Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Exceeding my milk quality goals

Yay!  December's milk quality test results are in, and for the first time, I have exceeded all my milk quality goals.  Interesting thing is, I haven't made any major changes.  Just a few small things over the months as I have watched my test results improve.  It's amazing that these little things can make such a difference.   Here are the changes I have made since becoming licensed:

1.  Being sure to wash and sanitize my wash-bucket thoroughly before filling it with vinegar-water to use on the cow.
2.  Spraying all my milking equipment with a weak bleach-water solution after washing and allowing it to air-dry before the next use. 
3.  Being fully conscious of drying thoroughly after washing the udder.

Sometimes, there are things out of my control that can affect milk quality, such as when the cow's udder was injured and she was shedding a lot of leukocytes, or if there is a strong wind when we (my kids and I) are milking and dust (with bacteria in it) gets into the milk.  I always filter the milk so there shouldn't be any dust particles in the milk, but the bacteria is still there.  Anyway, I want my customers to know I am always striving to do my best with the milk quality for my family and yours.

With that, here are December's milk quality test results:

Standard Plate Count (total bacteria, good and bad) <2500 / ml
Coliform bacteria (environmental contamination) <1 / ml
Somatic Cell Count (can indicate mastitis) <100,000
Temperature 34 F

My goals are SPC <2500, Coliform <1, SCC <200,000, and temperature between 33 F and 40 F.  So, as you can see, I exceeded my own goals this month.  :D

Friday, December 6, 2013


I think my pinky fingers almost froze off while I was milking the cow this morning.  That wind just cut right through me while I milked, chilling me to the bone.  I must remember to wear gloves when I am draining the hose because the cold makes my hands ache.  I'm so grateful for thermal underwear and wool socks!  The high today was forecast at 27F.  I got two eggs.  Ruby has been giving just about 3 gallons a day for several weeks now.  I missed her heat cycle once again, so she's still not bred.  <sigh>  At least her daughter, Emerald (Emmy), is assumed to be pregnant, and is due near the end of June.  I hope Emmy is a good milker, and has a nice beefy calf.