Monday, May 16, 2011

Tough Day for a Goat Farmer

Goat farming is usually quite fun, peaceful and exciting.  However, disbudding day is not any of those things.  It's horrific, nerve-wracking and slightly unsettling. Yesterday, the littlest members of the herd were ready for this painful procedure.  They had little buds the size of peas and at 13 days old they were ready. Although I watched the experience closely last week when the vet disbudded the older kids, I was still filled with dread and nervousness. However, I also learned from that first experience that if you do not do the deed correctly the first time the re-burn is even more horrific and stressful for the goat (and handler).  The vet didn't leave the iron on long enough so Daisy and Basil were still growing little (though not quite little ) horns. 

I plugged the iron in and then got the first goat ready to be shaved.  Sage is incredibly sweet and didn't protest the handling or the sound of the trimmer.  She happily sat in my husband's arms.  Then we moved on to the iron.  As my husband held her and I attempted the first burn she squirmed and screamed and protested violently.  Husband decided that he wasn't cut out for this type of work so instead he handed the goat over, took the dogs for a walk and left my mother and I to finish up. 

We disbudding Sage then Lola and finally I re-burned Daisy. 

The day was rather stressful but nonetheless necessary.  My technique was simple. Apply the iron for 2 second intervals until you see the copper ring. I sure hope everything is successful because I do NOT want horned goats and I do NOT want to do this again this year.

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