DAY 174: Milking filthy cows

21 Feb

Dangerous place to stand and sulk.

THINK you get shat upon at work? Don’t talk to me about it – I’ve just been in a shit deluge.

‘Relief milking’, which I’ve got up at 5.15 to do, doesn’t mean you’re ‘relieving’ cows, it’s the milking of cows when someone else doesn’t want to do it – which is completely understandable, as it turns out.

When I first arrive at Graham’s farm, though, I’m blissfully ignorant, and as I explain to the bush pirate, there’s no excuse not to apply lipstick and brighten everyone’s day just because you’re getting down to a bit of hard graft.

My job here today is to herd in 110 cows in groups of 10, pour in feed, hook ’em up to the milking machine by hoovering up their udders with suction cups, unhook them, hook up the opposite 10 cows, spray disinfectant on the first 10 and then herd them out with the aid of a big stick and some plaintive yelling.

My perception of gaily a-milking in clogs and pigtails dissipates in a stream of steaming urine (which smells pleasingly like porridge, I have to say). As I flounder around in the shit pit, dodging downpours, I try futilely to rinse fecal matter off my hands with a hose, and the high-pressure jet propels it into my face instead.

“Eeh scary!” Graham mimics of my little yelp.

Sparkling clean Graham.

“Does it hurt them?” I change the subject, tugging cups off teats while dodging indignant hooves.

“Don’t hurt me,” he shrugs.

Suck it and see.

An hour and a half later I’m well and truly splattered with poo and done for the day. The bush pirate asks Graham politely if he can borrow a towel for me to sit on: “It’s my dad’s car, you see.” Smirks all round. I feel like a child that’s just soiled itself.

Keeper? Ho no.

One Response to “DAY 174: Milking filthy cows”

  1. Sue Ostler February 21, 2011 at 7:31 pm #

    this had me in stiches. too hilarious! x

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