Raising Dairy Cows, Part III

Our resident veterinarian presents the third and final installment of his series on raising dairy cows.

| November/December 1981

In "Raising Dairy Cows, Part I," and "Raising Dairy Cows, Part II," I presented "ten commandments" to help you raise your own healthy backyard dairy cow. And now that the basic methods of feeding and caring for of Bossie have been explained, it's time to turn our attention to the task of safeguarding the "liquid assets" produced by the bovine boarder.

Cleanliness Is the Key

To insure that your homegrown dairy products are tasty and safe to eat and drink, you should follow several simple principles of milk handling. The first (and most important) rule is to make certain the liquid doesn't become contaminated after it leaves the mammary gland. The best way to assure this is to keep the milking equipment and building scrupulously clean.

[1] Maintain a spotless milking area. You might want to paint the enclosure white, so you'll be better able to see—and eliminate—fly specks or spots of fecal matter.

[2] Keep strong odors out of the milking and milk storage areas.

[3] Use only sanitized pans, strainers, and bottles.

[4] Don't give your dairy animal onions, silage, cabbage, moldy grains and hay, or any other feed that can impart an "off" flavor to the milk.

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