Milking a cow is one of the many chores that families used to face before our society became so modern. Most people today have never had the opportunity to milk a cow, although some of their past relatives surely did. Today, milk is delivered in a truck to a store, and the art of milking a cow is on its way out.
But if you have the opportunity to milk a cow the old-fashioned way, the following steps will help you. First, gather your supplies:
- A cow that is nursing a calf.
- A pail to catch the milk in.
- A short stool to sit on while milking.
- Warm water to clean the cow's udder and a clean cloth to dry the cow's udder.
- Cow feed.
Supplies are not the only thing that will need to be prepared. The cow will also need some preparation.
- The cow will need to have recently had a calf.
- The cow and calf should be separated when the calf is several days old.
- The cow should be kept on a constant routine.
- Milk the cow twice a day at the same time each day.
- Milk the cow in the same location each time.
Now that the supplies have been gathered, the routine has been decided on, and the cow is ready, it is time to begin milking.
- Follow your routine for milking the same time every morning and afternoon.
- Lead the cow to the stall and feed her.
- Place the stool on the same side of the cow each time you milk her. The stool should be close enough to the cow that the milker can easily reach all teats. Talk to the cow while doing this.
- Sit on the stool and rest your head on the cow's flank.
- Wash and dry the udder with warm water and a clean cloth.
- Place the pail under the teats.
- Grasp the first teat with your hand.
- Stimulate the udder and teats by grasping teats with hands and massaging the entire length of the teat, focusing on the end of the teats. This stimulation triggers the release of oxytocin. Oxytocin causes the milk to come down.
- To begin actual milking, squeeze the top of the teat between the thumb and the forefinger. Squeeze continually with each finger down the teat. This squeezing down the teat forces the milk to stream out into the pail.
- Release the teat.
- Repeat steps 9 and 10 on each teat until enough milk is collected for the milker and return the cow to her calf. Allow the calf to nurse long enough to finish emptying the cow's udder.
- Separate the cow and calf.
- Repeat the entire process when it is time to milk the cow again.