Today is Sunday October 22nd and it was the first day that we decided to milk Daisy. The night before we re-watched the videos on how to hand milk a cow and got our make shift supplies together. A stainless steel pot since we haven’t got our milk pail yet, a wash rag to clean the udders, and a bucket to sit on. I was ready to go. It was going well especially since this was my first time milking ever. We had put a piece of cattle panel to separate the stall in half so Daisy could see Poppy but he could not nurse. It worked out great. It was nice and easy to go get Daisy and leave Poppy still in the stall. I took Daisy around the corner to try and milk. Gave her a bucket of hay with some minerals to keep her busy while I tried to milk.
I had everything set up and seemed to be going great. Started by wiping the udders down which went smooth then squeezed a couple squirt from each teat to make sure there was no dirt clogged in there. It was time to milk. (took me a little longer than planned to get started milking. I put my pot down and began to milk. It started okay but by this time Poppy started calling out for momma and that made Daisy a little antsy. She started moving and kicked up dirt into the bucket. I had to pull her back into place, calm her down and start again. It went on back and forth for a little bit. I made sure to end the milking process on a good note with a steady milking and her standing still. I finished and told her good job and gave her a little rub and scratch after moving the milk to a safe distance. I then took her out to the pasture and brought poppy out with here as well. I could tell Poppy was definitely not use to this arrangement as he went straight to nursing like crazy(he must have been in the routine of playing during the day and nursing at night) because he normally didn’t do that.
All in all it was a good and valuable lesson learned for me and Daisy. The things we both learned was the new routine of being milked in the morning and that I needed to pick a better spot out of ear shot of Poppy. I learned that I needed to choose a place with a solid floor and wall. The floor so there would be less chance of dirt getting in the milk and the wall so I can press against Daisy into the wall and it will come her down. I didn’t get this entry wrote til after day 2 of the milking experience so I will tell you a little about the new area I chose. On day 2, I chose to use our processing area where we normally process our chickens. The reason for this is that it has a solid floor, roof, and now walls but a deep freezer that acted like a good wall. I set up a feeder on one side of the freezer so that I would bring Daisy’s head to it putting her side against the freezer. I used a rope to pull around from the front to her back end so that it would act as a squeeze and would resemble the milking station she was use too. It worked a lot better than day 1. She stood still except for one time she moved but with the rope and wall I was able to give a little squeeze and she stood still. We are both learning each other’s expectations. I have included a little video of the results of day 1 & 2 for your viewing pleasure. You will see that we have made progress. Penelope was very happy, as she got day 1 & 2’s milk.
Well till next time. Get in the Dirt & Get Growing!!!
Kyle – a bearded farmer