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Research article2012Peer reviewed

Effect of different hand-milking techniques on milk production and teat treatment in Zebu dairy cattle

Millogo, Vinsoun; Norell, Lennart; Ouedraogo, Georges Anicet; Svennersten-Sjaunja, Kerstin; Agenas, Sigrid


The aim of the study was to test three different hand-milking techniques ("pull down", "thumb in", and "full hand grip") and their effects on milk production and teat treatment. This is important since milk production in many tropical areas still rely on hand-milking. The study was carried out at a peri-urban farm in the Bobo-Dioulasso area in Burkina Faso. Twelve indigenous Zebu cows in early lactation were used in the study. The sequences of the treatments (hand-milking techniques) and the milkers were balanced for carry-over effects between successive periods and days, respectively. The sequences were constructed by using special Latin squares. Yield and composition of saleable milk was not affected by milking technique but there were differences between the milkers in milk yield. There was also a significant interaction for saleable milk yield between milker and milking technique. Hemoglobin in milk was measured as an indicator of teat damage. The hemoglobin content was numerically higher in post-milking strip milk samples than in saleable milk. It was concluded that the amount of milk removed depends mainly on the milker and how well the milking technique works for the individual milker. No effect of milking technique was observed on teat treatment.


Hand-milking technique; Milker; Milk yield; Milk composition; Teat damage

Published in

Tropical Animal Health and Production
2012, Volume: 44, number: 5, pages: 1017-1025