Caramel's mother, Smarty Pants, is a new mother. She is also a super mother. For the past few days, we have had to hide Caramel when Smarty Pants comes up to be milked. And of course we had to give Caramel a little treat to keep her quiet while mom was walking past the hidey-hole.
Sunday night, it took four of us to milk her. Monday morning, there were three of us here. Monday evening, Kathy and I handled it alone, but it probably added 45 minutes to our milking time. And in the process, I was shat upon - probably the worst in my three years of doing this.
Androo came down again yesterday morning, and it went pretty well with the three of us. Last night Kathy and I went at it alone again, and by the time we were done, we were smiling! Smarty Pants behaved the best she has so far, AND we left her calf out when we brought her in. There was a little fussing, but we got her in the barn.
For some reason, she demands a great deal of attention during this whole process, more than any cow I've ever handled. It is interesting, how different these girls are. Smarty Pants is responding to much loving, face scratching and patting.
Monday morning when we were done milking, Kathy thought one quarter wasn't milked out, but we took the milker off rather than having her kick it off. So while Smarty Pants was standing in the holding pen outside the barn, I went up to her and starting milking out that quarter by hand. Now understand, there were no restraints on her, no one was cuddling her or scratching her, and she just stood there and let me milk her!
You could have knocked me over with a feather, She was enjoying it - being milked by hand in the great outdoors. I said to Kathy, "What, she thinks I am Heidi, milking her in the meadow?"
So now I am milking out each quarter just a bit by hand before we attempt putting the milker on her. Last night, we got her milked in a reasonable amount of time. She didn't kick the milker off once. My clothes didn't have to be soaked to remove manure stains. One of farm life's small pleasures.