Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Milking day

I'm milking Bonnie two or three times a week. Not that I need that much milk, but I want her to get used to how the routine goes... if that's possible, when done only twice a week.

Remember when I blogged about how easy it was to milk Bonnie? So easy that I could just go out there in the pasture and do it?

She got wise, and realized I was stealing some of her baby's milk. Oh, she didn't get mean or anything; she just walked away every time I started to milk. So now I give her some feed and milk her in the stanchion, where she can't get away.

Last night I noticed the cows were nearby, so I called them into the little lot and gave them all a bite of feed. While they were occupied with that, I drove Bonnie's calf, Sir Loin, into the horse stall and closed the door. This way I know there will be plenty of milk in the morning.

Today when I stepped outside, all the cows, including Bonnie, were in the big lot relaxing and chewing their cuds.

And then I called to her: "Here Bonnie, sook-calf."

Don't ask me why people call cows that way; I learned it from my daddy.

Watch the video and see her reaction for yourself. Be sure you have your sound on.

She knows where her baby is; not behind that silver door; that's where I will be milking. But behind the sliding door to the right. She has her nose right in the crack where it opens.

I go in the barn and coax her into the stanchion with some feed. This morning it took awhile to convince her. Once she's in, though, she is quite well behaved. No kicking, no struggling.

Once she's trapped, I step out and turn Sir Loin loose. He always wants to hurry to my side of the cow, but I push him over there where he belongs. Bonnie lets her milk down, and I get a gallon out of my side.

When I'm done, I turn them out together; they won't be separated again until I decide I want some milk.

Here's a note of interest, at least to me. I got this entry ready to post and decided to Google "sook calf". I found the definition of that was "a hand-reared calf". Not exactly my own definition.

Then I searched for "sook cow" and got what I was looking for. On a discussion board about Irish and English accents, I found this paragraph buried deep in the discussion:

"Sook, sookie or sook cow is the local cry farmers use to summon the herd and comes from the Old English sucan meaning "to suck"."

Do you suppose my daddy had some Irish in his background?


A Joyful Chaos said...

I just happened to find your blog and have been enjoying reading it.
You made me wish for a little Jersey cow of my own once again. It brought back lots of good memories.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I am beginning to thing I should have lived in the country and not the city...maybe that is why I enjoy our campsite so much. It is definitely in the country and I can hear the cows mooing too.

Robin said...

Awww those cow pictures are precious!

Fawteen said...

I dunno about the Irish connection, but that's the way we always called the cows in when I worked part time for a dairy farmer.

Not that it took much calling, they knew when it was time to be milked and were usually standing at the gate waiting to be let in. Every cow had her own slot too. They'd always go into the same stanchion and wait for you to close it.

madcobug said...

I do have some Irish in my background somewhere. Sook cow was the way my family always called the cows to milk. Helen

Celeste said...

It is the way I have heard also I have heard come boss