Cattle are difficult animals, they look dumb, but they are smarter than you realise. You soon know about it when you want them to do something though. We had our milking area organised, a nice new concreted slab, under cover and with a light and power, with a crush that we had started building, now converted to milking bales. Bella used it once. Then she decided it wasn't to her liking. So early one morning (5 am) we ended up moving the crush closer to the paddock gate, with two extension cords to plug in the milking machine and headlamps to light our way! This made things easier as we could now drive Bella through the gate and straight into the bales instead of coaxing her slowly through the house yard, but it was not what we planned originally!
|We had to move the milking bales out into the weather as |
Bella wasn't happy with our original location
(a covered concrete slab with easy access to electricity!)
|Molly wasn't as tame as we expected |
and needed to be chased each night to be
separated from Bella (so we could have more milk)
|Bella wouldn't cooperate while I was away and had a mild case of mastitis|
She seems to have recovered and we can drink the milk again (we have a test kit, so we can tell that the milk is ok), but we're not getting as much milk as before. Now we have to work out if we want to separate the calf again, feed her on grain and bottle milk to get her tamer. And see if we can get some more milk out of Bella for cheese making.
It just goes to show that you can plan to milk once a day, make heaps of cheese and have a tame calf......and end up milking three times a day, have no milk you can use and still have a crazy wild calf! This always seems to be the way with new projects! We read every book and website and have everything planned and then when we get to the real thing and learn the hard way.
How about you? Do you find things never go to plan? Read more about mastitis treatment here.
You might also be interested in my series on getting started with homestead dairy
Interview with Mark and Kate from Purple Pear Permaculture
Interview with Kim from the Little Black Cow
Interview with Rose Petal
Interview with Marie from Go Milk the Cow
Interview with Ohio Farmgirl