How do you train a cow to become a house cow?!?!?!?

KlinoClucks

Chirping
Mar 27, 2019
56
100
94
Hey there all,
We bought a cow sometime during May this year. She's a 6 year old Dexter cow, and we bought her 2 month old (at the time) heifer calf with her. We got her from some friends who have a herd of Dexters roaming around on their huge property. They used to be used for milking, but then the family had some dairy issues and so don't milk the cows anymore.
She's a lovely cow, sweet and gentle, although she does go through moods where she'll get pushy. We were planning on using her for a milk cow. She has been milked for a short period during her earlier years. She won't let us touch her, but feeding her is just fine. She'll come up to us for food.
So, does anyone have any tips for training an older, stubborn cow to be milked and 'tamed' so to speak?
Thanks so much
 

cassie

Crowing
12 Years
Mar 19, 2009
7,146
4,345
491
You are going to have to tie her up for short periods. During this time feed her small amounts of grain and groom her. Walk her around. If you can't catch her put a long rope on her halter that you can grab.
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
7,648
15,630
706
USA
She won't let us touch her, but feeding her is just fine. She'll come up to us for food.

Probably just a gradual process of giving her the food and standing while she eats it, giving food and touching a little while she eats it, giving her food and petting or brushing while she eats it... Just keep working on it every day, and she should get better with time.

Given how big cows are, make sure you are careful that no-one gets hurt and nothing gets broken. You don't want her to step on someone or knock down a fence while trying to get away.

(I don't know much about cows in particular, but what I've said tends to be the general process for many kinds of animals.)

I see cassie just mentioned tieing the cow up--if she will let you do that, everything else is likely to be much faster and easier!
 

BigBlueHen53

We will get through this... together!
Premium Feather Member
Mar 5, 2019
18,950
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SE Missouri, USA
Probably just a gradual process of giving her the food and standing while she eats it, giving food and touching a little while she eats it, giving her food and petting or brushing while she eats it... Just keep working on it every day, and she should get better with time.
This is basically a description of a process known as successive approximation. I imagine it would be a long-term process. Are there any treats she particularly likes? Four-way sweet feed, for example? Could one person offer it to her, hold it in a bucket, let her eat it, while another person handles her briefly? Every day, morning and afternoon, at what will become milking times, gradually handling, stroking, brushing more and more of her body, starting with areas she will tolerate and gradually working over her until you get around to her sides, then flanks, then udder? Another possibility is to build a squeeze chute and let her get used to standing in it to eat her goodies and be handled a little bit each day. Good luck!
 

CaliFarmsAR

Crowing
Apr 26, 2019
4,121
8,507
477
You are going to have to tie her up for short periods. During this time feed her small amounts of grain and groom her. Walk her around. If you can't catch her put a long rope on her halter that you can grab.
No, you don’t want to do that yet!!!
 

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