Mobile Milking machines


More farms are adopting milking machines due to for health and hygiene reasons.

Good milking techniques require that the cow remains comfortable and relaxed. This is a plus that farms who use milking machines have over hand-milking.

The effectiveness of a milking machine lies in its efficient functioning, cleaning and correct application and removal.



Proper management of milking machines requires that all the parts are understood well. Routine maintenance or cleaning of mechanical parts and rubber components form the basis of their being effective.

This calls for constant examination of the machine. Daily checks require that the air vents are inspected for blockages. Blocked vents eventually lead to slow or incomplete milking and makes the removal of clusters difficult. Carefully remove dirt but avoid using equipment that may enlarge teat holes.

The milk vacuum must be checked and listened to ensure all pulsators have regular and intermittent sounds. The milk entering the enclosed receiving churn should flow evenly.

The cow’s behaviour must be checked. Does she feel nervous or comfortable when teat cups are applied or removed? Try to feel for any swellings at the top, middle or end of the teats.

Search for cracking or sores made on the teat canals by the machine. Also check for completeness of the milking. Weekly checks mainly lie on examining the filters, pulsator airlines and liners.

Check for mouthpiece cracks, splits or distortion.

Additional regular checks require monitoring the teat cup slips from teats regardless of the udder conformation. More teat cup slips means incorrect mounting. Note the average time of milking; a milking machines adjusted correctly takes seven minutes, but this may vary depending on the amount of milk a cow produces.

A routine maintenance demands that teat cup liners be changed after every four to six months as recommended by manufactures. Since liners are the parts of the machine that get into direct contact with the cow during flexing and squeezing of the teat, they lose tension, absorb milk fat and hold bacteria with time.

The tension lost with time is sufficient enough to cause incomplete milking, expose the cow to increased teat end damage and spread bacteria.


Cleaning ensures milk residue and dirt are removed from the equipment while sanitising removes bacteria from already cleaned surfaces. Both practices minimise bacterial contamination and spread in the machines. To clean, first detach the parts then remove all loose dirt and rinse the machine with warm water.

Follow by hot cleaning using a detergent to clear surface deposits, then rinse with cold water. Finally, apply a sanitiser, especially to surfaces that come into contact with the cow and allow to dry under shade with sufficient flow of air.


First, clean and dry the teats of the cow before attaching any part of the machine. Dirty and wet teats increase the risk of mastitis infection and contaminate milk with bacteria. Then just before you mount the teat cups, check for mastitis.

Gently squeeze each teat for the first milk squirts and check against a strip cup for clots or abnormal milk colour. Ideally, teat disinfection before attaching the milking machine can be done to help reduce mastitis.

When the teats appear filled with milk, gently mount the teat cups. This appearance results from stimulation of milk let-down effect and is the best time to fix the machine. During milking, monitor for any air leakage through the teat cups.

Adjust the cups to hang over the claw correctly to arrest leakages. Less flow of milk into the collection churn is an indication of milk let-down coming to an end. At this time, cut the vacuum to the cluster to release the teat cup. Pulling off without cutting the vacuum is not advised as it encourages the damage of teats.

After completely detaching the machine from the animal, follow by hand-milking to ensure milking is completely done.

To conclude, be warned that cleaning these machines may not be easy and careless detaching of parts may cause damage. If not sure, always contact where you sourced the machine for help in maintenance and cleaning services.

With machines, there is little milk spillage, no environmental contamination and guaranteed cleanliness provided the equipment is thoroughly cleaned.

There is also less or no damage on teats. Sometimes use of hand milking can be painful depending on the milk man.

Long nails also cause cuts on teats. Milking machines make the cows feel more confident, calm and relaxed for free milk let-down.

Milking machines make dairy farming easy and enjoyable.

Dairy practice, Decision making


Dairy goat farming is on a steady rise throughout the world. Steady rise in demand Unconfirmed projections show a steady increase in demand for goat milk; up from the current 2 per cent in terms of milk consumption.

Cow milk is still and will continue to be the most consumed. As a boy I heard that goat milk talk from Okolwe my grandmother. She narrated to me that when a small breast feeding child lost the mother; goat milk was the proposed replacement. I found this indigenous knowledge to be in tandem with conventional scientific knowledge which has documented that indeed goat milk is much closer to human milk than cow milk.


Okolwe’s proposition therefore was correct. Immune booster with increased incidences of heart diseases goat milk is promising to be an alternative remedy. Studies have shown that goat milk has more beneficial fatty acids. It also has low cholesterol content compared to cow milk.

