12 golden rules for milking

1. Monitor udder
health regularly

2. Milking order

3. Foremilk cows

4. Clean teats and teat ends

12 golden rules for milking step 1  12 golden rules for milking step 2  12 golden rules for milking step 4  12 golden rules for milking step 3

- Review regularly all 
udder health
and milk quality
information provided
by the dairy plant,
official testing organizations, veterinary clinics and on farm testing using the DeLaval cell counter
(DCC) or the California Mastitis Test (CMT).

- Develop benchmarks for each cow
and herd to assist in monitoring
changes that may occur.

- Regardless of housing system or herd size, milk first calf heifers, fresh cows next and then the main herd.

- Milk sick cows last and then wash and sanitize the milking system.

- Remove 2-3            squirts of foremilk and examine it. In tie stall  and parlour facilities use a strip cup. Wash off the parlor floor before the next group of cows enters.

- Foremilking provides a powerful signal to initiate milk let-down and it provides an opportunity to detect and prevent abnormal milk from entering the tank.

 - Mastitis control and producing high quality milk requires that cows have clean, dry teats when units are attached. Clean each teat and teat end using approved materials. Wipe each teat dry using single service paper or cloth towels, one per cow. If cloth towels are used be certain to effectively launder and dry them before reusing.

Never start the milking procedure with cleaning of teats! The result is that germs growing in the teat canal can be moved further up into the udder. Always start with foremilking

During milking

5. Check Milking System

6. Attach milking cluster at appropriate time

7. Avoid over milking 

8. Ensure proper removal of cluster

12 golden rules for milking step 5
 12 golden rules for milking step 6  12 golden rules for milking step 7  12 golden rules for milking step 12

- Select a vacuum level and pulsation system appropriate for the dairy farm and have it installed according to DeLaval specifications. 

- Always check the vacuum level at the start of each milking.


-Within 60-90 seconds of all teat preparation procedures, milking units need to be attached. 

- Minimize air entries during cluster attachment. 

- Adjust milking cluster so that it is properly balanced front to back, side to side with no twisting.


- Overmilking is considered a primary cause of teat end hyperkeratosis. When the udder has been emptied satisfactorily, the milking unit needs to be removed. This can be detected by manual observation or, for systems with ACR’s, allowing flow sensors to detect low flow and direct the automatic removal of the cluster. Flow controlled milking systems provide a visual indication when low flow has been attained.

- When milking is completed vacuum to the cluster can be shut-off manually or automatically. Allow claw vacuum to decline completely before removing the unit. DO NOT squeeze the udder and pull down on milking units as this may lead to air entry around the liner mouthpiece, this has been implicated in new cases of mastitis.



After milking

9. Sanitize teats after each milking

10. Clean milking equipment immediately after milking

11. Properly cool milk

12. Monitor milk quality milking equipment, and milking performance data regularly

teart dipping
 12 golden rules for milking step 10  12 golden rules for milking step 11  12 golden rules for milking step 12

- As soon as possible after the unit is removed sanitize each teat with an approved post milking teat dip or spray. This is the single most effective procedure to prevent the cow to cow spread of contagious mastitis organisms.


- Clean off the external surfaces of the milking system. 

- After each use, either manually or automatically rinse and clean all system components using appropriate products at the proper temperature. Allow the system to drain dry. 

- Where required, sanitize the system prior to the next milking using approved sanitizers at the proper dilution.

- Check cooling temperatures to be certain the proper temperatures are being reached during and after each milking. 

- Proper refrigeration temperatures greatly slow or stop the growth of most bacteria.



- Review all milk quality, milk composition, and milking center performance information regularly and compare it to historical data.

- Replace liners and rubber goods according to recommendations. Old rubber goods become cracked and porous and this influences milking performance and increases the risk of soil and bacterial build-ups. Such problems may lead to increased milking times and higher bacteria counts. 

- Have the total milking system serviced regularly according to the DeLaval’s recommendations. 

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