Last updated
Hand milking Hand milking.jpg
Hand milking
Reindeer milking (19th century) Reindeer milking.jpg
Reindeer milking (19th century)

Milking is the act of removing milk from the mammary glands of cattle, water buffalo, humans, goats, sheep, and, more rarely, camels, horses and donkeys. Milking may be done by hand or by machine, and requires the animal to be currently or recently pregnant. The milker may refer either to the animal that produces the milk or the person who milks said animal. [1]


Hand milking

Hand milking is performed by massaging and pulling down on the teats of the udder, squirting the milk into a bucket. Two main methods are used:

Machine milking

Small-scale machine milking Melkgeschirr.jpg
Small-scale machine milking

Most milking in the developed world is done using milking machines. Teat cups are attached to the cow's teats, and then the cups alternate between vacuum and normal air pressure to extract the milk. The milk is filtered and cooled before being added to a large bulk tank of milk for storage.

The existing robotic milking has allowed cows to have the freedom to decide when to milk, but still needs to make contact with people – entering the milking room is equal to getting food. [2] [3]

Venom milking

Milking is also used by extension to describe the removal of venom from snakes and spiders, for the production of antivenom.

See also

  1. "Definition of MILKER". Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  2. Robert E. Graves (2004). "A Primer on Robotic Milking". 2004, Ottawa, Canada August 1 - 4, 2004. St. Joseph, MI: American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. doi:10.13031/2013.16895. ISBN   9781940956152.
  3. Billingsley, John; Visala, Arto; Dunn, Mark (2008), "Robotics in Agriculture and Forestry", Springer Handbook of Robotics, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, pp. 1065–1077, CiteSeerX , doi:10.1007/978-3-540-30301-5_47, ISBN   9783540239574

Related Research Articles

Milk White liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals

Milk is a nutrient-rich liquid food produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals, including breastfed human infants before they are able to digest solid food. Early-lactation milk is called colostrum, which contains antibodies that strengthen the immune system and thus reduces the risk of many diseases. It holds many other nutrients, including protein and lactose. Interspecies consumption of milk is not uncommon, particularly among humans, many of whom consume the milk of other mammals.

Dairy Organization that processes milk

A dairy is a business enterprise established for the harvesting or processing of animal milk – mostly from cows or buffaloes, but also from goats, sheep, horses, or camels – for human consumption. A dairy is typically located on a dedicated dairy farm or in a section of a multi-purpose farm that is concerned with the harvesting of milk.

Thumb First digit of the hand

The thumb is the first finger of the hand, next to the index finger. When a person is standing in the medical anatomical position, the thumb is the outermost finger. The Medical Latin English noun for thumb is pollex, and the corresponding adjective for thumb is pollical.

Kumis Fermented dairy product traditionally made of mares milk

Kumis is a fermented dairy product traditionally made from mare's milk or donkey milk. The drink remains important to the peoples of the Central Asian steppes, of Turkic and Mongol origin: Kazakhs, Bashkirs, Kalmyks, Kyrgyz, Mongols, and Yakuts. Kumis was historically consumed by the Khitan, Jurchen, Hungarians and Han Chinese of North China as well.

Dairy farming

Dairy farming is a class of agriculture for long-term production of milk, which is processed for eventual sale of a dairy product.


An udder is an organ formed of two or four mammary glands on the females of dairy animals and ruminants such as cattle, goats, and sheep. An udder is equivalent to the breast in primates and elephantine pachyderms. The udder is a single mass hanging beneath the animal, consisting of pairs of mammary glands with protruding teats. In cattle, there are normally two pairs, in sheep, goats and deer, there is one pair, and in some animals, there are many pairs. In animals with udders, the mammary glands develop on the milk line near the groin, and mammary glands that develop on the chest are generally referred to as breasts.

Dairy cattle cattle bred to produce milk

Dairy cattle are female cattle bred for the ability to produce large quantities of milk, from which dairy products are made. Dairy cows generally are of the species Bos taurus.

