Welcoming Our Second Jersey Cow
By Candi Johns
A fellow Kentucky Cattleman member called me a week ago. He is an older gentleman who raises Black Angus beef cattle. He shared with me that he had a Jersey cow who needed a loving home. He explained that he couldn’t take care of this Jersey.
To make a long story short, we, of course, said, “Yes,” and now have ourselves a second Jersey cow.
This is our first experience “breaking” a first-freshener. I expected to get kicked, stomped and danced upon by Rosie. I was pleasantly surprised.
Sorry if looking at udders offends you. There’s gonna be some teat close-ups for today’s viewing pleasure.
Can I show you the udder I am accustomed to working with? I hope that you nodded in agreement because you’re about to get a close look at Faith’s lovely bosom:
“Yeah, They’re real.”
This is what I am used to milking. It’s enormous, it’s voluptuous, it’s 3 inches off the ground. From my milking stool I have to reach down to milk her.
High and tight.
Here is Rosie’s wannabe-udder. It’s teeny, it’s mini, it’s 3 feet off the ground. From my milking stool I have to reach up to milk her.
Here’s another perspective of the girls being milked with the electric milker:
Rosie with her tiny, elevated udder. Note the location of the milking apparatus in relation to the barn floor. We’ve got, like, 2 feet of play.
Here’s Faith, with her enormity. Nothing can walk under her. The milking apparatus is so close to the ground that I can hardly get my hand under it.
Benefits of a petite, high udder:
It stays clean (spotless really).
- Faith’s udder practically drags the ground and needs a 10-minute bath every morning before milking.
Your baby can stand underneath you and nurse.
- No one can stand underneath Faith.
It doesn’t swing from side to side or slap you in the butt when you become Frisky the Wonder Cow.
For the first two milkings, we brought Rosie into the barn and let her eat something good while we milked her by hand. Rosie is bucket broke so she will follow a bucket anywhere. Our vet assisted us with the first milking. He was beyond surprised when she just stood there while we milked her for the first time.
After two successful milkings by hand, we fired up the milk-pump. We started by just bringing her into the barn and turning the electric pump on. After she heard it run a couple of times, we went ahead and put the teat cups on her udder.
Rosie is doing great. We haven’t used a stanchion, hobbles, or head gate. We just tie her up by her harness in front of a bucket of feed.
Although I was a bit apprehensive about the prospect of milking a cow who has never been milked before, I was up for the challenge. I knew I would probably get kicked or stomped, but it wouldn’t be the first time. It’s been a surprise how smoothly Rosie has adjusted to the milking routine. I’m not sure if it’s luck or the Jersey’s temperament. Probably both!
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