The Devil Wears Milk Slobber


So this morning, I was trying to lead Glory Bee from the milk stand pen, where she spent the night, back to the goat yard for the day, and she attempted to rip my arm off running away from me, so I dropped the lead to save myself. And she disappeared for 30 minutes whilst we conducted the multiple steps listed here for capturing the wild calf. Again.

She’s back in the goat yard now. (Still dragging the lead around with her, which we haven’t gotten close enough to take off yet.)

I don’t think continuing to take her back and forth between the goat yard and the milk stand pen is going to work. She’s too strong for me to handle. I’m contemplating cutting her down to nursing BP once a day, taking the morning milking all to myself, and letting Glory Bee nurse in the evenings only. And bringing BP to her in the goat yard instead of the other way around.

Not sure how well that will work due to not sure how well BP will cooperate on a daily basis.

But I know I can’t keep taking Glory Bee back and forth.

Any suggestions out there?

P.S. DON’T MISS tomorrow here. There are two giveaways coming. One is from New England Cheesemaking, and it’s the biggest cheesemaking giveaway yet. And the other is SO BIG, it’s a secret and I can’t even tell you about it till tomorrow. You just have to BE HERE!!!


  1. Christina S. says:

    Does GB *need* milk to grow strong and healthy?? :hungry:

  2. Marianne G says:

    Well then, I’ll see you tomorrow!

  3. blessings says:

    I laughed at the post Title! Just knew it had to be about GB!
    Sorry though have no advice on cows.

  4. Jen in ID says:

    Wow, she’s so strong willed. Having never had cows, I’m wondering – is she this way because she was allowed to be free (hands off) for some time? Do farmers usually do something different that gets the cows under control easier? Are you going to be able to do something to calm her down? Do you need the “cow whisperer” to make a visit to your farm? lol

  5. Darlyn says:

    Offer her cookies to walk nicely with you. It works for the rest of your animals, no? I know GB is a pistol, but she is SO adorable, it makes up for it. This of course is coming from a city girl. The only cows I have been close to, are next to the taters on my plate πŸ™‚ Good Luck!

  6. Chic says:

    Ouch! Looks to me like GB is going to need lessons in milk cow etiquette. Neighbors of ours took a calf that they wanted to get used to be led around and tied it to their mini jack donkey. They said the calf can pull and act up all it wants but the stubborn jack won’t budge so the calf learns to tag along where ever the jack wants to go. Might be something to think about…that is if you can catch Jack?! It would sure save your arm πŸ™‚

  7. sal says:

    This worked for me with two dairy calves: Take a chair or sit somewhere in Glory Bee’s area. Just sit there, take a book or write one. Ignore her. She’ll get curious and come around to check you out. Don’t grab or try to talk to her. Be casual, if you have a brush, try to brush along her sides, not near her head. She’s head shy by now…Use reverse psychology. Glory B. will think oh gee, this isn’t too bad, she even has a pocker full of grain…

  8. texwisgirl says:

    One of your giveaways is SO big?! You’re giving away Glory Bee?! Woo Hoo! That is if you can catch her, trailer her, and send her on her way!!! πŸ™‚

  9. Michelle says:

    Remember when I said, way back when, that this calf is likely to get much bigger than her mama thanks to her Brown Swiss papa? DON’T GIVE UP! If you think she’s trying to rip your arm off now, just wait until she weighs 1000 lbs and doesn’t want to cooperate! The idea with the donkey is a tried and true one IF you have a trained donkey that is bigger than her; I don’t think Jack could handle the job. Perhaps you could adapt one of my tools in halter-training sheep. In addition to leading them, I tie them to a fence for (supervised) periods and let them learn that a) being haltered and tied isn’t going to kill them and b) they can fight it but it’s not going to do any good. In GB’s case, I’d tie her to a good, stout tree; you do NOT want her to learn that she can break free if she pulls hard enough – which she now has a taste of from this morning.

