Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Return of Nurse Ratched

Last year I told you about the new nurse cow the boss brought home. She supposedly was easy to milk and loved babies. A few minutes with her proved that the one thing she REALLY liked doing was goring things with her horns, people and friendly cows being at the top of the list. Two of my most aggressive orphan calves were so traumatized by her, they never tried to nurse anything but a bottle again.

The boss’ wife helped and I got her roped and snubbed to a post, and after 3 weeks of her head tied to a fencepost and being hand watered and fed, I was able to get 2 calves grafted on to her. Shortly after, one real smart leppie realized if those two were nursing, Ratched wouldn't notice if she snuck up from behind, so she raised 3. 

She is a beautiful cow to look at, Brown Swiss/Milking Shorthorn X but pretty is as pretty does. She poked a hole in DollyMoo the first night she was here, which did not endear her to me in any way.

Yesterday, Nurse Ratched had a pretty little heifer calf. I noticed them down in the back pasture and Randyman and I drove 4 wheelers down to take a look. The heifer was still wet, so she wasn’t very old. She was already up and sucking, so all was well. Nurse Ratched’s bag was plenty engorged so I told the boss’ wife and daughter to let him know, as we might think about finding a way to milk out some colostrum to save for orphan calves that may come in later.

This morning the cowboys rode out and roped Nurse Ratched and brought her and the new baby up to the corrals.

#5 (youngest of the 5 ranch kids), showed up at my back door requesting a milk bucket. I washed one up and followed her to the party. Two cowboys had a head loop and a heel loop on the cow and one of the boys was working at putting a halter on her without getting horned. A halter would protect her from choking or getting hurt while they milked her out. We are much kinder to the stock, than the stock are to us.

She chased #2 over the fence with her horns, as he snubbed her up, and then they took up the slack on the heel rope and #2 and his sister #5, commenced to milking. 

After acquiring a pitiful amount that would have made my goat giggle, I suggested we employ some 'professional' milkers.
The girls coerced them into joining us and the job was done in short order.

After the experts were through,I strained the colostrum from the bucket, marked and froze it in a ziplock and once the ‘pros’ were finished, they were spirited away to an adjoining corral where the old battle axe could not injure them when she was turned loose. Hopefully, it will not take too long for her to accept them and I am REALLY hoping to get that heifer calf away from her in a month or so and gentle it down, so she will grow up to be a safe and pleasant nurse cow to have in the future. Perhaps I will call her “Nanny”...unless she acts like her mother, then I guess we'll call her "Ninny."

1 comment:

  1. And here I griped about milk stand training my FF mini Alpine..... I shall keep this post in mind next time I think a FF is acting too unruly!! lol

    And I agree, she is pretty!! Too bad her personality doesn't match her looks!