Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Got milk? Nope.

Raisa still isn't ready to share her milk with me, though we're making progress, I think.  I had been worried about her not liking her new shelter but that ended up not being an issue.  This seems to be her favorite spot.
I spent most of yesterday in her house and she stayed by my side all day.  I let her in the milking stall and fed her.  While she was eating I washed her udder.  She was fine with that;  BUT she was not fine with me squeezing her teats (can you blame her?) and my thigh has a bruise to show how offended she was.  I didn't even think about cows kicking like a horse.  She did a lot of calling out for her baby she left behind.  I hated that.  Once she did it right in my face as if blaming or begging me to find her.  I decided maybe she wouldn't let me milk her because she was saving it for the baby.  Of course I'm only guessing at all of this.  I should mention she hasn't been milked in several years, just nursed babies. 

A milking stanchion seemed in order, with a board in place to protect me from flying hooves.  I was in the barn for at least 5 hours while she watched me work.
I finally got her to walk on the platform but it took lots of coaxing and she still wasn't open to sharing.  I milked her a little here and there the rest of that afternoon and again today (not in the stanchion) and she no longer kicks but she keeps moving her udder away from me.  She'd let me massage it or wash it as long as I like but after I stole about 1/4 cup she'd walk away .   It's hard to believe this animal who is so cute can be so stingy.  I can be patient though.  I know she's still nervous and everything is new to her.  I need to get a halter on her but so far she's not having that either.
She follows me like a puppy and is very curious.

She lets me hug her, scratch her ears and face, rub her whole body and even drape myself across her back so I think I'm gaining her trust and that's what we need to get over this milking hurdle. 

She was much quieter  and relaxed today and went out to graze instead of sticking close to her barn.  She and the donkeys were very interested in each other. 

She seems to like me sitting in the grass next to her while she grazes.  I probably like it even more.

Maybe tomorrow she'll be desperate for relief and will let me milk her.  We'll get there.


  1. You are one amazing person . . . and Raisa is one lucky cow . . . when she came to us she had lost her calf (killed in a farm accident). Her udder was large and swollen for a long time. I worried about her but she seemed to suffer no ill effects. So hang in there!!! She is likely missing Stout more than her baby . . . the two of them were inseparable . . . I was wondering yesterday how it was going. Thanks for the post!!! And the photos!!!

  2. So you just whipped together a milking staunchion just like that, eh? Impressive. She is very pretty I think. How does the fresh milk taste?? I was hoping you would post a picture of your battle bruise! Love, Phyllis

  3. The bruise is fading already. I've only tasted the milk warm. Today I will have some cold milk from my very own cow!