Look at this:
But to me?
It’s my kicking cow without restraints, waiting patiently to be milked. Annie has come a long way in the past several weeks.
Here are a few things that were crucial to taming a kicking milk cow:
1. Head tie halter
My stanchions were designed for Holsteins, but my Dexters aren’t as big. Tying her head up by the grain helped keep her from going backwards.
I just used a lead rope, and tied it through the stanchion. I didn’t make it tight, but it was enough that she couldn’t move around so much.
2. An anti-kick device
This was crucial in helping me get over my fear. It prevented almost all kicks on my close side, and allowed me to really feel her gear up for a kick and thus move.
Each milking got easier. She had to get used to me and milking, and I had to get used to her. It took many tear filled milkings to get to this point!
If you’re struggling to tame a kicking milk cow, remember that it takes time. Be patient, and just get as much milk out each milking as possible.
4. Enlist Help
My step-dad and mom both helped me by holding her tail (to prevent kicks), helping milk her in the early days, and by encouraging me. I honestly wanted to just butcher her in the first week, but my step-dad saw that she’d be a good cow. I’m glad I listened!
See who you can enlist to help you in this process. Even having someone out there just for moral support is so beneficial!
This helped me get over my fears the most. I’d enjoy some quiet time with the Lord while milking, and remind myself that God don’t give us a spirit of fear. A calm spirit helped both myself and the cow!
I’m thankful to report that I haven’t needed the head-tie for a month, or the anti-kick thing for almost a week. She is calm, and enjoyable to milk. Here’s hoping that next milking season gets off to a less rocky start!
Do you have experience taming a kicking milk cow? I’d love for you to share what worked best for you.