Milk is an emulsion of fat, protein (3.4%) and vitamins (B2, B12, D..) in (87%) water, that female mammals after childbirth create for their little ones. In particular, the first milk (24h) is important and contains many antibodies.
Easy to milk are cows and goats, they have big nipples. But it can also with sheep, donkeys, horses... There are even pigeon milkers. Pliny wrote that only milk from animals with more than four nipples was unfit for consumption. Two (sheep, goat) he found ideal.

MelkkruikenMilking is not difficult. If you can. And the animal remains quiet. Make udder and teats clean so nothing (dirt, hairs) falls into the milk. Take a teat with your full hand. Close the base off between thumb and forefinger. Squeeze the milk out by successively closing middle, ring finger and little finger. Drawing is not really necessary.

Per teat the first milk puff was squirted (sometimes 2) on the ground. Those rays of ’fore milk’are low in fat, and possibly contain bacteria. I therefore sow so often do it, and did the same. If you have many dairy to milk, collect this in a pan for the pig. I cannot remember that I also have seen doing this when machine milking. Perhaps it was no longer found necessary because the milk landed immediately in cooling tanks and was pasteurized in dairies?

The hind legs you can bind together with a rope or belt, so they can’t kick you. Otherwise it sometimes happens that the animal will scratch or kick a stinging fly, and so kicks away your milk bucket. Sin for the milk. A cow's tail you can possibly tie up to prevent you from getting a stroke.

You’re milking teats per two until they’re empty. Then the following two. Then again the first two, etc. Till the udder is empty. The fattest milk comes last. So with good milking, you get more butter.
The milk was done through a sieve into jars from 30 to 40 liters. These were usually tin-plated iron.

geitmelkenHand work can milk about 6 cows per hour.
Fresh milk has a (body) temperature of about 35°C, and must be cooled immediately to inhibit undesired bacterial growth. That happened earlier by placing the milk jugs in a (brick) ditch with cold water. And arranged to flow (pumping) regularly cold water.
Also a cool pit beside the ditch was used.

‘Why do cows always run along when bickers pass? Because they know those men from the vet.’(Jean Blaute)
‘Milk is the wine of children. Wine is the milk of old men.’(Herman Boerhaave)

Westerners tolerate milk for several thousands of years. In other regions and continents people are not (or less) lactose tolerant.
A good dairy cow gives 2 x 15 liters per day.

Milk on the market, lean and fat
Whole milk contains at least 3.5 percent fat, semi-skimmed 1.5 to 1.8 and skimmed milk maximum 0.3 percent fat, but almost no fat-soluble vitamins A and D.
There are 3 processes used to destroyed any harmful bacteria and provide the milk longer shelf-life.

Processes for improved milk storage

The milk is heated to about 72°C, and this for at least 15 seconds. This ’soft’ heat treatment destroys most bacteria in raw milk, but saves the ’good’ enzymes, taste, and many vitamins, it has ten times more vitamin C than sterilized milk and eight times more than in UHT milk! The shelf life is limited.

 The UHT treatment
The milk is heated 2 seconds at 138°C.: it destroys most bacteria but the proteins are not degraded.
Ultra -High-Temperature ensures a long shelf life, while simultaneously saving certain vitamins.

The milk is heated a few seconds at 130-140°C, 20-30 minutes at 120°C. These ’hard’ heat treatment destroys vitamins, nutritional value goes down and the taste changes. But she guarantees a long shelf life.

‘Not all children of the milkman are illegitimate.’(AA Bellekom)
Sterilized : scientific method which avoids milk bottles going to reproduce. (Geert Hoste)