Oct 31, 2019

Day 24 with Clara the Dexter milk cow...



I had a hard time sleeping the night Clara kicked me over. I was pretty sore. She made a direct hit on my wrist and arm and let's face it, a 700# cow, cow kicking you over with a direct hit on your wrist is painful. So was falling over backward on a metal stool...

I'm not scared of Clara. We have horses, we have sheep and we have big dogs - I've been kicked before, well not a direct hit on the wrist, but I've been pretty beaten up by the hair kids from time to time. Years ago a horse kicked my front teeth out while pitching a fit. I've been through a bit of drama over the years living on a farm.
Clara is an easy fix~~~




I've been bitten and hit, knocked down and stepped on. I've been bucked off, rammed into, bled on and pooped on - It was really no big deal getting kicked over by a milk cow, although it did hurt my pride.  I really didn't want her to think she learned a new trick, though. They do that~~~ 
If they get away with something and they can make you flench, they'll do it 10 more times. So, the next day - the 24th day of milking my new milk cow, I took precautions. Looking at the picture I'm not really sure what was going on. Two ropes - neither of them tied tight and I'm especially loving the one tied to the hog panel that's only wired to the stanchion beam - It was brilliant I'm sure at the time. Don't judge - it worked - I'm still alive...



I'd love to brag that I strapped Clara down like flatbed cargo, but the above picture that I actually took myself totally defies anything professional taking place. At least I used 2 ropes - Ha, Ha!

Anyway...
It was a NIGHTMARE getting Clara onto the stanchion. She tried every game she could. I found a nice piece of board - I think it's a 2x4 split in half lengthwise from a prior project at the house. I needed something with some weight in case things got serious and she decided to take me. I was seriously going to end all the drama with my cow today. Someone was coming out of this victorious and I aimed for it to be me...



I got everything ready. I did everything in perfect order like I had before. I didn't deviate at all. I couldn't get her to go on the stanchion. She was a snot, in fact, she was blowing snot out of her nose at me by the end of the tantrum she threw...

I wasn't going to go get her carrots, or cut her an apple, or wait 2 hours for her to comply. I tried to herd her onto the stanchion and she spun around and flung her head at me and I conked her on the forehead hard with my new toy...

And she stopped...

And she stood there for quite a spell just staring me down... And, I was a little scared~~~ 

I had that board in my hands like a baseball bat ready for her to charge me. I was going to swing for left field. I honestly didn't know what to expect...

I finally yelled at her "Get up there..." and banged my new board on the metal hog panel...

And, she actually turned around and stepped up onto that stanchion like she was a cow with a new attitude... Of course, I breathed a sigh of releif~~~

She walked politely to the feed manger. She stuck her head in the head catch. She started to eat her grain. I walked over cautiously and set the head catch blocks without an issue. Then, I tied her leg down. She didn't even care. In fact, she politely and with little effort moved her foot clear over by the edge for me as I tightened it down. That's when I got scared of course and grabbed an extra rope and strapped it down twice - - -
Twice for good measure, you know because I knew her mind was racing with a plan~~~

I brushed her down and she was polite ~

I washed her udder and her teats and she was just fine ~

I sat down on my Grandfather's metal stool and I started to milk her and she started to stomp her front foot. I yelled, "No, No, No..." in a really deep and loud voice. 

She stopped...

Then, she started coughing like a little child throwing a fit, but I milked right through the event. On her last cough, she pooped all over. I got up and cleaned it up. I put some dirt on it. I washed my hands and I started to milk some more...

Then, she peed all over, but I ignored her and started humming "Amazing Grace"... 

She threw every trick in the book she knew at me and I didn't let it faze me at all, I just kept going...

All of a sudden she started to beat me with her peed on tail. She started to stomp her front foot and make this disgruntled sound. A peed on, wet tail can get restrained too. Again, I yelled, "No, No, No..." I got up, I grabbed that piss wet tail and I strapped that tail down too. And I tightened that leg rope again, just for good measure...

Oh, she was MAD!!!

But, guess what...?
The fight was over...
The game was done...

I milked 1/2 gallon of milk from my evil, terrorist bovine named Clara Belle and I won this war~!

I had cow poop in my hair...

I had cow pee in my hair and on my face...

I had 1/2 gallon of beautiful Clara milk-cow milk and... 
I was a happy Jen...

I untied Clara -
I released the head catch from her head - 

I swear, when she backed off my stanchion, she bowed as she stepped down 'Touche Clara, Touche...' 
She knew I had won... 

I let her calf out of his pen to finish stripping her out and walked away with a smile on my face.

Patience, persistence and superior mental intellect won that day - - -

I worried if I would need to procure a football helmet for the next morning's visit to the milking parlor, which I didn't. In fact the next morning, she tried to pitch a fit about going on the stanchion and I stood there with the board aimed at her and instead of acting like she would charge me, she walked over and started sharpening her head on the stick. I just stood there and smiled...
Then I  told her to step up and she quickly did...



I always tie Clara's foot back before I start milking for safety's sake although she's never tried kicking me since. I have a theory that you just win the war before the battle even starts =)

And now, I get 1/2 gallon of milk every morning without issue...

I've had to learn the rest of the versuss of Amazing Grace, but that's a good thing, I'm sure...

Yay Me!










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