Cows Grazing A cow usually spends about 8 hours eating, 8 hours sleeping and 8 hours eating grass. We provide fresh paddock of grass to the cows in the morning after milking and another fresh paddock of grass in the evening after milking. They are also fed some grain in the dairy while being milked and Hay or Silage if when enough grass available.
Collecting the milk
Cows are normally milked 2 times per day. However some high producing herds are milked 3 times per day. We milk them at 6 AM then around 5 PM.
The actual process of “Milking” was done by hand. However, now it is now done much faster, more efficiently and thoroughly by automatic milking machines. On average this can take about 5 minutes for each cow but much depends on the type of machine and the amount of milk the cow is producing.
Most dairies have enough machines to milk 20 to 40 cows at one time, which reduces the amount of time the cows have to wait to be milked, in turn reducing any discomfort they might feel, if they have full udders – which you can think of as the milk storage part of the cow! Milking machines mimic the action of a young calf suckling its mother, by creating a pulsating vacuum around the teat, causing the milk to be released from the udder.
Storing milk Milk storage vats or silos are refrigerated and come in various shapes and sizes. Milk is stored in the farm at 4 degrees Celsius and left for no longer than 48 hours. Vats and silos are agitated, shaken briskly to make sure that the entire volume remains cold and milk fat does not separate from the milk. After milk has been collected, storage vats and stainless steel pipes are thoroughly cleaned before the next milking session.
Laboratory testing Samples of milk are also taken from the bulk milk tanker on arrival at the factory. These are tested for antibiotic levels and temperature before the milk enters the factory processing area. Farm milk samples are tested for milk fat/protein/bulk milk cell count and bacteria count. If milk is unsuitable for Kerr’s quality products it is rejected. Most farmers are paid on quality and composition of their milk and it is extremely important that these samples are collected and stored correctly.
Whole milk, once approved for use, is pumped into storage silos where it undergoes pasteurization, homogenization and further processing.
This process involves heating every particle of milk to a specific temperature for an exact period and cooling it again without allowing recontamination. Pasteurization is performed for two reasons:
To ensure all milk products are safe for human consumption by destroying all bacteria (pathogens) that may be harmful to health.
To improve the storage quality of milk by killing or rendering inactivate any undesirable enzymes and bacteria.
This Involves pushing the raw milk through an atomizer, causing it to form tiny particles so that the fat is dispersed evenly throughout the milk, stopping the fat from floating to the top of the container. That’s why you don’t get the cream on the top of the milk as was the case in days gone by – even if it still comes in bottles to your door!
This can include; reducing the fat content by micro-filtration, increasing the storage life by ultra-high temperature (UHT) treatment and mixing or culturing milk for flavoured and yoghurt products.
Selling Then milk is sent off to wholesalers and shops large and small for sale to the public.