Thursday, July 14, 2016

Manipulative Milk Cow

I don't know what made me think I was the boss of an 800 or 900 lb cow but this morning Raisa made it perfectly clear that it isn't the case.  She is due to calve (if I have this right) the first week of September so it's time to dry her up and she's not happy about it.  Today was the second day of not milking her.

For those of you who haven't been here, there are two stalls to my milk barn.  One has a milk stanchion in it and is pretty large and the other is half the size.  Both have gates on them but I usually 
keep the empty one open.  In the mornings the goats and Raisa are there waiting for me.  

This morning Raisa was waiting in the open stall all by herself.  I closed her in there so she wouldn't attempt to push her way into the milking stall.  This is when the trouble started.

To keep her happy I filled a bowl will food and pushed it under the wall.  She was so unhappy with this situation she backed up to the food bowl, lifted her tail and began to poop but not before I quickly pulled the bowl away.  I thought this might not have been on purpose but I learned a minute later that indeed she knew exactly what she was doing.  She got angrier and started pacing and pushing her head against the gate.  I ignored her and let Luti into the milking stall.  As Luti entered the stanchion Raisa backed up to the wall, which is only a few 2x4s covered with cattle panels, and with the force of a fire hose literally showed me how pissed off she was.  She sprayed her pee through the wall onto the stanchion and Luti and it ran down onto the cushion I kneel on. Strangely enough, Luti didn't care.  She continued to eat.  I was dumbfounded.  It took me a few minutes to regroup and decide what to do.  What could I do?  I let her out of the stall.  Another mistake.

She immediately shoved her way to the front of the line so she could enter the milking stall next.  I couldn't figure out how to get Luti out without Raisa and all the other goats coming in.  That's exactly what happened.  One large cow and 5 goats plowed their way past me and Luti decided she was going to stay also.  Raisa stood in the stanchion waiting with 2 goats on either side while 2 more ate from a pan nearby and Luti hid behind the donkey cart so I couldn't get her out.  I did put one back out.  While Lily stood beside Raisa I decided I might as well milk her.  She was fine with that.  After dragging a few goats out I sat on the feed can (so Luti wouldn't open it with her mouth) and turned my back toward Raisa.  I didn't milk her or give her more food after sharing with the goats.   Normally I give Raisa lots of scratches and kisses when she's done but this morning I ignored her hoping she'd back out of the stanchion and go on her merry way.  She was not going to be ignored.  She stood there for probably 5 minutes and then began tapping me on the arm with her nose.  How could I resist  showing her affection when that's really all she wanted?  I don't know what she loves most about coming in to be milked in the morning.  I used to think it was the food but now I'm thinking she wants the attention.  For the past few months she won't back out of the stall until I give her a few minutes of scratches and love.  So that's what she got.  

I don't know what I'm going to do tomorrow morning but I need a new strategy.  I bet Raisa is working on her own.   I'm pretty sure she won't be waiting in the open stall.  She's too smart for that.


  1. Was that really all Raisa wanted, or was she in fact saying, 'my udders need attention, girl!' Whatever the message is, she certainly has your attention now!

  2. Nope, she has very little milk these days. I was only getting about 3 pints from her lately. She had pretty much dried herself off. She'll be dry in a few more days.