Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Weekend at the cow farm

Last Saturday, I visited an exchange student, Si Bei from China who just came this Summer. Actually, we both planned to meet up in my town and maybe do something together but then I changed my mind and decided to go to her house instead.

Si Bei lives with the Lüdemann family who owns a cow farm. That's is the reason why, last weekend, I got the chance to finally experience working in a cow farm.

Now, I can tick off another thing on my To Do List In Deutschland! 

It was raining outside when I woke up on Saturday morning. At first, I was having second thoughts about going over to Si Bei's place but then my host mom convinced me to go over anyway.

So, I took her advice and got myself all dressed to work at a farm. I prepared myself well, I even packed along my rain jacket and rubber boots for any possible rough wetter.

The exciting day started of with Si Bei's host dad taking us on the tractor to pick up the cows from the field around 15 minutes away from where they lived in the afternoon.

On the way to the field, he was explaining to me that the cows are normally left out on the field for a period of time before they are brought back again to the stable when the weather gets colder.

This tractor here is actually meant for only one person, which is the driver but then her host dad took Si Bei and I on it. Yeah, you can probably imagine how cram it was inside the tractor. It was so uncomfortable as I only had a small little area on the side of the door of the tractor to lean on in the tractor. But I was all excited to see how the cows the brought back to the stable that I didn't really care about my comfort.

At first, when he parked the tractor by the entrance to the fenced field, I thought, oh, now we were going to have to walk all the way to the end of the field to bring the cows to us. 

The cows are at the far end of the field. See the white and black figure there? 
However, it turned out that all we had to do was to stand there and just wait, wait for the cows to come.

Mr. Lüdemann and Si Bei chatting while waiting for the cows.
Don't worry if you don't understand what I mean by waiting for the cows.
I was quite confused myself when Mr. Lüdemann told me that.
I was wondering to myself, are the cows really going to come to us on their by themselves? How would they know that it is time to go home?

LOOK! They actually came running towards where we stood!
Can you actually believe it? HOW AMAZING IS THAT?!

I really had no idea cows were that intelligent!

Let's go home~
According to Mr. Lüdemann, the cows will come to us because they are curious to find out what was the commotion going around them.

The first batch of cows heading back home.

The remaining cows waiting patiently for the tractor to return for them.

Our  Rubber boots! Extremely practical for the job and also the rainy weather.

Second batch getting on the animal transporter.

"Na komm! Komm!"

Host brother and host mom helping out.

Heading back to Home Sweet Home~

The very experienced farmer concentrating on the road.
Mr. Lüdemann has been doing this job since he was a little boy and now, he has taken over the family's business. 

Some of the cows outside.

The cows in their stable.

"HEY, wad ya looking at, kid?" :D

After tea break, we, the kids went out to play at the playground nearby. I tried cycling on a two rider bicycle for the first time. It is really not as easy as it looks.

You have to be really synchronized with the driver on the pedal because there is only one long chain connecting the two pedals together. Besides that, you have to really trust the person on the bicycle handles and let him steer the bicycle because at the back seat, all you can see is the back of the head of the person in front of you.

Next up, the highlight of the day; MILKING!

There are almost a hundred cows in the farm so obviously they need some help of the machines. But even with the aid of machines, there was still quite a lot to do during the milking process.

 Before putting on the Milchansauger Anlager (Milk-sucker machine), the Zitzen (Tits) of the cow has to be wiped with a clean cloth and milk a few times to make sure the milk can flow out smoothly.

Squeezeeeee!!! :D
After the cow is done with the milking process, we have to do stippen (dipping) on the titts of the cow with antiseptikum (antiseptic) to prevent any unwanted infections.

Rinsing the Milk-sucker Machine.
For hygiene purposes, the Milk-sucker machine is rinsed after each milking process.

Oh, that is not all our work when milking. We also had to be always prepared for any 'open pipe' (the sound of the cow peeing is like the sound of an open pipe)! XD The cows will just suddenly pee without giving you any heads up, so, if you are unlucky enough to stand right behind it, then congratulations! =D But of course, you get used to these stuff when you work there every single day. Besides that, you always have an apron on when you are working.

Next, we proceeded on to the other part of the job at the cow farm; feeding the calves!

Filling up the milk in the buckets for the calves.
Here, they use milk powder to prepare the milk for the calves instead of the fresh milk because there contain more mineral in the milk powder compared to the fresh milk.

Look at this hungry little cow.

Don't they look cute? :D

Little calve sucking on the 'milk bucket'.
Day in and day out, there is always something to do in at the farm; the cows have to be milked twice a day (one at five in the morning and one at 4 in the evening which each milking session takes up around 3 hours), the calves and cows have to be fed daily and children to take care of. There is just not a day off for the farmer and this wife.

So, I hope that after reading this, you now know how much work there is in producing the milk that you drink. Milk don't just appear out of thin air, there are lots more of work behind it.

I, myself am really glad that I made the decision to go to the farm for otherwise, I would have missed out all these interesting things that I got to do at the  Bauenhof (farm house).


  1. I've always wanted to milk a cow x)

  2. heheheh! :D

    I wonder if we can also maybe do it in Msia! :D