  10. Enjay says:

    Have you tried tying her?
    When I worked with colts and fillies, we had a big post in the middle of a ring and we’d tie them to it so they’d learn that no matter how hard they pulled, tugged, threw themselves around, they were well and truly controlled by the halter. A sturdy tree will work too. Some of them were there for a couple of hours every day, until they didn’t struggle any more.
    Another thing you might try is to get a longer lead, like a 20-30′ longe line, so you can let out more line and get her away from you when she starts acting up without letting go of the line, since that might teach her to run you down any time she wants loose. When they were starting to get away from me I used to run the line along under my bottom while facing the youngster and lean back to use my weight to help control them. That way if it got really dangerous I could still let go of the line and get away.
    Also, do you use a stick or a come along type arrangement? When they start thinking about pulling back or setting their feet a stick tapped firmly along their back side and legs often changes their mind, and a come along rope wrapped around their backside often helps break them loose once they’ve already set their feet and mind against moving forward. We had a long dressage whip with a popper on the end that we’d use with the horses and a fiberglass pole with a hooked prong that we’d use with the cattle, they’re long enough to let you get their back end without having to turn around, step off etc to poke their behind. Otherwise a second person walking along can do the same thing.
    If BP leads well you might try working her in pairs with BP so she can see how momma doesn’t object to being led and she’ll be more likely to want to follow along with momma.
    But really, she needs to stand tied and learn respect.

  11. JOJO says:

    Please tell me this really big surprise doesnt have 4 legs? πŸ˜‰

    I think you have a calf version of a real mountain mama — she knows what she wants and has a mind of her own, and she’s stickin to it!

  12. MNStacey says:

    You need to add a nice quarter horse to your family. Then you can get up on your horse and get that little doggie goin’! πŸ™‚

  13. Susan says:

    Teach Glory to drink out of a bucket. :cowsleep:

  14. Hlhohnholz says:

    GB is not old enough to be weaned completely, though you may want to consider turning her into a bottle/bucket calf instead. This eliminates the back and forth.

    Here is a very simple way to keep GB from being able to pull away from you (trust me, I can hold an 800 lb heifer this way), but you need to have both hands free to do it. These instructions also assume that you are right handed, like I am. When you are leading here, keep your right hand firmly gripped to the leadrope about 18″ or so from where it attaches to her halter. First and most important point: Where the head goes, the body follows. If you can control her head, she can’t get away from you.
    Now, the VERY important part of these instructions is to take the free end of the lead rope in your left hand, and then pull the rope taut across your left hip, and anchor your left hand right in the middle of your left buttcheek (right where the center of your jeans pocket would be). What this does is that when GB begins pulling, instead of just pulling on your hands and arms, she’s now pulling against your center of weight and gravity, and you can use the power of your legs to keep her from pulling away. She will jerk you around, but you can easily keep her from getting totally away. Once she learns that she can be as crazy as she knows how, and still can’t get away, she’ll mostly stop trying.
    Tying her to a stout post (rule of thumb for tying: your knot should be shoulder high to whatever creature you’re tying, and there should be an arm’s length of slack in the lead between the knot & the halter) & leave her there (but make sure you keep an eye on her, in case she gets tangled, etc), for a length of time. Start short, 5-10 minutes, then work your way up in 10-15 minute incriments to an hour or so.

  15. Barbee' says:

    Wish I had some advice for your predicaments, trials, and tribulations, but I have no experience with that animal category. I do apologize for laughing when I read about them, though.

  16. Julia says:

    This is really an education for me. I’ve only ever tried to train dogs, who want to please you and do what you want them to. Cows seem to have an entirely different philosophy. Good luck, and keep us posted!

  17. Jo says:

    Sounds like you have some ladies with experience here, that’s great! I have no advice….but I’ll pray for you! :bugeyed: :yes:

  18. Shannon says:

    Stop letting her nurse all together. Milk BP out yourself and give Glory Bee her milk from a bucket. Be careful Suzanne, we don’t need you getting yourself hurt, a calf is a strong critter.

  19. Diane Gordon says:

    Obviously, Glory Bee still needs her Momma. I don’t think you want to break her spirit by tying her to a tree. She may cost a fortune in psycho-analysis further down the line! She may even write a “Mommy Dearest” book!
    I agree with feeding her milk from a bucket over making the trips to see BP a negative experience for her. The last thing you need is for her to view you as the enemy. She must still need Mommy time. She’s is a baby after all. I wouldn’t separate them yet, myself.