Subsequently people drinking goat milk have lower chances of getting heart problems. In addition, goat milk is relatively rich in potassium and phosphorous. Potassium reduces blood pressure by dilating or relaxing blood vessels further serving to reduce blood pressure.

Closely tied to this property is that goat milk can help cut weight while at the same time supplying the body with requisite fatty acids. Goat milk is also friendly to the gut. If you suffer from gas and a bloated stomach after taking milk – try goat milk! Goat milk has gut anti-inflammatory components in the form of an enzyme that soothes the digestive tract. Goat milk has been shown to increase absorption of iron and copper making it a curative drink for those suffering from anaemia, lactose intolerance and stomach ulcers.

With so many diseases that compromise immune systems; goat milk may be the next liquid gold. Goat milk contains a lot of selenium which is an immune booster. Stronger bones So between goat and cow milk which is the best? Studies have shown that a cup of goat milk can give you up to 40 per cent of your daily calcium and 20 per cent of daily Vitamin B requirement.

Like other milk, goat milk is rich in calcium and its intake contributes to strong bones. Now as a farmer wishing to do dairy value addition; goat milk is a good bet. It makes better cheese, butter and yoghurt due to its high and quality butterfat content. Goats are also relatively cheap and easy to keep and maintain. The animals can be kept in relatively smaller space; they consume less and don’t need as much attention as dairy cows. Goats can be kept by elderly or young people with minimal injury risks during handling.

They can be acquired cheaply and can multiply so fast. Goats have a higher twining capacity and can give birth to triplets. Dairy breeds that you can consider include the Galla, Toggenburg, Alpine and Saanen.

Dairy practice


Raising dairy goats has already been recognized as a very profitable business idea throughout the world. Because, goat milk has a great demand worldwide. Goat milk and many dairy products prepared by goats milk are very popular. Goat milk is highly nutritious and easily digestible than cow’s milk. It also has a unique taste and flavor.

Goat’s milk is also highly enriched with many necessary vitamins and mineral supplements. Along with producing milk, dairy goats also produce meat, mohair, hide, leather and manure (used as fertilizer in crop fields). As a result dairy goat farming for profit can be a great income source for the people who are interested in this business. You can sell other products and earn money if your goats produce less milk.


How to Start Dairy Goat Farming Business

The steps for starting dairy goat farming business are shortly described below. Follow these steps carefully.

Select Breeds

Choosing the suitable goat breeds for your business is one of the most important factors of starting dairy goat farming business. Because, choosing right breeds according to your area plays an important role in their production. Choose those breeds for your business which are easily maintained and will produce highly in your area.

On an average Saanen, Anglo Nubian, Alpine, Jamunapari, LaMancha, Oberhasli and Toggenburg are popular and highly productive dairy goat breeds.


Good food always keeps the amimal healthy and productive. In case of dairy goat good feeding practices increase the milk production. You can do the feeding processes of your dairy goats in many ways. You can feed your goats forages including corn silage, haylage, hay and many types of by products like beet pulp and brewers grain. You can feed them dry hay in round bale feeders or along the feed alley. In case of ensilaged feed you can set up newer and bigger operations. You can also feed your dairy goats purchased or homemade supplementary feed with grain. Be very careful while providing supplementary feed for your goats. Ensure all nutrition elements and necessary vitamins are available in their food. Along with providing good quality food for your goats, provide them sufficient amount of fresh and clean water.


Being small sized animal goats require less place for living than cow. You can easily keep many goat in the place required for one cow. You also can keep your goats with your other livestock animals. For commercial dairy goat farming many different buildings will be very suitable for housing them.


Naturally dairy goats are fall breeders and produce kids in the spring. But by using different techniques and modern farming methods, many dairy goat producers are kidding throughout the year. And by applying those methods producers are producing milk over the whole year. In traditional breeding system producers use bucks for breeding. But in modern system producers are applying artificial insemination to improve their genetics. For commercial dairy goat farming artificial insemination is very effective than using bucks for breeding purposes.

Keeping Kids

Most of the dairy goats give birth of multiple kids only once every year. And raising the kids is an intense job for the producers. Most of the dairy goat producers keep the female goats and sell the bucks after a few months. You can also keep the female kids for milk production and sell the bucks when they reach slaughter age. Feed the kids nanny for a few days after their birth and after that you can feed them cow colostrum. After that, feed the kids milk replacer with bottles, nipple pails or with automatic kid feeder. At their age of 1-2 months, you cal let them to go with their mother and have some food from the grazing place.


