PRESS BULLETIN No. 114. April 3, 1909.
Florida Agricultural Experiment Stallon.
CLEANLINESS IN THE DAIRY.
BY JOHN M. SCOTT.
To be able to supply good clean dairy products the following condi-
tions are essential: Healthy cows, wholesome feed and pure water, clean
barns, clean barnyards, clean cows, clean milkers, and clean milk utensils.
The period when the utmost care is necessary to enable the dairyman to
produce good-flavored and wholesome milk is at the time of milking and the
first hour after. If at this time a few essentials should be neglected, any
after treatment will make little difference; for milk once contaminated can
only be made wholesome by boiling, and this is objectionable to many,
as it destroys the pleasant taste.
WATER AND FOOD.
The herd should always have access to cool pure water. If the herd
while in pasture should be compelled to drink water from dirty stagnant
ponds or lakes, it ought not to be expected that cows under such conditions
could produce wholesome milk. The feed, as well as the water, has a
controlling influence on the quality of the milk produced. That is, if the
feeds are sour or old, with a musty odor or taste, they will impart the same
flavor to the milk. This is not the only bad effect that may result from
using feeds of poor quality, as they will also have a bad influence on the
health of the animals.
THE COW-SHED, STABLE, OR BARN.
The stable or shed in which the dairy herd is kept is of great import-
ance. For a dirty untidy barn, it is impossible to obtain clean wholesome
milk. The barn should be kept clean at all times. If the cows are kept in
the barn the greater part of the day, the droppings should be removed at
frequent and regular intervals. If the cows are only in the barn while being
milked, the stalls should be thoroughly cleaned as soon as the cows are
turned out. Dry or dusty feed should not be given just before milking. In
fact a number of our best dairymen do not feed until after milking. In hot
dry weather the floors should be sprinkled just before milking, to settle the
When the cows are milked in the open lot, the chances of the milk
becoming contaminated are greater during most of the year. The wind car-
ries all kinds of germs with the dust, and in this way the milk is soon
alive with all sorts of organisms.
The manure should not be allowed to accumulate near the dairy barn:,
as it is a breeder of flies, gnats, and bacteria. Fresh warm milk very
quickly takes the odor from the manure pile; or if there should be a hog
wallow near by, the milk while being drawn from the udder will absorb
The vessels in which the milk is drawn must be kept clean and sweet.
Those that are rough and rusty should be discarded, as it is impossible to
cleanse them properly.
All of these necessary precautions may have been taken and yet a very
impure milk may be obtained. This is due to carelessness on the part of the
milker. Just before milking, the udder and teats of each cow should be
washed or wiped with a damp cloth or sponge, so as to remove dust and loose
hairs which would otherwise fall into the pail while milking. The milker
himself must be neat and clean. His hands should be clean and he should
wear a clean suit and cap; or if not a suit, at least a milking apron. One
should never milk with wet hands. All milk that is in any way questionable
should be discarded. The milker himself should be free from any disease.
No one should be allowed to do the milking who has been taking care of the
sick, or who has in any other way been exposed to a contagious disease.
There is no other food product in which disease germs will live and multiply
so readily as milk.
There is nothing that detracts from the value of dairy products so much
as dirt. Even if the milk sold is itself scrupulously clean, yet if delivered in
bottles or cans that are besmeared with dirt on the outside, the milk is
naturally condemned on sight. Or if butter is sent to market in untidy
and dirty-looking packages the value of the product is of course greatly
reduced. Those who buy milk are as much entitled to receive wholesome
milk, free from all injurious germs and organisms, as if they were buying
any other food product.
State papers please copy.