  20. Bev says:

    If you can’t control that young calf now, how will you be able to milk her a year from now ? Yes, I would definetely use a bucket or a bottle. :dancingmonster:

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      I’m going to try the bucket feeding tonight….. The main thing also leaning me in that direction is that in the past week she has gotten really hard on BP’s udder and even made a sore spot on one udder from bumping her udder so hard while she’s milking. I see now what people mean when they talk about calves being hard on udders. She hits BP’s udder really hard.

  21. Northcountrygirl says:

    Could you put BP’s milk into one of those buckets that has the big nipple on for the calf to drink from? That way you can give GB part of the morning milk and part of the evening milk in the nipple bucket.

  22. jackie c. says:

    I do not remember my Mom ever having such a hard headed calf. I think she whispered into their ears that She really liked prime rib. All joking aside, the tying out to the post is a good idea, and definately bucket feed. Too bad if she wants her Mama, she also is wanting to be a dangerous animal soon, much too hefty for a small woman to handle.
    Just my 2 cents, but I would never use that bull ever again. Dang, is the breeder sure this bull doesn’t run the Pampalona Spain bull ring?
    Just saying.

  23. AA says:

    My ex’x father was a pretty well known and very respected Quarter Horse trainer. He was very kind to his horses, but obviously they had to be trained and at a pretty young age (to be competitive). He trained show horses and then race horses, and he never needlessly put one down or sold one to the killers or auctions – you would have to knwo the business toknow how rare that was. He even had pens where he kept the geriatric mares that could no longer be bred. They just lived out their lives on the ranch. He even sometimes took back old horse he had sold to other people just so they wouldn’t have to be sold at one of the killer auctions. Now I say all this as reference. Because people would drive by the ranch and think it was horrible that he would tie up a young horse and let it stand there for long time. But he had a great way to do it without hurting the horse or anyone else.

    He hung a rope from a high sturdy tree limb, then to an inner tube-the whole thing. Like loop the rope through the tube and tie it to the branch. Then at the bottom tie the lead rope with the snap. Snap the rope to the halter of the stubborn animal. It needs to be the right ehight for the animal – they must not be able to get a leg over or get their head all the way to the ground, but it must not hold their head up at an awkward angle. It also needs to be far enough away from the tree trunk to not run into. Obviously finding the perfect tree and branch on level groudn is oneof the hardest parts of this procedure. BUT, if you can do this, it works well. The animal can fight it but the inner tube will give enough so that it will not get hurt and the rope will not break. But they can not win or get away. Eventually they will learn to stop fighting and they will stand there and learn patience. They can also move around a little more than just on a fence post or tree. After they are calm you can go out and pet them, give water, food, whatever.

  24. Helen says:

    I remember seeing a tv show where there were dairy farmers teaching their kids how to lead their animals. The one thing they specifically taught them was to choke up on the halter…to get a grip on the lead right next to/under the animal’s jaw…because it gives much better control of the animal’s head, and where the head goes, the body follows. I dont own cows or any large animals, and I am only reporting what I saw on tv one time, but I figured it couldnt hurt and might help :moo:

  25. Becky says:

    I was gonna say that maybe you could build a run between the two pastures with a gate on each end. Then just open the gates. But honestly you need to be able to handle the little devil.
    Looks like you got some great ideas here in the comments.
    Good luck, Suzanne!

  26. IowaCowgirl says:

    I’ll add my two cents to the discussion. Our experience is with calves for the 4-H fair. Of course the earlier one starts, the better, but on our farm 4-H was down the list of priorities after calving and weaning and harvesting. This meant that we started with 800# steers that hadn’t been touched much and needed to be able to be led around in an arena, lay down tied up all night, and travel in a trailer in under a month. !!

    We tie them up and let them wander around with the halter rope dangling so that when they step on it they get the idea that they need to stop. After a while of this (and only use nylon halters to break them with since leather will come apart), we tie them up (both these methods have been mentioned here) and leave them. They do need to be checked and know how to quick-release the knot if you had to. No water or feed while they are tied (in the beginning), then when you come to untie them be sure they know you are the source of water/feed. Usually within a few weeks we had these guys broke to lead. And this was a couple of skinny kids doing the work. For us, the dangerous part was the threat of getting drug, but we have chutes and headgates to get them into for the initial catching. So you BE CAREFUL. Don’t ever wrap that rope around any body parts.

