even several
days longer than milk carelessly handled. By taking these steps to
prevent germs from falling into the milk one can prevent the milk for
The work of the germ in the dairy is not, however, confined to
the milk. If you are milking cows to make cheese take heed. Certain
kinds of germs give to the different sorts of cheeses
their marked flavors and to butter its flavor. If the right germ is
present, cheese or butter gets a proper flavor. Sometimes undesirable
germs gain entrance and give flavors that we do not like. Such germs
produce cheese or butter diseases. "Bitter butter" is one of these
diseases. To keep out all unpleasant meddlers, thoroughly cleanse and
scald every utensil and you and your milking cows will benefit.
See our other page for a step-by-step account on how to milk a cow. There are also
some videos on this. Follow the link at the bottom of the page.
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