Putting the ole Fixies to Bonnie Boots

Sorry to have neglected my blog.  I’ve spending my writing time on a creative piece that I am not quite ready to post yet but will.

But tonight I need to vent about Bonnie.  What a naughty, naughty girl she is being!

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Photo taken by my daughter Sarah this morning.

Okay that is not fair.  I think the problem is this:  she is one hairy cow.  Including her undergarments – if you know what I mean.  I can’t grab a teat without also grabbing a few hairs.  Undoubtedly this hurts.  Surely it hurts.  So she kicks.  And she is getting good at kicking.  At first it was little stomps and stamps.  Now it is  – without a doubt –  a full on attempt to take my head off.  POW!

So I  bought these nifty little clippers.  Battery operated.  Pretty quiet.  I tried it on my leg and didn’t feel anything.  Not saying my leg is as hairy as her teats or my legs as sensitive as her udder.  These are pretty good clippers is my point.

She let me buzz the first teat with no problem.

The second teat I successfully dodged multiple kicks to the head and shoulders, I got some hair off but didn’t complete the job. I left off with the shaving and milked her out.  This morning I just milked, she kicked some.  And I’ll admit it – I am getting scared of her hooves.

This evening was a nightmare.  It hurts her to milk her.  I need to get the hair off.  She doesn’t like to get buzzed.  And though I don’t blame her, I don’t want to get kicked.  How embarrassing would it be to show up at my orthopedic doctor’s with a broken collarbone or wrist!

I tried to hobble her with rope.  Fail.  Scared her.  Angered her.  Puzzled her.  But didn’t stop her from kicking.

So I brought out my last resort.  THE KICKSTOP.

This tool is designed to stop cows from kicking.  It catches under a leggish part and catches up on the spine.  When the cow kicks they are thrown off balance and in theory they stop kicking.  First attempt and Bonnie flipped.  A couple kicks later and the kickstop fell off.  I tightened it up and put it back on.  She stood and thought about it for a while.  Still.  Her breathing calmed.  We decided that given my broken ankle issue I might not be able to get out of the way fast enough for a second time.  So Eric leaned in with the buzzer to get some hair, she didn’t move.  He took off a bit more hair.  She drove a foot into the air – at head height.  Again, and again, and again.  She swung her whole body around – continuously kicking.

damn

This was not going well.  And I still needed to milk her.

This is when it is handy to have a handy husband.  We decided that if we couldn’t stop the kicking we at least had to block the kicks.  Eric grabbed a few two by fours, some tools, and some decking screws.  In no time at all he built a small sturdy wall that prevented her from landing those hooves on humans.  And prevented her from swinging her body around.

I managed to milk her out.  She threw her hooves into the wall a few times then switched to half hearted attempts at kicking.  I tried to not pull hair.  I can’t say I look forward to what the morning will bring.  I’ve got to buzz more hair off.  Just hope I can keep myself intact  on that adventure.

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4 thoughts on “Putting the ole Fixies to Bonnie Boots

  1. Oh my…that naughty Bonnie!! Poor Bonnie if she’s really getting hurt. But boy…those flying hooves are no joke. I guess the super slimy prolific calf drool would take care of all those hairs normally if the was still with Stormy.

    I wonder If I could do holistic neurology on a cow to calm her down and de-stress her?? 🙂 Good luck!!

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  2. I am game to try anything at the point!

    This morning she did okay during milking, some kicking but not the hoof to head variety, after milking I tried to buzz off the longest hairs, the ones I had had the hardest time avoiding and POW her hoof came through an opening in the ‘wall’ – landed a nice footprint on my bosom. Didn’t hurt fortunately. Incredible aim. I feel so bad her for – she doesn’t understand I am trying to help her….

    1. Bonnie has been a good milker for almost six months, actually the easiest one I’ve ever trained. I am assuming that the incredible growth of winter hair she has is causing this new problem, the hairs are so long they tangle in my hands and it hurts her when they are pulled. And the buzzer, though pretty quiet is really freaking her out. Another type of buzzer has been recommended to me, hopefully that will get me out of this catch 22.

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