Milk has a significant importance in the human diet. A glass of milk contains nutrients like, protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals that are essential for the human body. Since kids largely consume milk, it is a social responsibility to make sure milk is produced under hygienic conditions.
Hence, there are strict norms and laws that govern the production and supply of milk. In order to maintain the highest level of hygienic conditions, milk producers absolutely need to abide by certain practices.
The practices that we undertake are:
- We ensure that the fodder and water given to the animals is fee from insecticide, poisonous fungus, harmful chemicals and heavy metals. This helps maintain a high quality of the milk and makes it safe for consumption.
- The animals undergo a timely health check-up and are provided with the essential medication that does not affect the purity of the milk produced.
- The mental health of the animals is given the necessary attention. We make sure that they are provided a calm and quiet environment.
- Before milking, the udder of the animals is cleaned with sterile water. It is then dried with a clean cloth.
- The initial streams of milk are discarded as it contains higher load of pathogens.
- After milking, the udders are cleaned thoroughly with water and sanitizers or using a Teat dip cup.
- To make sure milk is fit for consumption, it is handled in a secure environment where pathogens don’t come in contact with milking vessels, the animal itself or from the people who handle the milk.
- After milking, the machine is washed, cleaned & disinfected for further use.
Precautions for the environment where the cows are kept:
- The cowsheds are cleaned before milking.
- The insecticides are sprayed around in the cowshed. The wet spaces/ areas are covered with lime.
- The cowsheds are kept open, well aerated and lit.
- We make sure there are no poultry or pig pits around the cowsheds.
- The surroundings of the cowshed are kept clean. The cow dung pit is kept away, at a necessary distance from the cowshed.
Milk storage precautions:
- The milk utensils are of correct sizes and are made from stainless steel.
- The utensils are disinfected and kept clean and dry.
Precautions for the people who milk:
- People who milk the animals are checked for contagious diseases and we make sure they have no bad habits or addictions to tobacco, smoking etc.
- We ensure that they wash the hands with soap and water and dry them off before they come in contact with the animals.
- Their nails & hair are kept clean and trimmed all the time.
- Use of hairnet / head cap is must.
- Milking is done with full hand method.
- Milking is done within 5 to 7 minutes and milk is supplied to receiving centers as early as possible.
Selection criteria of a milking cow:
- The physical structure, milk production capacity & reproduction capacity of that cow is considered.
- The cows are milked at least thrice before consideration, to judge its production capacity. Merely big udders are not considered as a reason for selection.
- Points like, how much time does the cow takes to milk; does it milk without feed or is it habituated to hands of a milkman or not; are also considered.
- Since, angry and anxious cows have a higher chance of producing less milk, hence calm cows are selected.
- Cows with lighter to milk are better as cows with heavier to milk less. It is advised to check all the four quarter of udder during milking.
- While purchasing the cow, we make sure it’s a second-Lactation animal.
- They are healthy and neat, their eyes are big and bright and all the organs are proportionate and balanced.
- We make sure that the cows are triangular in shape, when viewed from front.
- We keep a close look at the distance between the legs, a broader chest and when viewed from top, the bones of the waist need to be away and at a distance.
- The tail length is as long as below the fetlock joint.
- We ensure that the cow shouldn’t be fatty, the neck should be slim and long, the backbone should be straight and strong.
- Cow’s feet colour need to be black. They are broader & in equilibrium or even.
- Before purchasing, the cow is walked around and rotated.
- An udder is an important organ of the cow. We make sure its attachment to the body is tight enough.
- We check that after milking, the udders attain its original shape and the skin is soft.
- We look for a web of veins on the udders and ensure that they are broader and wavy.
- We keep a check that all four udders are at equidistant, medium sized & the openings are neat.
- We check that the hind legs are at a proper distance to accommodate the udders.
- The Cow should be bred from a healthy class bull and its age should be around 3 to 4 years.
- Skin of the cow should be neat, soft and brighter.
- The legs of the cow should be straight and in proportion, and all of them should carry an equal weight of the body.