Having been a once-a-day milker for a long time, I’m now milking Glory Bee every other day, because that’s the kind of slacker milk maid I am. (Read more about milking once a day here.) Another alternative is every other day milking, which I did for some time also when Glory Bee was about Dumplin’s age. (See here.)
I remembered recently why I developed that system of trading days.
Dumplin’s getting real suspicious.
Used to, it was naught but child’s play to bring Glory Bee and baby over to the back barn yard to prepare for my milking day by separating them. Just set up the temporary fence lines across the access roads between the back barn yard and the cow field.
Call Glory Bee.
She comes galloping–really, galloping. She’s still a young cow. No lead required, she comes for food.
And she knows right where she’s headed. A milk cow is easy to train to the milking parlor.
She can hardly wait to get there and I just have to get out of her way. Even though I’m holding the food, she knows she won’t get it till she sticks her head into her headlock in her milkstand. She makes a beeline.
Now, to wait for Dumplin to come in the barn. I hide in a stall, letting her run into the milking parlor with Glory Bee. Then I shut the back alleyway door. I already have the front gate on the alleyway shut.
Here she comes.
I run her out of there and lock her in a separate stall.
Bring out Glory Bee to the back barn yard.
Let Dumplin out of the stall.
She stays in the barn overnight with water and hay, in earshot of mama. They can talk to each other, but Dumplin can’t get to her.
Next morning, I milk Glory Bee then put mama and baby together again, back to the field, for their day.
However, as I said, Dumplin’s gotten mighty suspicious lately. She’s onto me! I can’t fool her! And she doesn’t always follow mama into the barn anymore. One time recently, she went down the access road to the main road, across the road, and I had to chase her back in through the front driveway gates and into the front barn yard before I finally herded her into the barn. Whew. That’s more exercise than I need!
I’m working on finetuning my plan for the next phase. Dumplin’s old enough to separate her from Glory Bee longer than overnight, and it’s time to stop moving Dumplin. I’m still deciding what animals are going to go where, and there will probably be some domino effect moving other animals, rearranging who is in what field, to make room for Dumplin–who will stop returning to the cow field with Glory Bee. Mama will have to start coming to her, because mama is easier to move and doesn’t scamper around playing games with my head and laughing at me.
Yes, that’s right, I’m now calling Glory Bee the easy cow, and that still surprises me. And gives me hope for Dumplin!
(Yes, she needs her halter loosened again. Would you like to come help me wrangle her?)