Hmmm; what to do, what to do.
Since I've been having to milk every morning anyhow, I decided to put Max in the stall overnight. That way I can milk from the cow's right side and he can have what's on her left. I've done this with Bonnie's previous calves when I needed milk. This plan, I thought, would help
I awoke this morning to a bovine chorus which, loosely translated, is this: "Mommy, I'm dying of starvation!" "My baby, my baby, I want to feed you and I can't get in there with you!" All this repeated ad nauseam, resonating clearly through my open bedroom window.
I got out of bed, quickly drank a cup of coffee, grabbed my bucket, and went to the barn.
It was no trick getting Bonnie in the barn and in her stanchion; after all, there's food there. Once I had her secured I went out and slid the stall door open, turning Max loose. Now all he had to do was take two or three steps, see his mother through the open door of the barn, join her, and latch on.
He did step through once, but promptly left, bawling his head off.
This made Bonnie nervous, and she stomped around some and mooed an answer to her baby. He answered back, but didn't come near the open door.
When a cow gets nervous, she poops and pees. A lot, and often. So there I was snatching my bucket up and dodging excrement and urine every minute or so, pitchforking out the manure so I didn't have to have my bare feet in it as I milked, and resuming the milking procedure when the coast seemed clear. A couple of times I set the bucket on a stool and went out to try and guide the calf into the barn with his mother, to no avail. Finally, when I was almost done milking the two teats on my side, Max entered and I shut the door so he couldn't leave. And at long last, he discovered the breakfast bar.
I noticed that when he's really hungry, he doesn't care which teat he sucks on.
I'll repeat this whole procedure every morning until Max starts emptying the cow's udder on his own. I plan to make cheese with the two gallons of milk I brought in today. Last time I attempted making cheddar cheese, it turned out to be crumbly, similar to feta cheese. It's delicious, and we're using it in salads. I hope my efforts this time actually produce something like cheddar, but I won't be unhappy with more feta-type cheese.
Oh , due to the fact that I was outside before daylight, I heard something I had not heard in ages: Coyotes were howling! In the old days when I milked several cows and bottle-fed calves twice a day, I often did the chores in the predawn hours, and most mornings I'd hear coyotes yipping and howling. I had forgotten how they raise cain when they hear a train whistle.