Milk Ejection Reflex Failure

Milk ejection reflex or milk let-down is not a simple mechanical withdrawal of milk from the mammary gland. This is a neuro-endocrine pathway which comes into action when the udder gets stimulated. In milk let-down failure the cow fails to release milk in response to milking/nursing stimuli.

This happens as a results of several stressors such as death of the calves, abrupt changes in the feeds and feeding schedule, irregular time of milking, loud and various unfamiliar noises, visit of unfamiliar persons in the milking parlour or at the site of milking, change of milker and beating or rough handling at the time of milking especially in first calvers.

The inhibition of milk let-down response can be avoided by removing or minimizing all the disturbing factors at the time of milking. To avoid the milk ejection failure as a result of death of calves, the fetal membrane of cow/buffalo should be rubbed over the body of each calves present in the farm when parturition take place so that milk let down could be effected. There should be no sudden change in the diet and the feeding schedule as well as time of milking.

Animal should be handled gently and with great patience before and during milking. It is important that first calvers should be handled with utmost patience as they feel uneasiness when the milker massages their teats for the first time. If there is no milk let down milker should try again after some time but in no case animal should be harassed. Likewise, the lactating animal purchased or brought from outside should be handled gently and permitted some time before they are milked so that they may become familiar with the new surroundings.