    Someone also mentioned a burro. Our neighbor used this method for years. He tied the burro to the calf (about 2 feet maximum rope between them) and left them. They drank when the burro wanted to drink and they ate when the burro wanted to eat. ..quite a painless method.

    Whatever you choose, don’t panic if the calf goes “nuts” and flails around when snubbed. They can flip themselves and look pretty pathetic, but in the end you’ll have a broke calf. And a broke calf, like a broke horse is a safe, useful animal.

  27. Kathi says:

    I swore I’d stick to goats and never have cattle – then dh bought a bull calf to raise for the freezer. Although it’s HIS responsiblity, I’m making sure the calf is halter broken (and trained to get in a trailer) because some day we will have to put him in a trailer to go to the butcher. DON’T GIVE UP, Suzanne! GB must be halter-broken or trying to milk her will be much worse (and more dangerous) than a goat rodeo.

    WHen we bought the calf the woman told us that they are easiest to work with just after they’ve had their bottle. And yes, if GB were mine I’d make her a bottle calf. Hopefully she’ll learn that you are the source of food and she will learn to like you… but keep working her on a halter too.

    With foals, we leave a rope on them under supervision. When they step on it, it teaches them to give to pressure (ie, STOP).

  28. Hallie says:

    Wow, great ideas here. I think I’d start with the 4-H methods and recommendations and hire an experienced 4-H kid to give you a hand while you are training her. I do think the advice to hold the halter and not the lead is a good idea, as you have to have control of her head, and having a small switch in hand is not a bad ideaβ€”not to hit her ever, but to gently coerce her to cooperate. I think a gentle, but firm and consistent method will work best, but find some “cow people” to consult, as she’s not going to get any smaller! Good luck.

  29. Rose H says:

    What I know about raising cattle could be written on a grain of rice, however this evening I was watching the weekly BBC programe ‘Countryfile’ (which was filmed during the last week). The farmer was taking his herd of spring calves and moms from the field to separate and wean them. They were brought down with the sheep dogs and ‘sorted’ in the farm yard, moms one way and calves the other. The calves were put in the field next door to moms. He then walked amongst the calves and quickly put rope halters in two of them…at this point I had to smile, sorry Suzanne πŸ™‚ he led them off by holding the dangly bit on the halter close to the head to a barn and tied them up leaving enough rope to lie down but not step on. He said he did this every day (keeping a close eye on them) for a couple of weeks starting at 10 minutes and going up to half an hour and after this they were halter broken. So tying GB up sounds like the right way to go to me too – but as I said what do I know? :moo:

  30. Rose H says:

    Opps, sorry he put the rope halters ON them – not in them πŸ˜•

  31. Nancy in Iowa says:

    And here I thought having a calf on the farm would be an easy, fun, and loving experience! At least she’s highly entertaining – to your readers, that is!!!

    Best of luck!!!

  32. Miss Becky says:

    But…but Glory Bee is so cute! How can she be so unruly? She’s simply too adorable to be that stubborn. I have faith that sooner or later you and Glory Bee will get through these trying times. And a video of you leading her around docilely with be forthcoming. And I CANT WAIT for that one! :yes: :yes: :yes:

  33. Dani says:

    Having broken many a calf to lead I know that you should leave that lead rope on her. It will be easier to catch her if you have that rope to step on. Also tie her up for a few hours a day. Tie her close so she cannnot lay down. Three work with get every day. They love to have their bellies scratched. They sell sticks just for that purpose usually used if you show cattle. I don’t know what the sticks are called though. Best of luck. Keep us posted.

  34. Hlhohnholz says:

    They’re called show sticks, Dani. πŸ™‚

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Well, tonight, BP would NOT let down her milk! I couldn’t get more than about 1/2 cup out of her. My routine has been to milk her in the mornings myself, let Glory Bee finish up just at the end, but mostly I take it all in the morning. Then in the evenings, I have been letting Glory Bee have her in the milk stand. Tonight, with Glory Bee in the goat yard, BP wouldn’t let down anything into her udder. i finally gave up. She should be really full in the morning and I’ll try to bucket feed Glory Bee some milk then.