Milking goats is very easy and simple. You can milk your goats manually or by using milking equipment and parlours like cow. See this guide on how to milk a goat & how to milk a goat by hand.

Dairy Goat Farming Tips

  • Make a suitable shelter and house for your goats.
  • Make a fence around your farm area.
  • Always feed them nutritious, fresh and healthy food.
  • If possible, make a pasture for your goats.
  • Make a separate room for milking your goats.
  • Take extra care to the kids and pregnant goats.
  • Make a to do list before starting dairy goat farming business.
Dairy practice


Cow milk is a nutritious liquid and known to be consumed by humankind for centuries. Its consumption had probably started with the domestication of the cow. Nowadays, milk is processed before packaging to ensure that harmful bacteria in the milk are killed. Apart from being popular as a beverage, cows’ milk is used to make a large number of products, including cheese, cream, butter, yogurt, liquid milk, ice cream, whey protein, and many more. In cows’ milk’s raw state, more than 87 percent of its chemical composition is water, while the other 13% consists of such dietary components as butterfat, whey and casein proteins, lactose (milk carbohydrates/sugars), and ash (vitamins and minerals).


10. UK (13.9 billion kilograms)

In the United Kingdom, dairy farming has been a well-established practice for ages, and today dairy cows there are bred specifically to produce milk in large quantities. The country is the 10th topmost producer of cow’s milk globally, and the third largest one in the European Union, falling behind only Germany and France. However, the big concern is that the numbers of dairy cows are decreasing at a steady rate in the United Kingdom, and there has been a 61 percent reduction in the number of registered dairy producers within its borders.

9. Turkey (16.7 billion kilograms)

Dairy farms are relatively smaller in Turkey than in much of the rest of the world. Turkish cows’ milk production has witnessed a boost within the last few years. An improvement in lactation yields and the number of cows is the major contributor to this steady rise in production. The major cows’ milk production centers in Turkey are in and around İzmir, Balıkesir, Aydın, Çanakkale, Konya, Denizli, Manisa, Edirne, Tekirdag, Bursa, and Burdur. The country mainly exports milk to the European Union, though the Turkish government has taken several steps to boost the demand for cow’s milk in the domestic market as well.

8. New Zealand (18.9 billion kilograms)

The island country has approximately 5 million dairy cows, and the average herd size is increasing steadily. The majority of dairy farms are located in the North Island. The country mainly exports milk-derived products like milk powder, butter, cheese, and cream to other countries across the world. Some of these countries are Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh, Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea. New Zealand is making conscious efforts to use new technology and efficient use of resources to improve its dairy farm sector in the wake of impending climatic changes.

7. France (23.7 billion kilograms)

The dairy industry is of immense importance in France, with more than 70,000 dairy farms producing cows’ milk there. It is Europe’s second largest producer of cow milk, second only to neighboring Germany. It has more than 3.6 million dairy cows, and a wide variety of cows’ milk processing facilities. Most of the produced milk is converted into milk products like cheese and milk powder. France mainly exports the parts of its milk products not consumed domestically to Italy and Germany.

6. Russia (30.3 billion kilograms)

Despite the ongoing usage of traditional dairy technology and decrease in the number of cows, Russia still holds the sixth position in global cows’ milk production. The milk production has remained stable over the last few years. Moscow has emerged as the main consuming region for cows’ milk in the country for all of these years. Currently, the country is investing substantially in developing better yielding breeds. Russian investors’ are also investing to build the largest dairy farm in China to meet its increasing domestic demand for cows’ milk.

5. Germany (31.1 billion kilograms)

With more than 4.2 million dairy cows, Germany is at the top of the milk producers in the European Union, and the fifth globally. There is a large difference in herd sizes in the country. Eastern and Western Germany alike account for significant proportions of the German cows’ milk production. However, some of the challenges faced by German dairy farmers are increasing land prices and a deficit of qualified laborers.

4. Brazil (34.3 billion kilograms)

Despite being a large net importer of dairy products in the past, the country has become one of the top cows’ milk producing countries. Increased support from the Brazilian Government and low production costs are some of the key reasons behind this increase in production. The dairy sector in Brazil has a strong Indian connection, as they have a large number of pure-breed ‘Gir’ cows that are native to Gujarat, India, and these are famous for producing large quantities of milk. The cows’ milk production gives an employment to nearly one million people in Brazil. Thus, the dairy sector is quite important to its economy as a whole.

