Thursday, July 23, 2015

On with the Milking

Day 10 - July 13
Again, a very agreeable cow.  Again, just a drizzle of milk.

I decided to let Majesty out in the yard for the day.  I slipped the cow halter on her like there was nothing to it.  She's so sweet.  Then I tried to lead her out of the milk room.  Ha!  Who was I kidding?  First she stood there looking at me like I was crazy, then she pulled me towards her.  Once I stabilized myself, I braced myself on the door frame and tried again.  This time she nearly ripped my hand off.  Ouch.  She was content to stand there eating with the halter on, but no way was I going to lead her anywhere.  I took the halter off of her with no problem.

Changing tactics, I decided to halter Queenie instead.  Majesty didn't budge as we played ring around the cow.  Once I got her cornered I managed to slip the rope on her without too much trouble.  Leading her over to the post took a bit of muscle.  I tied her up.  Majesty didn't seem at all concerned.

I left the gate open.  After a while Majesty finally went outside and noticed it.  She ate in the yard with Patrick for a while, then let herself into the pasture and went to visit her mom.

Queenie tangled herself up a couple of times, but no harm done.  By the end of the day she had stopped fighting with the rope.

Majesty came and went as she pleased until late afternoon.  Then she paced around the outside of the pen calling Queenie to come to her.  I was willing to let her figure it out on her own, but #1 decided he would push her in.  She gave him a run around for about an hour, but eventually he got her back into the pen and untied Queenie.

Day 11 - July 14
1/4 Cup of milk.  Better, but not much.

Queenie was out in the milk room pen this morning.  I chased her around for a bit, until she bashed head first into the fence, then bellowed.  Majesty ran out of the milk room to see what was going on.  Then we played ring around the cow for a while until I gave up.  Majesty will stay in for now.  I might try again later, or maybe tomorrow.

#1 separated the pair of them and left Queenie in the pen loose.  Majesty came back bellowing in the evening.

Day 12 - July 15

1/2 Cup of milk. Improving slowly.  Majesty was let out again while Queenie stayed in the pen.

The Next Few Days

I left with Husband for our trip south.  #1 got a job.  #4 came home from camp.

#1 let milked Majesty later and later each day, preparing for the switch to night time milking.  Not more than 1/2 Cup.  They were adapting well to being separated. 

And then, #4 went to let Majesty out.  She didn't want to leave right away, so being the impatient 12 year old that he is, he walked away and left the gate OPEN.

The first day after, #1 couldn't catch Queenie, so he haltered Majesty and dragged her back up to the barn.  Majesty went through the fence in the middle of the night.

The second day, he couldn't find Queenie, so he dragged Majesty up again and tied her in the milk room.  He left the gate open for Queenie.

Finally, the third day, Queenie was back in the pen with her mother.

I returned from my trip, and we're back to letting Majesty out in the morning and keeping Queenie penned.

Eager to reunite at the end of the day, Majesty munches some grain outside the gate while we milk.  Queenie waits impatiently inside.  I would like to build a short fence to block off the pen so we can bring Majesty in to the milk room without worrying that Queenie might escape.  This works for now.

We're taking between 2-3 Cups of milk per day now, once again without effort.  Majesty is not quite engorged when she returns to the milk pen at night. 

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