Thursday, 15 November 2012

21. Top Ten Annoying Cows To Milk

Here is the list of the most frustrating, infuriating and unpleasant types of cows to milk. There is always at least one of each in the herd.

If you milk cows for a living, there is a good chance this will resonate with you!

10. 'The Low Udder'

The Low Udder is as you might have predicted when the teats are particularly close to the floor. This is due to the cow being either very short or having a huge udder. It means there is not much room for the cluster and your hand when cupping on. The rubber pipes get kinked and stops the vacuum which prolongs the annoyance as your knuckles are scraped against the concrete.

9. 'The Nervous Dancer'

The Nervous Dancer will not stand still whilst cupping on. She hops from one foot to the other, it is neither aggressive or likely to cause injury but it is incredibly irritating. It is if she is desperate for a wee and is trying to hold it in, or maybe she is just dancing to the music of The Rock FM.

8. 'The Mud Grater' 

The Mud Grater is often combined with the Nervous Dancer, and occurs when there is a load of dry mud on her legs. This rubs up against the forearm, scratching the skin and causing stinging when washing the arms. Especially when washed in the acid water from the milking plant wash. 

7. 'The Small Titter'

The Small Titter has, as you may have already guessed, small teats. These small teats do not hold the cups on well, they fall off while cupping on, immediately after cupping on and continuously for the duration of the milking. A bottle of tail paint, a brick, or another similar sized object can be used to prop up the clusters.

6. 'The Short Heifer'

The Short Heifer is not just the presence of a short heifer, it is when a particularly short heifer pushes forward as much as possible. This makes it near impossible to reach her udder to cup on, unless you are sporting arms of an extreme length (Ben Pocock). The way past this situation is to risk putting ones head below the kick bar which usually protects the face from flying hooves. This is a dangerous move but in rare cases is necessary. 

5. 'The Tail Flicker'

A cows tail is a lot stronger than you might think, and when combined with a cold morning, the wet slap across the face is horrible. A cow that has avoided the shears and still has plenty of hair on the end of its tail often collects a good quantity of shit there, which makes it worse. A clipped tail has less cushioning, so a slap from one of those is not great either. 

4. 'The Cup Kicker'

The Cup Kicker does not enjoy the process of being milked. So much so that as soon is she is left alone, she kicks the cups off. Highly irritating this often results in her leg being roped to the the kick bar. When milking over 500 cows, having to cup on one more than once gets very tiresome. 

3. 'The Defecator'

Cows eat a lot, and therefore expel the waste a lot too. Spending a couple of hours below a cows tail is bound to be risky. Quick reactions and dodging skills are mandatory to be a  non shit-covered milker of cows. The Defecator is particularly tiresome because she waits until you are directly behind her before releasing the payload. The face, down the neck and down the welly are probably the worse areas to be targeted. 

2. 'The Urinator'

Surprisingly worse then the Defecator, the Urinator holds all the same attributes as its more solid counterpart. The warm liquid is worse than the warm solid, mainly because of the presence of urea in it, causing a smell that really gets you in he back of the throat. It also stings when it gets in ones eyes or cuts (caused by the Mud Grater). A reasonably experienced milker can tell the difference between the Defecator and the Urinator, purely by the sound of it hitting the concrete floor. 

1. 'The Aggressive Kicker' or 'The B****'

Occasionally when a cow is in a particularly bad mood, she will target the milker as opposed to the actual milking equipment. Hands and arms are in the most danger, but most serious would obviously be the head, hence the presence of a protective bar at about head height. On occasion I have been kicked in the ribs, which can be pretty painful. There are generally two types of Aggressive Kickers, ones who let fly as you are  cupping on, the trick is to stay and guide the hoof away with ones arm, and the 'Random Kick Out Of The Blue.' This occurs when you are just walking past, and the cow is surprised, her first reaction is to let fly. The speed at which the hoof hits you means dodging is unlikely. For this reason it is good practice to keep talking to the cows to make them aware of your presence. 

You know it is a bad milking when all ten of these occur. It doesn't happen often, but when it does it makes you wonder why you got up at 4am for this!

In other news this photo has been shortlisted for the Farmers Weekly Photography competition!

This is a nice surprise as I didn't really think about it much when I entered it. The prize is cash (always much appreciated) and also it being featured in the magazine.

I have just had a few days off and I had planned to go fishing but the weather has taken a turn for the worst, and I am a fair weather fisherman. So instead I went to Dunedin to do my Christmas shopping. Being male I had everything sorted in about an hour. I am not much of a shopper, so I planned it out properly. Wrote a list, googled where the appropriate shops were and devised an order of purchasing so I bought the heaviest stuff last. It took me longer to drive to Dunedin than the time I actually spent in the city.

The NZ overseas postal service is pretty efficient, easy to use and a reasonable price. You buy a prepaid box, which come in various sizes, fill it and pay accordingly for the weight. That doesn't mean however, that all my loyal readers will be receiving Christmas presents!

Righto, I am eating into my allotted hour for breakfast now, so I better start eating into my actual breakfast.

Keep reading.


  1. What about 'The squeaker' the cow with teats too close together, so the cups don't hold on properly allowing air in and squeaking!
    Great blog!

    1. There are a few I forgot about. I also forgot 'The Emergency Stopper'. When rowing up, she gets to some food halfway along the trough and stops. No amount of encouragement either vocal or physical will move her until she has licked her plate clean! Thanks for the feedback! FL