I honestly don't know where to start with this. It really started I guess, with me pacing and as much as my knees hurt... I couldn't quit. I knew it was time and this chore makes for a really, really bad day. Disbudding a kid literally makes me feel terrible. The goats are so young and I'm always afraid of the reaction to the Tetanus Antitoxin. The last batch of Tetanus must have been bad and all the goats abscessed, lots of hair loss, and also died. You are probably trying to figure out how did the injection abscessed so fast. Well, my husband brought them back with epinephrine, antihistamine, and pounding on their chest to get them back. Yes, they made it, but they were scarred for life. The hair has never grown back and the goat can never be shown.
Kiely said today was it. I was antsy from last night and dreamed about the drama of disbudding kids all night. I hate to hurt them on purpose. There are lots of things we do to animals that cause pain, but not like this kind. We breed them and the kidding or birthing hurts. Teats hurt, shots hurt, tattooing hurts, I don't mind so much dealing with those.... and actually I like castrating the buck kids. That's pretty wrong. Don't ask me why, but it changes the goats attitude so much they can be a wonderful pet. I just know the outcome is so good on their behavior. Some people need that done to them!
Dehorning can be dangerous, if not done right the sinus is open and flies can get in and it's called "fly-stuck." Maggots eventually kill the animal. Disbudding burns the horn root and doesn't open the sinus. Fly-stuck can be in other places, but we won't go there now.
I went right-up straight out of bed paced awhile and started the iron heating outside and it was almost red-hot in 15 minutes. It's an expensive iron and the high heat is a good thing. Kiely shaved their heads and I went out to get it over with in my slippers and flannel nightgown. The smell is exactly like burned hot-dogs and the smell ruins picnics all summer for me. The first singe and I pop-off the small horn bud and then I go back and hit it firmly until a copper ring shows around the bud. It took a couple turns of the iron. Their face gets so hot. Kiely was right there with the Furral Spray that cools the burn instantly. Yes, they had some meds. But, I was going to do it bare-handed, I didn't want to stick my hand in my old gloves. You know, spiders like cozy gloves. Steve bought me big, suede welding gloves just in case I slipped with the iron. I slipped last year and burned my glove from one end to the other. I thought I was okay this time, no shaking. I had already taken my heart pills. That little voice in my head, the one that just whispers, "caution." I obeyed the soft admonition and put on my gloves. Yes, the goat jumped in an odd way that has never happened before. The doe unfortunately has three rings. I slipped and hit the top of my hand and thumb. The heavy gloves were there. My prayers of thanks were constantly in my heart the rest of today. I'm so glad I had the gloves on my hands.
The pictures show the little spotted goat with the messed-up head. They took the shots okay. The dogs sense seizures and both dogs played with the kittens gently while the goats played after they're heads were burned. I can only imagine the headache they must still have. Kiely said they look good this evening.
If you are reading this and ready to leave a comment to say let them be and grow their horns. You are probably thinking the goats need their horns because it helps them cool their body with all the blood that flows through the horn. The horns also help defend themselves. Have you haven't seen the often sad result of leaving the horns on them? It is a humane act to take the horns off. Horns always get caught in fences and other stuff. It's the goat's inquisitive nature that gets them stuck, but the real mess is when another goat hits the one stuck, yes... they pick on each other, playing or "pecking order" meanness. The result is that the horn tears from the head and they bleed to death. Yep, I've seen little spiked horns puncture the dam's udder and you have a big, leaky mess that doesn't end well. The butting of the udder is a natural way to make the udder let-down more milk.
And then..... there's what we are dealing with right now with our dear "Tundra," our horned-goat and he is horned because I just plain couldn't kill the horn root. Tundra was unfortunately swung around by children (not my family) and he knows his horns ARE a defense. I needed to keep him because he is absolutely the best buck we have ever produced. Kiely's own genetics. After this year however, he's gone. He could actually kill a child if they got in the pen because now the buck is full-grown.
I was holding him just a couple days ago and he turned on me and completely just knocked me down with just the force of his neck and I fell on him. The fall was all in "slow-mo" I do think it was because I wasn't balanced. I had half of one of my shoes on. Anyway, I pushed him to the ground and I pinned-him good. I was there for a while, he didn't die. That was a win for the goat because, Ewww-weee... he completely reeked and the awful stench stayed with me. Kiely side-tracked him and I used the shelter and stood-up and limped out. Yes, I took numerous showers and don't write me and tell me you have a soap that gets rid of the odor, because I've used them all. It just sticks to me or it stays in my nose. I don't know. You'd think after about 30 years of this I would get used to it. Never.
We have these baby animals that are calling the wild animals to come eat them. The lambs won't stay in their pen, they find a way and escape. The kittens drink goat's milk and we always catch the babies from the feral mothers and try to raise them to give away. One is a Himalayan and beautiful. All the rest are this gray and white, but just as darling. It's hard not to be afraid for them. Kiely crashed the back of her car last year. The bumper has a big scratch that's still there from trying to dodge a kitten. The car was so new it had the paper plates from the dealer. There is danger even from us.
Okay, let's see. Wanna' make a donkey mad? Again today. Kiely roped Rosa, the donkey, when she needed some doctoring on her front cannon area of her front legs. We suspect it's from the chain-link fence. Kiely, the good tech, treated her wounds, but the donkey got upset from the "Little dog" biting her back legs and the lasso tightened-up. She found a lasso with a good hondo. Why can't I find that rope when I need it? Anyway, Rosa, aka Banana, as in quote from Juno, the movie..."Jeez Banana, shut your friggin' gob, ok!" flips-out rears and works herself loose with a lasso around her neck. Our dear neighbor, Amy. Kiely's BFF and a real brave cowgirl starts working her. Amy got kicked real good (bad) in the leg and it's swollen. I didn't know a thing about the whole donkey incident. Kiely didn't want me involved. I guess she thought the disbudding was just too much for my heart. Yeah, the kicking of Amy, pretty much did me in. I went to Young Women and I did win the poker game at the Church. Well, it was The "Sequence Game", not poker... and we didn't bet. If there were bets I woulda' bet, I'd lose.
What a day. But, you know...every single day is like this. I could write the same stuff everyday. It's a rattlesnake, it's my husband being knocked-out, it's running my foot over with the golf cart. I'm beginning to look at all my plants differently. If they are remotely poisonous, they're outta' here because someone will eat them. Not-new-favorite, family, quirky old-fashioned term that I remembered (take a breath here) I always use, but actually I "think"..another good word, however for the family's sake.... and my not wanting to repent again ( my family knows which word that is, and I'm not telling) I say... instead, a loud, "Dad-gum!" Bree thank you for letting me know that's Mayflower, Arkansas' designated "title" for the town. Do they have a "Dad-gum Paw-rade? and a "Dad-gum Fes-table?" I love Arkansas. I do! It's the "Dad-gum Capitol of the World!"
HHAAAAWWWW----HEEEEEEE!! Rosa/Banana's ears are soooo good she can hear me open a can of soda-pop in my bedroom! And..... out of her lovely mouth comes that loud yell, "FEED ME!" That's the literal translation from Donkey language. It echoes all through the "Oaks." Yes, we do have neighbors. That's a weird word! Ever notice .... "Neigh" bors. Does that mean they're in yelling distance or just negative? That's A Big "Neigh-gatory."