Back to the basics of milk quality

Photo by Keith Weller

Six Basic Principles of Milk Quality:

  1. Keep cows clean, dry, and comfortable.
  2. Milk clean, dry, stimulated teats.
  3. Use a quality post dip on every cow.
  4. Properly maintain and analyze milking equipment on a schedule.
  5. Promptly treat clinical mastitis.
  6. Cull chronic cows.

According to Veterinarian David Reid, although most producers have a “good working knowledge” of these principles, many struggle to adhere to them in their daily operations. In his Hoard’s Webinar presentation, “Save time and money in the parlor,” Reid discussed milking procedures and minor equipment modifications that can improve parlor performance and milk quality at little or no cost to producers.

After establishing an efficient milking routine and training employees on protocol, attentive management must follow in order to achieve success. 

“Avoid the temptation of considering the task of quietly ‘watching cows’ and ‘walking’ the dairy as ‘wasting time.’” – David Reid

Reid listed the following as essential components of effective “managerial monitoring:”

  • Cow observation and examination (eating behavior, cleanliness, etc.)
  • People observation (following protocol)
  • Feeding management (feed mixing, water supply, etc.)
  • Barn/Parlor (cow movement, cow behavior, etc.)
  • Review of computerized and paper data

Source: “Save time and money in the parlor” Hoard’s Webinar presented by David Reid, DVM, on March 12, 2012.

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