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Writing for Professions

Rachelle Lady

This is a guide on how to hand milk a cow, including the supplies needed and a quick cleanup process. Cows produce
milk to feed their young. On large dairy farms the calves are separated from their mothers, so the cows need to be
milked twice a day. On smaller farms, milk collection is done on a reduced scale and can be for similar reasons.
However, there are some who don’t regularly milk their cow’s and leave it up to animal instinct. The cow and calf are
meant to take care of each other. There are times where that doesn’t work and the cow needs to be milked by a person
sometimes the calf has trouble eating, doesn’t eat enough, or unfortunately, passes away. In any case, the cow still needs
to be relieved.
Clean, Food Safe Bucket

Iodine Spray

Cattle Chute

Paper Towels

Sweet Feed and Feed Pan

A Chair

Bleach Water
After Care Teat Dip

Steps to Hand Milk a Cow

Obtain cow and food safe bucket. Needs to be
food safe for humans. Familiarize or introduce
yourself to the cow if you haven’t already. It’s
important they trust you enough to get milked.


Set up cow chute with feed positioned in front of
cow’s head placement.





(Weaver Leather Kirk Steirwalk Professional 8’ Chute)
(Lady, 1)

(Milk in Pail)

Scoop out roughly 8 cups of sweet feed grain into
feed pan for cow to eat. This needs to be done
before hand. It can help coax the cow into the
chute later on.


Set up chair and position all supplies within arm’s
reach of side you will be milking on.



Allow cow to enter chute, coax in with feed if


Place food safe bucket directly under cow’s udder
to catch milk.

(Lady, 2)


Position yourself beside cow, near udder and
spray iodine onto teats, wipe clean with paper
towel, clearing all debris.
Learn hand and finger placement on teat for
proper milking technique. Teat will go between
thumb and index finger. Each squeeze will be
accompanied by a small downward pulling
motion. Each squeeze and pull moment with be
roughly 2 seconds.

(Jersey Cows Milk Production per Day)
10. Start hand milking the two teats furthest from
you. Alternate between pulling down on right and
left teats while aiming into bucket. Continue into
a rhythm until teats have deflated and cow has
slowed milk production for those two teats. This
may take between 5-8 minutes.

11. Move to teats closest to you. Start hand milking
process again until those teats are deflated.

(Milking time-R Local Farm)

Start to squeeze and pull down on each teat to
stimulate milk production and start hand milking.
Allow milk to spray onto floor. Inspect first few
streams of milk for flaky or chunky milk caused
by infection or illness.
a. If normal milk consistency, continue. If
not look for other indicators of illness
and medicate accordingly.

(On the udder hand…)
12. Do a quick round on all of teats to make sure
most of the milk has been taken from the udder.
Some remnants of milk will remain which is okay.


13. You will notice a significant difference in udder
and teat size once milking is finished.


16. Now that milking has finished and cow’s health
appears fine, release the cow from the chute.

(Lady, 3)


14. Next take the After Care
Teat Dip which is often a safe level of iodine and
dip each teat in the solution. This protects the
opening from bugs and debris until the opening
of the teat has relaxed and shrunk back to normal

17. Now, decide if you will keep the milk or feed it to
another animal.

18. Attach cheese cloth or coffee filters to a food safe
container and slowly strain milk. This will catch
any debris or bugs that have found their way into
the milk.

15. Then walk around cow, inspecting her for
anything unusual such as open sores or warts.
Perhaps talk to her kindly and give her a treat if
she has been good.

(Strained Milk)
(Lady, 4)


19. Store milk in fridge if keeping for consumption.
Place into bottle if you decide to feed it back to a

20. Next, sterilize milk bucket with hot bleach water.
Washing away all remnants of milk.
21. Rinse down milking area of test milk or cow
22. Finally, take note of time and repeat process in
twelve hours.

(Calf bottle feeding)


Photos Citations
“Calf bottle feeding” by Viki Herbert is licensed under CreativeCommons
Lady, Rachelle, 2014. 1 Gretta at Fair. Photograph.
Lady, Rachelle, 2012. 2 Ginger in Chute. Photograph.
Lady, Rachelle, 2014. 4 Ginger in Last Show. Photograph.
Lady, Rachelle, 2015. 3 Bernice in Field. Photograph.
Lea, Susan.” An Udderly Fantastic Solutio to a Hairy Problem!” Adventures of Zephyr Hill Farm. 01 Jan. 1970. Web.
“Milk in Pail” by Lora Lea Misterly is licensed under CreativeCommons
“Milking Time-R Local Farm.” R Local Farm. Web.
“On the udder hand…” by Matt Jones licensed under CreativeCommons
“Strained Milk” by Susan S. licensed under CreativeCommons
"Weaver Leather Kirk Steirwalk Professional 8' Chute | HorseLoverZ." Weaver Leather Kirk Steirwalk Professional 8' Chute
| HorseLoverZ. N.p., 2016. Web. 15 Oct. 2016.
"Jersey Cows Milk Production per Day." Milk and Dairy Products., 27 Nov. 2015. Web. 15 Oct. 2016.