Thursday, May 13, 2010
It still takes me nearly an hour to milk her (I milk in the evening, Cadence in the morning.) It is a sweet, meditative time, though, bonding with my contentedly munching cow. She likes it when I sing while I milk, especially when I make up admiring songs about her.
Rog could not resist the allure of milking her and even though he had forewarned us that the cow was not his project, he decided to try it. He is a natural - his guitar-playing hands are strong and gentle. It also turned out that his milking skill is invaluable--he took over several days last week when I seriously sprained my knee and ended up in one of those knee-immobilizer braces that force your leg to be straight. That makes for tricky milking, because if you stick your outstretched leg under the cow, she might step on it, so I had to stick it our sideways and twist around--very bad ergonomics. (Thanks, Rog.)
We are now discovering the more subtle details of cow-milking: The first milk you get is mostly milk, and toward the end of the milking it is much creamier -you can tell when you are almost done by the whiteness and thickness of the milk running down the side of the bucket. The stream of milk hitting the steel pail makes the most musical ringing-pinging sound, especially combined with the rhythm of the squirts. After you finish milking, the udder becomes soft and has slight vertical wrinkles.
"Is that the lump you are worried about?"
"That's her belly button." That will be $40.
I was so embarrassed.
In case you, like me, have never seen or thought about a cow's belly button, here is a photo - it's that protruding bump in front of her udder. (I wonder if cows can have either innie or outie belly buttons?)
I am sure the vet had a good laugh later, but he was very kind and assured us she is a very fine, healthy cow.