I finished my last post saying that there was more to tell about our barn cleanin’ day. The second part is the real reason my sister, Bailey, came down to the farm: She loves to milk cows. She really just likes cattle. Period. Jersey’s are her favorite, though, because they’re “really pretty.” And she wanted to reminisce about the days when the farmer’s parents ran the dairy farm and we toodled around without a care in the world about anything important.
This is our dairy barn. When you milk, you’re down in a pit so that it’s easier to get under the cow and put the milk machine on the udder. Our vacuum pump is only capable of running four of the suction machine dealy-bobs at a time, so we can only milk 4 cows at a time. The other 4 cows on the other side or just kinda’ chillin, enjoying the buffet, and waiting for their turn. See, we feed our cows in the barn, so they’re happy to come to work every day.
Bailey is a lot less cautious about our ornery cows than I am. We have a few that would kick the livin’ daylights out of you without a second thought. We have “kickers” for this. But, it’s really an anti-kicking device made of metal that hooks around their hip and under the leg. It doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get kicked. I’ve seen cows get out of them a time or two. It just makes it mighty uncomfortable for them to lift their leg.
When the cows come in, the farmer and I have a little process that we do. I look at him imploringly and he says, “No, no, yes, yes.” This means that the first two cars are ornery, but I can wash the back two. He doesn’t say that every time. Just sometimes. Bailey cracks me up, though. She listens to him and gets started on her process and then moves up to the ones he said “no” about and proceeds to do them, too. I’m like, “Bailey, BAILEY! She’s a kicker!” She laughed and said, “Well, she let me do it!” Then there was another cow that kicked upon the first touch of the cleaning rag. What does Bailey do? She starts to wash her again. She kicks again. This cycle continues until the farmer tells Bailey to grab her tail and then she was able to wash everything. I gotta’ give it to her. She has a lot more tenacity than I do. Or maybe it’s the fact that my sister’s as bull-headed a girl as I’ve ever seen and that cow was NOT going to win. Bailey’s a lot of fun and I see a lot of the qualities I love about her in my daughter. Whatever Peanut’s trying to tackle WILL get accomplished. That’s how the farmer is, too, though. Don’t tell him he can’t do something, especially if it would take brute force. He thrives on proving people wrong.
We wanted to give Bailey the authentic experience so the farmer put this on her. He wears this a lot in the winter when it’s miserable to get sloshed with all kinds of water, manure, etc. It helps keep your clothes clean, too, but we already know this precaution is a little late for Bailey’s current outfit.
I would like to title this picture “The Dairymaid that actually milks because the real Dairymaid is always taking pictures.”
“Ooooo, that dairy barn looks mighty clean! Watch this, suckkaaasss!”
This is NOT the face of innocence.
Barn cleaner for life,