Saturday, January 17, 2009


On an Internet group I am on we've been discussing the cold, and more cold. How much we hate it. We've also been reminiscing about things that happened in the cold. This brought to mind all my farm experiences which I can say are excruciating in the cold. I have written about some of my chicken stories. Hopefully my reminisces will be enjoyed by you.

This is the first of many cow ownership stories:

Years ago when our son was almost six and our daughter was four and half we acquired our first cow. Her name was Misty. She was a gorgeous Golden Jersey.

Friends, we’d met through buying a goat had come upon hard times and needed to sell her. She had been hand raised on the bottle. The market for live stock was really down and for milking cows was nil. They didn’t want to sell her for meat and couldn’t stand the idea to butcher her for their own use. She was their baby. We had the space and we had the pasture so we agreed to purchase her from them for what they would get if they had to sell her for "beef on the hoof".

Misty arrived late in the evening after she had been milked by her "mom". (It’s not good to transport a cow with a full udder. If she would fall she could damage her udder.) She was put in her stall and given the nicest alfalfa hay we had and a 5 gallon pail of cold well water. We knew she would have to be stalled for at least a week until she got used to her new surroundings and new owners. We didn’t want her out until she recognized our voices and we knew she would come when we called.

The next morning everyone was up early. This is not normal, usually it is only me that gets up early to do the chores. The kids were excited they wanted to see me milk the cow. Why this was cause for excitement I had no idea. We get down to the barn and put the harness on Misty and lead her out of her stall. While I was tying her up to milk, Hunny was in cleaning up the stall and giving her clean water and hay. I pulled up a plastic box container, the kind milk is delivered in and turned it upside down. Our son says, “What’s that for?” I told him it was to sit on so I could milk. We had goats, the goats climbed up on the stanchion to be milked and I sat down beside them to milk. The kids had not realized the cow just stands there.

I sit down, grab the five gallon bucket and start milking. Milking the cow is no different than milking a goat except the teats are a little larger, so you have a bigger handful. I was real lucky; Misty was an extremely easy cow to milk. It was like turning on a faucet. You hardly had to squeeze at all.

I was getting nervous; our son was walking back and forth behind the cow while I was milking. I knew Misty was very gentle but didn’t know how nervous she would be with the new surroundings (with a different set of hands on her private parts). I kept telling him to get away (when a cow kicks backwards there is no warning they just kick and their accuracy is phenomenal). All of a sudden I holler, “What is your problem why do you keep walking behind the cow, bending over and looking under her?”

“I’m thinking.” Then he says. “I am trying to figure out what you’re going to do with the other two.”

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