Our jersey girl has settled in really well, is already gaining back some weight and is proving to be a real pleasure to work with. When I I have gone out to milk her the past three mornings, she has already been up near the cattle yard where I lock up Bangers overnight. I push him into the squeeze shoot, open the gates and go out and walk her straight in. I'm currently milking her in the crush, initially to deal with any rodeo action and to save me from being kicked (at least until she learned like Charlotte did how to get a back leg through the steel rails to kick me), but this gorgeous girl has not given any indication whatsoever that she was going to kick. The only thing she has done is swat my head twice with her tail (once yesterday and once today) and when she has moved she's only shuffled her front feet.
This is particularly amazing because she is not distracting herself by eating while I milk - so far she won't even taste anything that I have put in her bucket - flaked lupins, chopped apples and lucerne chaff topped with big dollops of molasses, and today just plain oats to see if that would work as she has probably never had any 'treat' food, but not even oats could tempt her. When I let her out after milking she did stop to grab some big mouthfuls of the lucerne/molasses that I had tipped on top of her hay (before running off down the hill to meet up with Bangers who had gone the long way), so I think the not eating is her way of showing that she is stressed about the new situation and where Bangers is - she is fine when he is standing so she can see him, but starts the mamma-mooing when he moves around the yard out of her sight.
Sunday morning was our first milking and I got just one litre, there was much more to take, but my fingers had given up on the job. I was milking one hand into the cup and tipping that into the bucket in case she kicked or pooped and I had to move in a hurry, but by the end, I realised that she was going to be ok with the milking bucket under her belly. She has tiny teats so I am strip milking with thumb and forefinger rather than being able to 'clam and pull' with my whole hand as I did with Charlotte. It's been more than five months since I last hand milked so it's going to take a while before a) my hands build up again and b) I can learn how to co-ordinate this new milking technique and aim correctly! I expect the pain to start in the next few days, so probably should start massaging my hands with something now to help with the aches and pains.
Yesterday milking gave me 1.5 litres not counting what I miss-aimed and squirted on the floor (not sure how it's possible to miss the big opening in the milk bucket but it is) and today I seemed to get into the swing of it a lot quicker and got a fraction over two litres. LOL much to Bangers disgust, he's never been handled but that didn't stop him from coming right up to me and stretching through the steel rails to see if he could reach the milk bar. He even let me reach out my hand and touch his nose (probably because my hand smelt like his breakfast!) There was still a lot more in there as I wasn't able to get a full letdown, but my hands said enough before her udder did. I am very relieved to have Bangers to milk her out fully, but can see that he is going to need halter training sooner rather than later.
I still haven't settled on a suitable name for her yet. Abbey, Rosie, Ellie, Poppy and Blossom, but I think she is rather graceful for a cow, so Gracie and Violet are also in the running.