  35. jan~n~tn says:

    All good advice: Bucket feeding. Tie her up so she has just enough rope to lay down(after dancing herself tired). Then she will be glad to see you coming with her milk bucket and maybe even some petting and touching. You have now got to take over the mommy jobs (food and comfort)…..although, if it was me, I’d leave that butt-licking thing out.LOL

  36. Melinda from Southwest Washington says:

    Suzanne, I think you are doing the right thing by taking GB off BP totally and feeding her from a bucket. It will take a few days of shear determination on your part to get GB on what we called the tit bucket. But in a few days Glory Bee will be looking forward to seeing you. But she might just be too big to start a bucket. How old is she now? You will be able to give her grain working toward the time when you can wein her totally from milk. I’d ask a local farmer/dairy friend and your local feed store on what is recommended now. Methods have changed over the years. But if you think GB in hard to BP udder you have not seen anything until she bangs the bucket. Good luck on taming Glory Bee.

  37. Whaledancer says:

    Wow, she’s really getting big fast! I wonder what she weighs by now?

    I have no advice, but I’m sure your stubborn determination will see you through this. I have confidence in you.

  38. Leah says:

    From what I’ve read here, I would tie her for increasing peroids of time then briing her the milk and pet her. Good luck.

  39. cricketjett says:

    I know from personal experiences, from breaking calves to lead for 4H that you have to have control of the calf’s head. How we did this was first hook the lead rein as usually. Next run the end of the lead rein thru the side ring of the halter over GB’s nose then thru the other side ring. Depending whether you are left or right handed will determine which side ring you start with. Suzanne you have to hold the lead rein right against the side of her head for control. When GB starts to pull away, pull down on the lead rein and pull her head back against you and lead her back around in a tight circle. Then begin again. YOU CAN DO THIS!! I was just 9 years old and could hold a calf larger than GB. After you gain control of GB this way, you can start to tie her for short periods. We ALWAYS stayed with our calves while tying them, this is the time to rub and brush that calf from head to toe. Then when they are used to being tied, you can leave her for short periods. I know this is difficult for you. When you have your barn it will make a world of difference for you as you can do this training in a confined space.
    Again, don’t give up, you can do it. I have faith in you.

  40. Deanna says:

    Good advice on tying GB up. The inner tube thing really works. I showed calves in 4-H too and this was always the first step.
    Tie the lead to an old piece of inner tube, tie the tube to a strong post or tree.
    She’ll learn that she can’t win when she pulls. The tube pulls back.
    We also used to lock one brake on a tractor and tie the calf behind it and set it all in motion in a big field. The tractor would drive itself in circles and the calf would follow.
    You can’t let her head get away from you, as posted above. Sounds horrible, but stick your fingers in her nose to gain control or twist an ear until she’s paying attention.
    Mentally, you only need to think about controlling a small part of her, not the whole body. Imagine how you’d react if someone had their fingers in your nose….you’d pretty much follow them wherever!!
    If she’s balking and not wanting to walk, grab her tail and pull it up over her back. She’ll want to get away from THAT!! Sort of to one side, not straight up.
    Don’t give up. You CAN DO THIS!

  41. Jersey Lady says:

    I have asked this before, but it is important so I will keep at it. Are you watching for BP coming into heat, which is every 3 weeks? You want to get her bred right back. If you don’t know what to watch for, ask your dairy friend or your Vet. If you can’t catch her in heat, the Vet can give her a shot to bring her into heat. Don’t be messing around with a bull. If your friend or Vet cannot breed her, ask them who can. Use Jersey semen since that is what she is, not from a beef or larger dairy breed. Jerseys throw small calves that deliver easily. You were fortunate not to have had troubles with BP delivering GB since Brown Swiss are huge.
    I am concerned about the sore place on BP’s udder. Is it a lump/bump or a raw spot? Do you have some udder cream to use on it?
    Sorry to be bugging so much, but just want things to go well for all of you.

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Jersey Lady, I haven’t figured out the heat thing yet. I’m leery about getting her bred because I haven’t figured out how to control Glory Bee yet. I’m afraid of starting down the road to another calf when I haven’t gotten control of this one yet!

  42. MJ says:

    This post and the reader comments really show the disparity between the idealized version of farm life and the hard reality. You have so many readers who have come by their knowledge through hard-earned experience, Suzanne–those are the voices you should listen to when it comes to subduing the beautiful but bratty Glory Bee. I know you will conquer that obstreperous bovine!

