Search This Blog

Pageviews past week

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Working the goats

It's spring and that means it's time for vaccinations and worming.  

We started off in the round barn which is basically a greenhouse with plywood sides and a silver tarp top.  It works great as our "mama"barn - unless, of course, we have 25 babies, then we have to switch occupants and make it the "already had babies" barn.  These 13 ladies already had babies or miscarried earlier in the year.  We herd the goats into the barn and try to capture one.  This is why we almost NEVER disbud or dehorn our herd.  We only disbud our baby goats if specifically asked for show purposes (which we are not fans of - let's not get started on encouraging the abnormal grooming of animals for show purposes - an animal has horns and extra fur for a reason.  Disbudding horns, clipping fur and the like seems ridiculous in promoting the natural beauty of an animal - my own personal pet peeve), and even then we charge because it can be a precarious process.  Horns are vital tools in managing our herd.  So, we catch a goat holding its horns and Erik pins it between his legs.  Erik's mom, Shelly, really enjoys helping us, so she gets involved too.  Today, she is in charge of drawing the vaccination syringes.  Erik hollers out the goat tag number to me (the secretary) where I record the vaccinations and worming medication names and doses.  We also record notes on whether that particular doe birthed any kids, how many, colors, any other important information about her and if she birthed females, we record their ear tag numbers too. 
To worm the goats, Erik hangs a bag of worming medication, this time we used Ivermectin, and uses a squirt gun type tool to squirt the medication into the goats mouths.  This is a delicate process as we have to be sure the medication goes down their throats and they don't spit it out on us.  It's a tough job because goats are ruminants which means they have great ability to spit up what they have eaten.  Erik has come out of the barns many a time wearing some wormer.


This is a granny goat.  She is a good mother and is very inquisitive.
These are some of the Mama's and babies that need to get vaccinated.  This is Tan Gran.  She is a good Mama and almost always has twins.  Last year she gave birth to these twins.  A male and a female.  We kept the female and named her "oreo" because of her black fur w/ white belly.
This year she gave birth to twins again - and twins very similar in color to last years babies.  She gave birth to a reddish brown female w/ a white belly and the twin was another female w/ a reddish- brown head.
Hello goaty!  We haven't found a good name for you yet.
Her daughter from last year, Oreo, had a baby this year too that we call Gobby.  Here is Tan Gran with her daughter from last year, Oreo, and her new babies, yet to be named.  They were all upset after having vaccinations, so they huddled with their mama for comfort.  Oreo and her baby cuddle up with Tan Gran daily. 
Here is Oreo with her daughter, Gobby, and her sisters.  They are a big happy family. 
Here are Dolly and Frank.  They look very similar but are of no relation.  They hang out in the garage waiting for us to finish our work and feed them.  Frank gets very fat in the winter time because he eats too much and will not leave the safety and comfort of the heated garage.  Frank is a reformed house cat.  He is still miffed that I had to kick him out of the house due to my severe cat allergies.  
He's still a sucker for a chin scratch though.