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Hand milking

Milking is the act of removing milk from the mammary glands of an animal, typically cows (cattle), water buffalo, goats, sheep and more rarely camels, horses and donkeys. Milking may be done by hand or by machine.


Hand milking

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

  • The top of the teat is pinched shut between finger and thumb, trapping milk in the lower part, which is then squeezed by the other fingers, squirting the milk out through the hole in the tip of the teat.
  • The top of the teat is pinched shut by the fingers and thumb, which are then slid down the teat, pushing the milk towards the tip.

Machine milking

Small-scale machine milking.

Most milking in the developed world is done using milking machines. The teat cups are attached to the cow's teats, 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.

Milking venom

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

See also


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