Milk diseases: salty, sour and other defects


Large-scale farmers and private cattle-breeding homeowners often face serious problems: why cows have salted milk, or why they have a bitter taste and sour quickly.
The most common causes are poor-quality nutrition and poor animal care, the wrong technique for obtaining a valuable product, as well as congenital and acquired diseases.

Major defects

As a human and any other mammal, a cow produces milk to feed a calf. The quality of a product is affected by various factors, including the physical state of the animal and the physiological processes occurring in its body.

Of particular importance is the content in the milk of groups of enzymes and lactic streptococci, splitting it into components and give a taste, far from the generally accepted standards.

There are several major defects, the most common of which are the bitter and salty taste of milk, as well as quick souring after milking. All of them are associated with the processes occurring in the body of the animal.

Why milk gets salty taste

Many livestock breeders will answer that this is a natural process of milk formation in cows over 15 years old. This product is best used for feeding other pets or for the manufacture of milk powder. It does not pose a danger to a person who can also eat salted dairy products.

It’s another thing if the milk that a young cow produces has a salty taste. Often it has a non-standard texture. The product is too watery or non-uniform, with flakes and clots. The cause may be kidney problems, mastitis and other udder diseases, including tuberculosis.

In this case, one cannot do without going to a veterinarian who organizes a laboratory test of the blood and milk of an animal, identifies the causes of the disease and prescribes treatment.

Causes of bitter taste

In the last months of pregnancy, all cows produce slightly bitter milk. This is the first sign that it is necessary to stop milking, giving the opportunity to fully prepare for calving.

The most common cause of bitterness in an animal’s last gestation period is excessive production of the enzyme lipase, which breaks down fat into glycerol and fatty acids. This enzyme accumulates in the udder, giving the milk a bitter taste.

Usually this period begins after 7 months of gestation 2 months before the appearance of the calf. but each animal has individual characteristics of the organism, and these periods may vary in one direction or another.

Other causes of bitter-tasting milk are congenital and acquired diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.

Liver and gall bladder problems

Some animals from birth have pathological changes, including bends of the gallbladder and narrowed ducts for the exit of bile. Stagnant bile has a bitter aftertaste transmitted to milk. Today there are no medicines that can completely cure such defects, and such cows have to be rejected.

The second problem is liver disease, which is combined into a group of hepatitis. The cause of their occurrence can be infections, streptococci and parasites.

The main symptoms of liver disease are:

  • vomiting and systematic diarrhea of ​​the animal;
  • swelling in the liver and fever;
  • reducing the amount of milk produced.

Timely veterinary treatment allows the animal to completely cure and restore the taste of milk, and seasonal prevention protects cattle from infection.

Infection with a dangerous infection with leptospirosis

Entering the animal through the river and lake water (usually in late spring and summer), leptospira infect a cow, multiply in the body and accumulate in milk. For a long time, the disease is asymptomatic and its only manifestation is the slightly rancid taste of the product produced.

In a state of neglect, the disease turns into jaundice and manifests itself in an increase in the body temperature of the animal, dark urine color and diarrhea. Early treatment with antibiotics can completely cure a cow and restore the taste of its milk.

Chronic ketosis or acetonemia

Unbalanced nutrition of the animal, in which the share of hay and fresh feed is reduced due to poor quality silage feeding, causes a pathological condition known as acetonemia (ketosis). This is a disease of the winter period, when the cow moves little and does not have the opportunity to eat fresh grass. Lack of proteins and carbohydrates causes the formation of compounds of acetone and beta-hydroxybutyric acid.

Chemicals are carried by the blood throughout the body, affecting the taste properties of milk produced by cows. It begins to smell acetone and taste bitter. In some cases, the same smell can be felt from the breath of a cow.

Ketosis is treated quite simply by changing the diet of the animal and the conditions of care for it. It is best to get a competent advice on changing the conditions of detention and the daily diet of cattle given by a veterinarian.