  43. Sonia says:

    Wish I could help, but my experience is limited to the canine breed. However, if I was looking for advice on halter/lead breaking a calf I would ask a local dairy farmer for their advise. Even the 4-H club could help with some much needed information. In reading the comments, #14 had some really good ideas to work with and it sounds as if they have a lot of experience in dealing with this kind of situation. The idea of bottle feeding, at least once a day just sounds like a perfect way to bond with your calf.

  44. glenda says:

    Suzanne, I left a post about this on another thread???

    I bring Willow to her calf…..not the other way round. The momma cows will be very willing to go to their babies…they love ’em; that’s why they hold up that milk! I have the champion holder upper in Willow.

    I had to quit sharing at the same time as I milked because the calf is now over three month’s old and can lift Willow off her feet when he butts her. I don’t wean to a bucket…that way if I have to be away at feed time, no one has to milk the cow to feed the baby. I could even just turn the baby/babies into the field with Willow and be gone for a week.

    Recently, I made a gate for the pen just in front of willow’s feed bunk. She can now eat and see her babies in front of her. At first she wouldn’t let down and I would have to let the calf out to nurse….yesterday I had my first successful milking without the calf causing letdown. She held it up for a while but soon her udder filled and I got the milk bucket almost filled…all without the calf on the other side. I will know better this morning if she also let down her cream…..

    I did turn the calf out with her just so she could have some Mommie time with him pushing and shoving on her udder…..after I finished milking.

    Have patience; it can be done.

    Of course, I don’t have to contend with goats maybe wanting to pop through that opened gate while getting the cow into the goat yard. Maybe feed them first.

    Let us know how it works out.

    Tip: Can you tie BP to a post inside the goat yard so you don’t have to chase her down to let her back out to pasture. I use a snap on the end of a rope tied to the post so I just have to snap it onto her halter.

  45. Callie says:

    How about a temporary calf weaning ring?

  46. Jersey Lady says:

    Suzanne,once BP is bred you will have 9 months to figure out GB before another calf comes along. It is best to keep cows cycling with a calf a year. It is how their bodies work.
    After 3 months, if GB is eating several pounds of grain a day,she does not need any milk. She will need nice hay and fresh water. Wean her off milk and think how easy your life will be.
    You want to get dairy calves past the sucking thing as soon as possible (I wean from bottle to bucket at 2 weeks) so that they do not suck on each other or the cows when they are older. It can cause premature udder developement in heifers and mastitis in cows. As you can see already, older calves can damage udders.
    I do not know if GB would try to suck on the goats, or the kids on her, if she lives in the goat pasture.I think it would be okay but keep an eye out for that at first.
    Honestly, BP will be just fine without GB. She will get on with her life and work, which is milking for you and growing her next calf.

  47. Jeanne says:

    Suzanne you have gotten some excellent advice on breaking GB to lead. You are trying to lead her with the halter and not the neck collar right? Because if you are using the neck collar you are giving her help in pulling away from you. She can use her legs and torso to put every bit of her weight into escaping from you. She may have the Jersey head and coloring but she is built like a Brown Swiss. If her halter doesn’t fit well enough to lead her get the smallest rope halter you can find, or make you own using a regular sized halter as a guide. Keep the head up as it is harder for a cow to use her body & legs to push. If she tries to bolt, do tight circles, pretend you are ballerinas. You may be dizzy by the time you get anywhere but it keeps her from building up speed. If she won’t walk on a lead this is what my sisters and I did (got the idea from a horse magazine). One of us would be on the halter (works better with two but can be done by one person), the other would have a second rope that was looped around the calf’s rump. Best position is just above the hocks. Pull on the halter to start, if the calf balks pull the rope around the caboose to move the back legs forward (while still pulling on the halter). The calf gets the chance to move to the halter tug but if it doesn’t the rump rope moves their feet any ways. My 9 & 10 yr old sisters could break a calf to lead doing this as a team and as a 12-13 yr old I could do it by myself. This was our preferred method for the stubborn ones. Some calves would be broke to lead in a couple of days, some had to have rump rope for a week or more, a few really stubborn ones had to have a refresher course occasionally ( rope halters with long leads were great for this because if one balked all we did was loop the rope around their rear and many times just the feel of the rope was enough to make them move along, we didn’t even have to pull). You may need to enlist Weston’s help. He is solid enough that GB will have a harder time pulling him and I’m guessing/hoping that he doesn’t view her as the “baby” but as a small cow. Because as the “baby” you are going to cut her some slack and view her antics as cute, looking at her as a future cow you are going to have work with gives you a bigger incentive to be strict now and gain control.

