Yes. Cows love routines and are most comfortable with consistency. They know where to go and what to do by doing it around the same time every day.
On average, our cows produce 90 lbs. of milk a day. That's a little over 11 gallons of milk per cow per day.
On our farm cows are milked twice a day. Roughly 12 hrs. apart. On other farms cows are milked up to 3 times a day. On robot dairies the cows can choose to be milked as much as they want.
On average, it takes around 8 minutes to milk a cow on our farm.
The milking process includes setting up the parlor and preparing to milk the cows, milking the cows and then cleaning up the parlor after milking has been finished. This whole process takes on average 4.5 hrs. twice a day.
After a cow comes into the parlor, her udder needs to be cleaned of any debris. A peroxide based dip is used to clean each teat. The teats are striped to check for mastitis or other protential problems. The dip is then wiped off with a clean towel. The milker is then placed on the cow and stays on until the censor doesn't record milk coming out. After a cow is fully milked out, a post dip with lanolin and iodine is applied to help keep any dirt or bacteria from entering the teat until the next milking. This helps to keep the cow healthy.
A cow must have a calf to be able to produce milk. She will produce a good amount of milk until about 10 months after she has had a calf. At that point, she will need to be dried off (stop milk production) so she can rest and then have another calf. The cow will have a calf roughly every 14 months. This process keeps them providing milk on a consistent rotation.
The milk travels from the milker through stainless steel pipes and passes through a cloth filter to catch any dirt or debris that might have been missed from the cow. It then goes to our plate cooler. A plate cooler works similar to a radiator. It takes the ground water from the well on one side of the plate that is 55 degrees and the milk on the other side of the plate at 100 degrees and simultaneously cools down the milk and heats up the water. The water then heads out to our barns for the cows to drink at a much warmer temperature. The milk is also cooled down to 65 degrees in a matter of seconds and heads to the stainless-steel bulk tank for storage. By cooling it first we save energy to reduce the temperature to the desired 45 degrees. The coolers in the bulk tank doesn't have to work as hard to reduce the temperature and keep the tank cold. The milk is stored in our bulk tank being agitated every 15 minutes until it is picked up by the milk hauler. The tank temperature is continually monitored to confirm consistent temperature.
Our milk is picked up every other day. The hauler then takes it to a plant for processing. Our milk goes to a yogurt plant currently. Most fluid milk can travel from the farm to the store in as little as 48 hours. Most people live within 100 miles of a dairy farm without even realizing it.
Dairy farms, especially where milk is present need to be clean. They are handling a food product. All the piping and milking machines are cleaned after every milking. This keeps the equipment free of any residue and bacteria. The bulk tank is cleaned every other day after the milk is picked up by the hauler. The parlor and milk house go through a basic cleaning after each milking but are thoroughly cleaned twice a week.