Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Separation Anxiety

 I have a confession to make.....  my cow kinda scares me.

I mean wouldn't something that could trample you into the ground scare you too?  Plus I'm kind of a wimp.  Up to this point, with the exception of a few times, I haven't been milking Pearl.  I tell myself that it's because it's too cold, or that Pumba isn't weaned.  Excuses!

I haven't separated calf and cow because I am afraid of going into the barn and forcing the issue.  He's quick and she's protective and I can picture horrible things happening if I try to drag him into the other pen.

So last week I started feeding her in the stanchion again.  I wanted her to be used to it so when the time was right, that would be one less battle.  Next came the attempting to separate.   Maybe laughable attempt would work better.

Below is the layout of the stalls and milking area.  I made it on Paint, that's right, top quality programs here.  Anyway, because we had stored the hay in the lean-to, that area was fenced off and I kept that door shut making only one entrance for the cows.  I soon discovered that trying to keep Pumba in the milking area (the right) while Pearl moved to the stall area (the left) after eating, was near impossible for one meager human such as myself.

 Then I had a rare stroke of genius.  What if we moved the hay inside the barn so I could have access to both doors.  So Nathan and I moved the remaining 22 bales of hay and took down the fence blocking off the lean-to.  Now I have a nice little circle.

Hay now inside the barn.

Pearl comes in from either door to be locked in the stanchion.  While she's locked in, I herd Pumba into the opposite stall and close that door and the gate separating the stalls.

Door to lean-to

They weren't happy about it at all.  And me being the horrible person that I am, kept them separated  ALL.  NIGHT.  LONG!

About midnight, Pearl started bellowing.  Thoughts of Pumba stuck in the gate while trying to escape prompted me to get bundled up and go out and check on them.  I'm a sucker.  Pumba was bedded down while Pearl paced outside the gate watching him.  Oh cows...

 This morning, about 6ish, I headed back out to reunite them.  I didn't try to get Pearl into the stanchion to milk her.  I'm going to let her get used to being separated before I  try to milk her while her calf bawls on the other side of the gate.  I am determined to fake it till I make it.

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Farm Girl Friday


  1. Good luck to you. It's hard work I am sure.

  2. Make believe until you believe! You can do it because you WANT to do it. :-)


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