From Grass To Glass
The cow is then milked, and this will most often take place in a milking parlour.
How are cows milked?
When a cow enters the milking parlour her teats are washed and the dairy farmer fits four teat cups to them. The milking machine then copies the natural sucking of a calf, gently sucking the milk from the cow’s udder.
When the milk leaves the cow’s udder (at around 38°C) it flows into a glass jar which measures the amount of milk given.
The milk is then pumped through pipes into a large refrigerated tank called a vat, where it is cooled (to around 4°C) and stored until it is collected and brought to the dairy.
When milking is complete the cow’s teats are washed again. The milking parlour is then thoroughly cleaned for the next milking session…most cows will be milked twice a day.
Although this is the traditional method used to milk cows, a growing number of dairy farms have robotic milking parlours. These parlours use automated machines to milk the cows.
Did you know?
Dairy cows in Northern Ireland produced around 2.2 billion litres of milk in 2016.