ANZ's Farms

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Reluctant Milker

It took two weeks of twice a day milking, but my reluctant milker had a PREFECT milking! Thanks to the ingenious device my husband added to the milk stanchion to train her to be a good girl. He added that extra crossbar of wood above her head. It pivots on a screw on the right side and rests between two screws on the left.

A main problem was that she would lift her head and put her forelegs near the grain bowl in an effort to avoid being milked. It worked, too. This crossbar kept her head steady so all I had to control was the back end. No small feat ( or feet?! )

Two things helped there. One, I held the hind leg closest to me while she bucked and kicked. A hobble probably would have helped , but I didn't have one. The other helpful measure was to lift her butt by her tail whenever she tried to sit down ... which was often. Having a free hand to do this was made possible by another clever invention of my wonderful husband ... a hand-held milking machine made by modifying a human breast pump.

A war of the wills finally taught her that she was going to be milked. Her choice was whether it was long and hard or short and sweet. Eventually she chose short and sweet. YEAH! We both celebrated. She has gotten over her fear and settled into the routine so that milking is a sweet bonding time of singing hymns and being together. She's my girl!

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