Dream For Three

Daisy in Training

Bevan has been on holiday for two weeks,and in that time he finally built the milking bay that I have been asking for for months. I need it to train Daisy to hand milking when she has her first calf at the end of July. He says he is going to write something about that at some stage.

Now it was finished at the end of last week and Sweetie Pye started using straight away with no problems, as long as she has her hay she will pretty much stand to me be milked anywhere.

Daisy has been coming in each day and checking out how work on the bay has been progressing as it was being built. She has also watched Sweetie Pye being milked in there and munched on some hay right next to it while I potter around the place.

All this in mind I was not prepared for the complete melt down that she had the first time I asked her to go in there.

I went down to put them in the big back paddock while we went out for the day, and Daisy taking the lead walked straight into the yards and waited for me to catch up. All the other cows were standing on the other side of the open gate,  so I thought I would take the opportunity while it was there, and quietly shut the gate to keep them out of the way. I put some nice fresh hay in the milking bale and then asked Daisy to go in.

Well she was not impressed and went into a real panic. Avoided the whole thing like her life depended on it. At one stage she even went under the back side rail having to dip her back down quite a long way t do it. It took me an hour and a half with much moving of heavy objects to block escape routes to finally get her to go in and stand there. She took one hurried mouthful of hay and then tried to climb out the sides of the milking bail again. I let her stand in there for a little while and then let her out and put them all down the back for the rest of the day.

The next day I brought them in put Daisy in the yards with her only source of food in the feed bin in the milking bay and left her there to get hungry enough to go in to eat. I had to put some temporary sides on to discourage the trying to climb out the sides and also stop her from just eating through the sides rather than going in.

I made regular trips to put the bin back in and top up the food, as she kept pulling the bin out so that she didn’t have to eat in there. She spent the whole day in ther eon her own and in the evening Liquorice joined her so that we could milk Sweetie Pye in the morning.

The next morning we milked with Daisy watching on, and then she got some time in nomans land to eat some fresh grass. After Liquorice had had his breakfast off his mother, I put Sweetie Pye out with cricket and left Liquorice as a bit of company for Daisy.

This morning after I milked I brought Daisy back in from nomans land and again she is in the yards on her own. She no longer panics when she has to go into the milking bay, but will still pull the bin out. However she will also go in with only gentle guidance and eat while I pat her.

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Today I put an old downpipe across the back so that she could get the idea that sometimes she had t stay there and couldn’t just leave when ever she wants to. She tested it a few times but didn’t panic or push so hard that she broke the pipe, which was good.

She has settled a lot in three days and I think I should now be able to let her out and just bring her in each day and work with her in there. It will be a long slow process, but one that will pay off in the long run.

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