I don't have to milk a cow every morning. Twice a week would keep me and Cliff in a fresh supply, and Jody's calf, Jenny, would take all the milk the rest of the time. However, I am bottle-feeding Penny. A sack of milk replacer (baby formula for calves) costs over forty bucks and will last a calf less than a month. I like to feed baby calves two bottles daily for at least two months, preferably longer. So, since I'm always up before the crack of dawn anyhow, I decided to save some money and give Penny real milk in the mornings. Not only am I saving money, but I think calves do better on real milk.
Let me tell you some amazing things about Jody as a milk cow, although only those who have milked a cow in the past will appreciate these virtues:
1. Jody has never once pooped or peed in the barn while I was milking. If you are milking a cow, you have about a two-second notice before she poops or pees... she humps up her back. You grab the bucket and get back quickly, because the urine splashes when it hits the floor and you don't want droplets of it on you or, more importantly, in your milk (if that happens, the milk is discarded). In summer when a cow is eating lots of grass, poop splatters. Plus when the cow is done evacuating her bowels, there is probably poop where you need to set down the bucket. I know, this is probably too much information, but I wanted you to understand why I am so happy that Jody doesn't do these things.
2. Once Jody takes her place with her head in the stanchion, she holds her body still as a statue. Not only does she not kick, but she does not move a foot all the time I'm milking her. Bonnie always gets restless when her feed is gone (she's a fast eater) and starts moving around side to side; it's hard to milk a moving cow. As you can see, I still put the anti-kick device on Jody. It isn't necessary, but at my age I don't want to take risks.
Then I go out to torment Jenny while she's nursing, because I need her to be gentle.
This is how I begin my day. I enjoy every minute of it.