Milking a Cow for the First Time

We have been milking Rosie for less than a week.  She has never been milked before.

She is a 24 month old Jersey-heifer who became fresh (had her first calf) 14 days ago.  This is our first experience “breaking” a first-freshener into a milking routine.  I expected to get kicked, stomped and danced upon by Rosie.  I was pleasantly surprised.

Sorry if looking at udders offends you.  There’s gonna be some teat close-ups for today’s viewing pleasure.

I’ve fallen off the face of the blog this week.

  • I’m adjusting to milking 2 cows every morning.
  • I’m adjusting to milking a different cow.
  • I’m adjusting to life without Crumple.
  • I’m adjusting to trying to stop Faith from adopting Rosie’s calf Guinevere.
  • I’m adjusting to the thought of drying up Faith.

And in the midst of this, I’m attempting to adequately educate 4 children.

It’s been a big week.

Can I show you the udder I am accustomed to working with?  I hope that you nodded in agreement because you’re about to get a close look at Faith’s lovely bosom:

faiths udder 2

Yeah, They’re real.

This is what I am used to milking.  It’s enormous, it’s voluptuous, it’s 3 inches off the ground.  From my milking stool I have to reach DOWN to milk her.

rosie 3

High and Tight.

Here is Rosie’s wannabe-udder.  It’s teeny, it’s mini, it’s 3 feet off the ground.  From my milking stool I have to reach UP to milk her.

Here’s another perspective of the girls being milked with the electric milker:

milking rosie

Rosie with her tiny, elevated udder.  My youngest child could walk under this cow!  Note the location of the milking apparatus in relation to the barn floor.  We’ve got, like, 2 feet of play.

milking boo

Here’s Faith, with her enormity.  Nothing can walk under her.  The milking apparatus is so close to the ground that I can hardly get my hand under it.

Benefits of a petite, high udder:

  • It stays clean (spotless really)
    • Faith’s udder practically drags the ground and needs a 10 minute bath every morning before milking.
  • Your baby can stand underneath you and nurse
    • No one can stand underneath Faith.
  • It doesn’t swing from side to side or slap you in the butt when you become Frisky the Wonder Cow

The first 2 milkings we brought Rosie into the barn and let her eat something good while we milked her by hand.  Rosie is bucket broke so she will follow a bucket anywhere.  Our vet assisted us with the first milking.  He was beyond surprised when she just stood there while we milked her for the first time.

He was expecting Rosie to, “kick the tar out of us.”  She didn’t.  She is such a sweet cow.  We are so lucky.  She just stood there.

After 2 successful milkings by hand we fired up the milk-pump.  We started by just bringing her into the barn and turning the electric pump on.  After she heard it run a few times we went ahead and put the teat cups on her udder.

Considering she has only been milked 5 times in her life (and I am responsible for 4 of them) she is doing great.  We haven’t used a stanchion, hobbles, or head gate.  We just tie her up by her harness in front of a bucket of feed.

Rosie arrived at our homestead on Monday.  We had to go into the field with a bucket to lure her into the milk barn the first couple days.  Thursday we called her and she came to us. We only had to show her the bucket awaiting her in the barn for motivation.  Friday and Saturday we didn’t need to call her or hold a bucket in front of her face.  She was standing at the gate waiting for someone to let her into the milk barn.

Girlfriend wanted to get her head in a bucket and get her grub on!

 

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