For the last few weeks I have been working on training Dandie to freely go into her stanchion. We put Maggie outside and keep Dandie in the barn, where she runs around loose. We can't put them together because Dandie would try to nurse. At this time we don't have two pastures and can't make two because the ground is frozen and it would be kinda hard to put a stake in the ground! Matthew hasn't been around to put Dandie out and keep Maggie in and I don't want to do that on my own for the first time. I have no idea what Dandie would do, if she would do anything. I'd just assume have Matthew home just in case. So I go out around 4:30 to put her in. I always pet her and love on her first. Then grab some grain in her bucket and shake it by the stanchion. She just looks at me. I grab her halter, catch her, and to put it on. She plays hard to get. Then I gently pull her head forward, and she pulls back, and plants her feet or in her case hooves! I keep pressure on her head and I'm talking to her. She keeps pulling back, then takes one step forward! Then she gives in after a few more seconds and walks forward to her stanchion with me guiding her where I want her. I lock her head in and praise her, give her lots of love, and of course the grain. She loves her grain. Then I get a little bit of grain for Maggie and call her in, and she comes in and eats her little treat until her supper when we milk her. The grain is just the bribe to get her in. That is what I have been doing every evening with Dandie. She's been getting better. Her will to not go in is not as strong as mine to get her in! I want to get her to come to her name and the shake of the grain. Well tonight I went out and she jumped right up and came over to me. I talked to her and rubbed her soft, thick brown neck. She licked my coat and got my face too. Calf kisses. I got some grain out and she knew what was coming, as she figured out about two days after I started this. She was near her stanchion and saw her bucket and I shook it and called her name. She came right over and stuck her head in her stanchion as I quickly locked her in and dumped her grain in her crib in one swift move! Success!! I loved on her and told her what a good girl she was! I was so pleased. I couldn't believe it! She did just want I wanted her to do. Watch tomorrow she'll make me catch her and pull her back into her stanchion, ;-) but for tonight I was just so pleased that she's learning! What a good little girl!
I'm just guessing here on training her, I've never done this before! But it seems to be working, I mean she came this evening. I think I'll keep it up! Besides I'm having fun too, and she's such a nice little heifer, and we like her that way!
Have a great night all!