How to Milk a Cow That Kicks

Do you own a dairy cow? Fresh milk can be wonderful, but there is a lot of work involved in keeping Bessie happy and healthy. Milking your cow isn’t always easy, either… especially if your bovine buddy tends to kick. We can help! Read on for some great tips from a Mattoon, IL vet on milking a cow that kicks.

Use Multiple Buckets

You’ve probably heard the saying about not keeping all of your eggs in one basket. This applies to milk and buckets, too! Use more than one bucket, especially when dealing with a feisty cow. That way, if Bessie does kick, you won’t lose all the milk. Or, try putting a big, sturdy bucket nearby, and keep pouring the milk into that.

Get Help

Shortening the time of your milking sessions can also help keep your cow from kicking. Get a helper to give you a hand. Two people will finish the job much more quickly than one!

Minimize Noise

Some of our hooved buddies are quite jittery! For instance, the sound of milk going into a metal bucket may make Bessie uneasy. Using a small plastic bucket may help.

Change Your Routine

Sometimes cows just have their own personal preferences about things. Try starting on a different teat than usual. It’s worth a shot!

Safety Measures

Getting in close to your cow can sometimes help prevent kicking, if Bessie doesn’t have room to prepare her kicks properly. A kicker rope or bar may also help. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Keep Bessie Healthy

Just like people, cows can get cranky if they don’t feel well. If Bessie is sick, or if her teats are sore, swollen, or infected, she’s much more likely to kick. Ask your vet to recommend a veterinary care schedule. Also, ask for information on recognizing signs of illness.

Make Friends With Your Cow

Spend some time with Bessie. Give her treats, scratch her ears, and just observe her habits and behavior. You may notice something that is small but crucial. For instance, maybe Bessie simply prefers you to stand in a specific spot. It’s also important to earn your cow’s trust. Never punish or hit your bovine friend for kicking: this may only make things worse!

Please contact us, your Mattoon, IL animal clinic, anytime. We offer the best veterinary care around!

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