    I think you are right in that you need to wean GB now. This gives you control of her food/life and at 2.5 months you probably could totally wean her off milk if you wanted. She needs a high quality calf starter that you dole out to her, not given free choice (they are usually sweetened with molasses to make the calf interested in eating. You make a schedule of feeding her 2-3 times a day, she must come to you to get the good stuff. She should have water and hay should be available at all times. Probably the finer stemmed grass hay, you may have to select the finer flakes for just Glory Bee until she gets a bit older and will chow down on every thing (think teenager). I wouldn’t mess with a nipple bucket, if she is rammer you will be wearing the milk or she will knock the bucket off of whatever you hang it on and waste the milk. Bottles are easier to hold, don’t need a hanger but can be hung if you wish, if it gets knocked down you just pick it up (although some calves become very adept at pulling the nipple of the bottle and even the bucket) and you can hold a calf at the same time as he bottle. But what I would do is get just a nipple for the bottle and use that to get her to drink out of a bucket of milk. To be honest though she may not use a rubber nipple since she was with her dam for so long. Oh and if you use your fingers to get her to drink be aware that she has razor sharp lower teeth and they hurt and cut fingers and teats (think huge paper cuts) if her tongue isn’t in the right position.

    As for BP not letting down her milk I think you need to take up massage. Do your usual routine in getting ready, take a couple of pulls on each teat (or the 2 quarters you are going to milk, it is called prepping the udder) and then massage her udder, if you usually brush her do that too and then massage a little more (you are getting her relaxed and in the mood lol ). We often had to do this with the show string, especially the first timers. Cows like routine, they thrive on routine, change is not necessarily a good thing to a cow unless it involves greener grass. As for breeding BP back please consider that the gestation for cows is around 9 months. Given that you don’t have a barn or small shed to confine BP in you really wouldn’t want a calf born any later that early to mid-October. Since BP’s job is to provide you with milk and not produce milk for a living, if she goes open longer than usual it is not as big a concern. To catch her in heat you will probably have to very observant of her body discharges and attitude. She should cycle every three weeks, some cows don’t seem to noticeably cycle (at least to human observers, bulls on the other hand notice immediately) for up to 2 months after calving, some are back on cyle in the first three weeks. This is a time when having multiple cows is a great help. This is also something you will get better at telling as time goes on and you become more familiar with BP’s life.

  48. Lisabeth Olson says:

    Suzanne I have many cows of different breeds. When one gets out or we need to move them into another area and they would rather run than come. I try my first thought which is to get the grain bucket. You see that is the one thing that you can give to all of your cattle. I have a 2,000 pound bull that will run the world to death to play when I want him to go where I want him, but get the grain pan or bucket and let him have a mouthful and then move a couple of feet while he eats that then do it again and again and again. You have him eating out of your hand. I have some that all I have to do is call them with the pan in my hand and they will come. It doesn’t matter if they are hungry or not they will come. That calf needs to learn that YOU ARE THE BOSS. It doesn’t matter your size. Feed the calf and if she doesn’t eat take it away and don’t give her anything else until the next feeding time. DON’T FEED HER IN BETWEEN. You have to set the rules and she has to know you are the boss. Later when she is gentle with you you can train her to let you milk her by sitting by her and petting her udder. She WILL settle down, I promise. From now on when you get a new calf bottle train them and in a week or so bucket train them. You will be doing yourself a favor. The calves need to suck, but there is nothing that says they can’t suck on your fingers instead of a teat. I raise calves and I bottle train some of them and bucket train every one. If a calf doesn’t want to try the bottle or bucket the first time or two they will when the get hungry enough. Then Miss Glory Bee will know that you are her other mother and food source. Now she only sees you as a threat and it may become a game if you don’t do one of the suggestions your friends has given you.

  49. Christy Miller says:

    Hi Suzanne, My husband Gail says to take a look at how you have the lead on her. Make a calf halter and put it on her head then you have leverage on her and can control her better. When the lead is on her neck she has leverage on you. Good luck!! πŸ™‚

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