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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Gotta Start 'Em Young...

Last January 8th (2011), Mabel gave birth to a bouncing baby girl. We waited a few days - and were set back by the weather a few times - then started her "cow" training. We wanted to make SURE she was lead trained like Daisy, and got used to wearing a halter. I modified the small halter we had, but it was a bit too big for her face, so that would have to wait.

We DID have a rope halter to fill in while her face grew into the other one. She didn't much like it - especially when we tied the other end of the rope to a post in the barn. She quickly learned a little detail cows everywhere need to "face" (bad pun)....

The rope always wins - and you're not going to pull down a telephone pole with your face, no matter how much you tug.

In between her halter training sessions, I made sure she was handled and "fondled" as much as possible so she gets used to hands being where she might not want them.

Lately, I've noticed that she has really started to munch on hay along side her three moms, and even will try to snitch some of their food while they are on the stanchion. To that end, I've also been giving her small amounts grain in a dish by herself. She likes it and gobbles it down.

Every morning - weather permitting - Clover and I take a walk up the driveway to the mail box. She HATES to go through the walk door in the barn, but once outside, she follows along like a champ.

It's her moms that go nuts and think I'm stealing their child.

Well, this morning, Clover entered Phase Three of her Cow Training - Stanchion Duty.

It was her first time actually IN the stanchion. I had already drilled a hole for my "stanchion pin" to hold the head stall over so it would be small enough for a goat, so Clover's neck fit right in.

I figured there would be a tug of war between me and a stubborn Cowette, but Clover walked right onto the stand, and stuck her head right in!

Of course, she isn't QUITE ready to be a "Big Girl", but she is learning. It will take time and training - and there will be days she just won't wanna - but she'll come around.

I think she'll make a pretty good milk cow when she grows up.

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