Hi all, my name is Katie Jones and I am St.Brigid's newest employee. I'm not the first Jones to work here though; my older brother Ethan used to work for Ms.Judy as well. St.Brigid's has been a wonderful place to work and I have learned many things. So here is a list of ten things that I have learned so far:
1. Jerseys are the best breed of cow- I already knew this but I just wanted to emphasize this fact. See, when I used to show cows Jerseys were always my cow of choice.
2. Always hold the cow's tail when you are milking them- The cows are constantly being bit by flies and they use their tails to ward them off. However, their tails sometimes miss their target and end up hitting you instead.
3. The heat is much worse for cows than it is for you- If you think it is hot then it is a whole lot hotter for the cows. Think of it this way, they always have a leather coat on basically. Not very appropriate for warmer temperatures.
4. Dogs are not always helpful when it comes to herding- Ms.Judy has an adorable dog named Maggie who means well but she sometimes gets a tad too excited and likes to nip at the cow's feet.
5. Everyone should know how to drive stick shift- St.Brigid's has a old tractor to scrape the barns with and it just so happens to be a stick shift. It took me a while to get used to it but I have gotten better with practice. If anything knowing how to drive stick helps you appreciate your automatic car that much more.
6. Be prepared to get dirty when taking a cows temperature- The other day the heat seemed to be affecting one cow more than the others. So Ms.Judy took her temperature and once she saw it was around 106 degrees we hosed her down to cool her off (the normal temperature of a healthy cow is around 101). Then I took her temperature afterwards to see if it helped. To take a cow's temperature you insert the thermometer into the cow's rectum and hold it there for about a minute. The end product: the temperature of the cow and a very dirty hand.
7. The cows do not walk in a single file line on their own- If you have ever driven by St.Brigid's in the evening then you have probably seen her cows walking in a single file line out to their pasture. It is a truly beautiful sight. I always assumed that they chose to walk one behind the other, but really they have a confined path to walk in. Still beautiful though.
8. The actual skin of a cow is not the color I expected- One poor calf has lost patches of hair all over her body due to a strange reaction to something. Her hair is already growing back but not before I saw her bare skin which was a deep gray color. I'm not sure what color I was expecting but definitely not that.
9. Cows have their own personalities unique to themselves- I learned this very quickly. There are the cows who are spunky and might give you a little bit of trouble when you try to milk them and then there are the cows who are as sweet and as calm as can be. Those are my favorite ones. Easier to milk.
10. Milking cows is an effective workout- All of that squating down and getting back up definitely gives you a burn in your thighs and your glutes the next day.