An excellent cure for acetonemia is the addition to the diet of molasses or calves with sugar.

Diseases of the genitals and mastitis

A common cause of the bitterness of milk is mastitis. They arise from the infection of the genitals and the udder of the animal as a result of improper care or violations of milking technology.

In a stall, cows should be clean and dry, and litter should be regularly changed, preventing the development of bacteria in it. Drafts and the admission of a sick animal to calves are unacceptable.

With asymptomatic mastitis, the milk becomes patchy and watery, the taste is sour and bitter. Its fat content is significantly reduced, there may be flakes and protein clots.

Acute mastitis is characterized by high fever, the udder becomes hot to the touch and swollen.

Rancid milk may be the only sign indicating mastitis and it is important not to delay the treatment of a veterinarian on whom proper treatment depends and whether the cow can produce high quality milk.

Summer meals

Grazing in the summer can be another reason for getting bitter milk that has a peculiar smell. If a cow consumes large quantities of herbs containing wormwood, lupins, beet tops, turnips, wild onions, garlic and radish, as well as other poisonous plants, the milk becomes bitter aftertaste.

In this case, you just need to change the diet or change pasture.

The problem of quick souring

Souring is a natural process and is caused by the streptococci contained in the milk.

It can be gram-positive streptococci, causing splitting of carbohydrates and mesophilic streptococci, which are the basis of the microflora of kefir fungus. It is these bacteria that allow milk sugar (lactose) to turn into lactic acid and contribute to the folding of milk.

If a cow provides high-quality milk, then it should be stored at room temperature, not souring, up to one, and in the refrigerator for up to three days. If you have noticed that milk is souring earlier, then you should look for reasons in the state of health of the animal.

Most often, the milk quickly sours due to mastitis, inflammation of the follicular cyst of the animal, the development of ketosis, metabolic disorders, as well as non-compliance with the rules of milking, in which the first trickles of expressed milk are added to the general container. The reductase enzyme contained in them gives the milk a bitter taste, it quickly sour.

In some cases, due to the ingress of bacteria, yeast and coli sticks, the milk starts to foam, or as people say, puffing. Toda need to eliminate violations of sanitary standards and to ensure compliance with the technology of milking.

To preserve the good taste and freshness of milk, it is strictly forbidden to add soda, ammonia and antibiotics to it, as well as to mix products of various daily milking (morning, afternoon and evening).

How to restore quality

There are many ways to restore the quality of milk, but they are all related to the elimination of the causes of changes in its taste:

The production of salted milk by old cows is a completely natural process that cannot be eliminated, and in young people it is a sign of a physical disorder that requires immediate examination and treatment by a veterinarian.

Previously, souring of milk is a consequence of non-compliance with hygiene requirements and milking rules, in which the first streams of milk fall into a common container. It is not recommended to mix milk of morning and evening milking in one container.

Ways to eliminate the bitter taste:

  • 1.5-2 months before the hotel, you need to start running a cow;
  • when the acidity of the gastrointestinal tract increases, add a small amount of soda to the feed;
  • with ketosis, change the diet by adding a small amount of sugar or molasses;
  • for diseases of the biliary tract, liver and leptospirosis, immediate veterinary treatment is required;
  • mastitis and inflammation of the appendages require a change in the conditions of care for the cow and operative veterinary treatment;
  • the appearance of bitterness in the milk of a healthy cow requires compliance with hygiene standards, careful cleaning of the stall, ventilation of the room and care of the udder.
  • In some cases, it is necessary to limit the cow’s consumption in the summer-autumn period of the tops of sugar beet, wild plants (wormwood, garlic, onions, etc.), or add additional amounts of fresh hay and grain to the winter ration.

Remember that malignant cow's milk is not recommended to be eaten, because through it the pathogenic bacteria and antibiotics used to treat the cow can get into the body. Such milk must be destroyed.

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