November 17, 2010

We are just in from meeting, Carnation, the newest Jersey cow in the dairy.  She is a bit wild with fear today.  I was kicked for the first time ever.  But not hurt.  She fought the stanchion.  She fought the bucket.  She fought the hay.  She fought the other cows sniffing her.  She was just plain fighting.  That's okay.  She and I will get along fine.  She just needs some time to trust us and settle down.  Her udder is so small and she has to be dried off in a few weeks anyhow.  So I'm not worried about skipping the morning milking.  I'll go back this afternoon and try again.  If she's still so freaky, tomorrow morning we'll tie her leg back and milk her no matter what.  But I think we can do this the slow easy way.   She had on a horse halter that was heavy with lots of brass fittings.  I took that off, which she didn't fight too much.  Then I put on a smaller, lighter, proper cow halter.  She didn't fight that at all.  So I think there is hope.   When I look in her face I see intelligence.

Interestingly, Little Red came up to the barn for "Cow Cafe" which is a game the kids invented.  They feed the cows through the gate in exchange for scratches.   Little Red was still head shy when she was turned out last spring.   She let me scratch all over her head this morning.  Either, growing up has given her confidence.  Or she remembers us well.  Or both.  Either way, its good news for everyone.  This is one step closer to halter breaking.

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