I thought this would be a good opportunity to share our milking process and how we ensure that the milk that comes from us is safe, clean, and healthy. We begin with the cows entering the barn to be milked.
This is how a cow looks when she enters our parlor.
We wipe off any access sand from the sand, free stalls and then dip with a yellow, pre-dip. It contains peroxcide and other cleaners to kill any bacteria and germs that may be present.
This is wiped off after about 30 seconds with a clean towel.
The wiping and dipping and wiping again are not just for cleanliness. They serve another purpose in helping stimulate milk let down. This helps her "fill up" in the udder and teats and is ready to be milked. We also do a quick fore-strip of each teat to get the first milk out. That milk has the greatest potential to have bacteria in it. With a couple of pulls, that milk is out and only good milk goes into the system.
This photo shows a clean milking unit on a clean udder. Her legs do have some poop on them but we are very careful in putting a milker on to not let the inflations touch any yucky stuff that is around. If a cow moves and it does get dirty, it is shut off and rinsed then placed on. When first on the cow, the milk gushes out, almost filling the small clear plastic globe underneath. As she nears being done, that drops off to a thin stream, eventually being done.
This is the cow at the end of her milking. The unit is off and she is dipped with a dip to help keep her teat ends healthy. It helps keep bacteria out and contains a conditioner to help the skin stay soft. Usually our dip is a basic iodine dip, but with winter here, it is a green dip that is better for them when it's cold. In very cold, windy weather, we use a powder dip to avoid freezing. There are different dips for different seasons and reasons. We have some lotions we use to help if teats are dry or cracked, much like lotion for your hands. We also have a frost-guard cream to help in cold weather .
We take great care to ensure that milk, from us to you is safe and healthy. We drink it too. Next time you enjoy your cold glass of milk or hot chocolate, you can be assured that it is the best.