Staying Safe While Milking

Safety Tips during the Milking Process

dairy cows being milked

There are risks with just about every chore on a farm–and milking animals is no different.

Injuries usually happen when the victim isn’t expecting it. All animals should be considered unpredictable. A lack of knowledge of animal behavior could put a handler into dangerous situations, as thousands of animal related injuries occur each year. Don’t overlook the importance of safety around livestock, particularly with inexperienced employees and youth. Some of the most common injuries include: being stepped on by large animals, being knocked down, kicked, thrown while riding, or pinned between the animal and a hard surface. Many injuries also occur each year from bites.

When any farm chore is done by a child, there are even more safety precautions to consider. Keep these tips in mind when a child is bottle-feeding calves:

  • Make sure the child is comfortable around calves. Calves scare easily and will in some cases make the child nervous.
  • Make sure a proper barrier stands between the animal and child.
  • Always have an adult demonstrate the feeding process before allowing a child to do it on their own.

If a child is milking a cow using a pipeline, there are other precautions to keep in mind.

  • Make sure the animal is free of disease.
  • A child should never handle a cow that usually kicks.
  • Be sure the child is strong enough to control the cow should something happen.
  • Good peripheral vision and quick reaction time are important for the child to have.