Assessment of on farm milking practices leading to milk spoilage and losses in Kabonera Sub-County Masaka - District
MetadataShow full item record
A cross-sectional study was conducted to assess milking practices at farm –level leading to milk spoilage and losses in Kabonera Sub-county Masaka district. Data was collected from 51 randomly selected farms in the sub county with the use of pre-tested interviewer administered questionnaire and observational check list in addition to carrying out simple physical tests on raw milk at the farm including lactometer test and strip cup test.The study revealed that majority of the farmers (52.9%) practice zero-grazing management system while others practice paddocking (7.8%), communal grazing (17.6%) and tethering (21.6%). Most farms did the milking from their kraals (60.8%) while others milked from milking parlour and open space 3.9% and 35.3% respectively. 52.9% of the milking floor area was cemented with only 47.1% milking floor area being bare-ground. 72.5% of the farms did not clean the milking parlour before milking.9.8% of the farms never strained the milk after milking. Regarding cooling of the milk immediately after milking, 86.3% of the farms never cooled their milk. Farmers endeavored to ensure clean milk at the farm through milking only health cows, (25.5%) use of health and clean milk personnel for milking,(7.8%) and observation of strict cleanliness of farm(47.1%).The main milking method used by the farmers was hand milking (98%) while machine milking was only (2%). A high percentage of the farms had their milk testing negative for mastitis (84.3%) and 15.7% milk testing positive for mastitis using strip cup test.92.2% of the milk contained foreign matter while only 7.8% milk was free of foreign matter. A high proportion of milk handlers (66.7%) were observed not to use udder towels to dry their hands after washing them and 76.5% of the farmers were never wearing overalls and gumboots during milking. It was further observed that most farms 56.9% could first allow calf to suckle as a means of inducing milk let down with only 43.1% massaging the udder to induce milk let down. Majority of the farms (80.4%) never had milk trainings to the milk handlers. 45.1% stored their milk in jerrycans while the rest in refrigerator (11.8%), buckets (35.3%), and stainless steel cans (7.8%). The milking time varied considerably with majority of the farms milking between 7-8 am in the morning while 35.0% had no specific milking time in the evening. 29.4% of the farms smear the dam’s teats with dung. At some point all the above milking practices contribute to milk spoilage and losses hence it is recommended that milking should be done in clean environment, from health animals, and from clean milking equipment and materials and milk should be strained and quickly cooled after milking or thoroughly pasteurized to reduce on milk spoilage and losses. At policy making level, dairy farmers should be directly engaged since these are one of the main stake-holders handling milk and that water used in milking process should be treated thoroughly or obtained from protected sources.