The rain had stopped, and I saw Bonnie and her calf were up near the barn. I figured I'd better see how much excess milk she had in her udder while she was handy. I went and got Cliff so he could take pictures, because it's rare that he's awake or around when I milk. Normally I wouldn't be barefoot, because if the cow stepped her foot forward, she could step on my foot. However, with the mud and all, I just went on out there, hoping for the best.
You can't tell it, but I'm washing off her udder here.
Then I tossed the towel onto Bonnie's back, saying, "Here, hold this."
Cliff took pictures from all angles.
See? She stands perfectly still while I milk.
However, she doesn't "let down" her milk if her calf hasn't nursed a little, or unless he is nursing while I milk. I went inside with this milk and strained it; then I looked out the window and saw her calf nursing, so I went back out and milked almost twice as much as I had gotten ten minutes earlier. This is normal behavior for a mama cow.
So, when the calf is big enough to take all her milk, if I keep her away from him all night in order to get some milk for us, I will have to let him start nursing first if I want very much milk. If I were milking her twice a day all the time and feeding the calf a bottle, she would soon let down her milk for me just like she does for her calf.