3. China (35.7 billion kilograms)

The Asian country is a world leader in terms of cows’ milk production, sitting at the number three position. It exports its milk only to a few Asian countries. The country is now heavily investing in building a 100,000-cow dairy farm to export milk to Russia, as Russia has decided to largely stop its milk imports from the countries of the European Union. According to speculations, the Chinese farm is three times bigger than the largest dairy farm in the United States of America.

2. India (60.6 billion kilograms)

In terms of milk production from all mammalian species, India leads the way, bolstered by its buffalo milk producers. In cows’ milk alone, however, it is second to the United States. The milk production in India had increased substantially in the 2014-15 season. Today, India contributes a whopping 9.5 percent of the global cows’ milk production. Meticulous planning and a scientific approach have played a major role in this increased milk production. An approximate 80 percent of the production comes from an unorganized sector of small farmers. The country has more than 130,000 dairy cooperative societies at the village level. Uttar Pradesh, followed by Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, and Punjab, are the major milk producing states in India. The country is also the largest milk consumer. It exports milk to many countries, including Pakistan, Bangladesh, the United Arab Emirates, Nepal, Bhutan, and Afghanistan.

1. USA (91.3 billion kilograms)

Although the cows’ milk production has increased by 1.76 liters per cow, the country is at number two globally in terms of all milk, but number one in cows’ milk production, as in India a significant portion of milk production comes from buffaloes. California, Wisconsin, Idaho, New York, and Pennsylvania are the major states producing cows’ milk in the United States of America. Many of the larger dairy farms in the US have more than 15,000 cows each. However, many small farms with less than 30 cows each also contribute significantly to the overall cows’ milk production. Besides a massive domestic demand for cheese, milk, and other dairy products, the country also exports its cow milk and its milk products in large quantities to a large number of other countries all around the world as well. Some of these are Mexico, Saudi Arabia, several in Southeast Asia, Canada, Taiwan, and China.

Decision making

How to feed a Dairy cow and increase milk production.

What is fed to the cow determines to a large extent the quality and quantity of milk produced.

It is from the feeds that a dairy cow derives energy for maintenance, growth, milk production and reproduction.

When a cow gets sick and is unable to feed well, it’s energy level goes down. The cow’s first response will be to cut down milk production to save energy for its well being.

For a healthy and productive cow, feed ratios should have a balance of quality, quantity amount of concentrates, protein, minerals and vitamins.

Fodder are bulky feeds that are rich in energy, and protein but are not whole meal. They are important for high milk production in dairy cows and constitute to 80 per cent of the diet.

Examples of fodder include, napier grass, boma Rhodes, lucern, desmodium and sweet potatoes. Napier is best intercropped with desmodium, harvested and fed together.

Photo /courtesy

Fresh fodder should be fed after a day’s wilt, chopped into 2″ inch pieces to enable the cow to feed easily and minimise wastage. A Dairy cow should consume 15-20kg of chopped forage per day preferably in two spilts, one in the morning and the other in the evening.

During steaming up, extra high quantity feed is given to in calf for the last two months before calving.

Essential in milk production

After calving, a Dairy cow should be fed 3kg of concentrates (dairy meal) per day depending on the individual production. The animals may be challenged further by increasing their dairy meal ratios for up to an optimal level.

Dairy meal should be fed after milking so that the cow remains standing until the teat canal closes. This helps to avoid teat infections and mastitis.

Farmers should supplement their dairy cows with yeast either in feeds or drinking water to boost milk production.

Yeast fed dairy cow improves feed digestibility, increases feed intake and overall performance and productivity.

Yeast extracts increases the number and activity of beneficial bacteria leading to increased rate of ruminal fermentation and a subsequent increase in net energy.

As more organic matter is fermented per unit time, the animals is able to consume more dry matter which also increases net energy.

Minerals supplements should be provided as they are essential in milk production, they improve fertility, reduce incidences of retained placenta and also contributes to development of strong bones in the growing foetus.

Granular salts should be mixed with feeds in a feeding trough or fed with concentrates. It may be necessary to moisten the granular mineral licks to prevent dusting during licking as this predisposes the cows to respiratory problems.

Provide minerals salts at a rate of 150g for every 5 litres of milk produced, and an extra 60g for every 5 extra litres……