Automatic milking

Automatic milking is the milking of dairy animals, especially of dairy cattle, without human labour. Automatic milking systems (AMS), also called voluntary milking systems (VMS), were developed in the late 20th century. They have been commercially available since the early 1990s. The core of such systems that allows complete automation of the milking process is a type of agricultural robot. Automated milking is therefore also called robotic milking. Common systems rely on the use of computers and special herd management software. Also it used to monitor the health status of cows.


Buffalopox is caused by buffalopox virus (BPXV); it is a Poxviridae for which the natural host is buffalo. It mainly infects buffalo but has been known to infect cows and humans. It is classified in the Orthopoxvirus (OPV) genus and the subfamily Chordopoxvirinae. The appearance of buffalopox follows a pattern and is described as emerging and re-emerging, it commonly occurs in sporadic and epidemic forms in domestic and commercial farm settings.

Falconers knot

The falconer's knot is a knot used in falconry to tether a bird of prey to a perch. Some sources show this knot to be identical to the halter hitch, but with a specific method of single-handed tying needed when the other hand is occupied holding the bird.

Agricultural robot Robot deployed for agricultural purposes

An agricultural robot is a robot deployed for agricultural purposes. The main area of application of robots in agriculture today is at the harvesting stage. Emerging applications of robots or drones in agriculture include weed control, cloud seeding, planting seeds, harvesting, environmental monitoring and soil analysis. According to Verified Market Research, the agricultural robots market is expected to reach $11.58 billion by 2025.

A milking pipeline or milk pipeline is a component of a dairy farm animal-milking operation which is used to transfer milk from the animals to a cooling and storage bulk tank.

Goat Domesticated mammal (Capra aegagrus hircus)

The domestic goat or simply goat is a subspecies of C. aegagrus domesticated from the wild goat of Southwest Asia and Eastern Europe. The goat is a member of the animal family Bovidae and the subfamily Caprinae, meaning it is closely related to the sheep. There are over 300 distinct breeds of goat. It is one of the oldest domesticated species of animal, according to archaeological evidence that its earliest domestication occurred in Iran at 10,000 calibrated calendar years ago.

The Bender Machine Works in Hayward, Wisconsin, is a dairy equipment manufacturer that played a major role in the history of the dairy farming business in the United States from the 1950s to the 1980s, producing milk pipeline and milk transfer cart components, and washing/vacuum-releasing equipment.

Mastitis in dairy cattle

Bovine mastitis is the persistent, inflammatory reaction of the udder tissue due to physical trauma or microorganisms infections. Mastitis, a potentially fatal mammary gland infection, is the most common disease in dairy cattle in the United States and worldwide. It is also the most costly disease to the dairy industry. Milk from cows suffering from mastitis has an increased somatic cell count. Prevention and control of mastitis requires consistency in sanitizing the cow barn facilities, proper milking procedure and segregation of infected animals. Treatment of the disease is carried out by penicillin injection in combination with sulphar drug.

Cattle Most common type of large domesticated ungulate

Cattle, or cows (female) and bulls (male), are large domesticated cloven-hooved herbivores. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, and are most commonly classified collectively as Bos taurus.

Pig milk

Pig milk is milk from pigs, and is typically consumed by piglets. It is similar in composition to cow's milk, though higher in fat and more watery. Pig milk is seldom obtained for human uses and is not considered to be a viable agricultural product. Several attempts have been made to produce pig milk cheese, some of which have been successful.

Pseudocowpox is a disease caused by the Paravaccinia virus or Pseudocowpox virus, a virus of the family Poxviridae and the genus Parapoxvirus. Humans can contract the virus from contact with livestock infected with Bovine papular stomatitis and the disease is common among ranchers, milkers, and veterinarians. Infection in humans will present with fever, fatigue, and lesion on the skin.

Anna Baldwin operated a dairy farm in Newark, New Jersey who was most famous for her Hygienic Glove Milker, patented on February 18, 1879.

The dairy industry in the United States includes the farms, cooperatives, and companies that produce milk and cheese and related products, such as milking machines, and distribute them to the consumer. By 1925, the United States had 1.5-2 million dairy cows, each producing an average of 4200 lb of milk per year. By 2007, there were 9.1 million dairy cows but their average milk production was over 20,000 pounds per year, with eight pounds per gallon.