O-week for a young cow

The first member of the class of 2012 has calved and she’s lovely! To help her learn the ropes, we’ve had her with the milking herd for a couple of weeks prior to calving. The noises of the dairy are already familiar and the dinner served during milking must have been divine because she only kicked at the cups once – even though it’s the first time anyone’s handled her teats, let alone milked her.

That’s a big deal for us as farmers. A quiet cow is a happy cow and that means she lets down her milk readily and is less likely to suffer mastitis. And we are less likely to get hurt. In the dairy, we have to reach between the powerful hind legs of 550 kg cows, 500 times a day. Getting kicked can mean broken fingers, hands, arms and faces.

Anyhow, this young cow is a pretty cool customer, even when being pestered by a silly pup who wants to slurp up some delicious cow poo (never let a farm dog lick your face).

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