Best Practice: Milking Procedures

1. Utilize an effective pre-milking preparation routine.

Effective pre-milking preparation includes the following:

  • Proper use of an effective, germicidal pre-dip.
  • Stripping and examination of foremilk to stimulate milk letdown and screen for mastitis.
  • Wiping of each teat with a clean, individual use towel to remove pre-dip and dirt or manure.
  • Proper timing of unit attachment (90-120 seconds after stimulation by stripping/wiping).

2. Following milking, ensure proper coverage of each teat with an effective post-dip.

3. Train milkers on proper milking procedures and mastitis detection. Training should be documented and refreshed at least yearly.

Employee Training Log: Milkers

Milker Training Log.docx

4. Monitor milker performance with teat end swabs, milk filter evaluation, dip coverage test, and by timing the milking routine.

5. Monitor teat end health and formulate a plan to prevent winter weather-related teat damage.

> Strategies for Winter Teat Skin Care

Additional Resources for Milk Quality

UMN Dairy Extension, Milk Quality & Mastitis

UW Milk Quality

NMC Recommended Mastitis Control Program (checklist)

UMN Laboratory for Udder Health (mastitis testing and information)