Cow Milking   Leave a comment

Milked a cow today for the first time. If you’ve ever milked a cow before, you know how silly I looked. If you haven’t, it is so different (read: much weirder) than you think it is.

This image is of Rachel, one of the resident naturalists, taking us all to the establo at 6:30 in the morning. Since we’re 2 hours behind, it felt like 8:30, which is why we all look so sprightly. And we’re also wide awake because the sun comes up at 5 a.m., and the birds start singing at 4:30 a.m. The rain forest never sleeps…

A friendly little calf. Maybe too-friendly, because his way of greeting was to ram his head into the small of your back to get attention. Here they put a special cream on the calf’s head when they are just a couple days old to prevent their horns from growing. According to the Costa Ricans at the stable, they do this because the cows look prettier without the horns, and they’re less prone to hurt themselves, other cows, and the farmers.

The professional at work. He really put the rest of us to shame with his cow-milking skills. Eventually we were all so bad at milking that the farmers had to get the cow’s daughter (who really isn’t much of a baby anymore) to come and nurse so that she would stop hiding her milk.

Some nice early morning light, although this cow really didn’t like the sound of my shutter and kept trying to charge at me. Some animals are better subjects than others. This one’s horns also didn’t respond well to the cream–they grew in weird corkscrews rather than not at all.

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Posted May 18, 2011 by alysonwright in Uncategorized

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