Monday, March 28, 2011
A Few More Goat Thoughts..........And a Couple Episodes of Confessions of a Goodwife...
I thought I was done expounding on goats, but Mountain Mama brought it to my attention that I hadn't mentioned disbudding, so here we go!
Disbudding sucks...........BUT it is a must around here.
Now it's time for an installment of Confessions from the Goodwife duhhnn, dunn, duhhhh......
Part of the reason I got so frustrated and wanted to give up on my beautiful little homesteading life is because of disbudding. There I said it, and it's true. You can laugh, you can scoff, you can make fun all you want, but it really, truly is true. It's a failing in my character that disbudding my kids makes me physically ill. I get the shakes, I get sick to my stomach, and I feel awful. Then to top it all off, after all that stress on me, it has NEVER ONCE WORKED!!! I've disbudded two crops of kids and every single stinkin' one of those babies has had a glorious set of horns, just with no tips. That's right, not scurs, tipless horns. This stressed me out and made me feel like a total and complete failure, not to mention made me feel like I couldn't sell my kids to the public......
I've had people say, oh you aren't gettin' the copper ring. But I saw copper ring and the horn tip is very neatly gone, as well as scabbing over, breaking off and bleeding like it should. Anywho, after lots of thinking about what I did wrong, I've decided the tip of my disbudding iron was too small and it wasn't getting the entire root of the horn, thereby just killing the tip
. Whatever the reason is, I just can't do it. I felt like if I couldn't disbud my kids then I shouldn't even be raising goats. But now I've decided to stop beating myself up about it and just hire somebody to come disbud them. Mucho less stressful on me that way!
Now that we've talked disbudding, lets talk about those handsome bearded menfolk of the goat kingdom.........the bucks!
Bucks are gross. They are the goats that stink and they do some really gross stuff to themselves in the name of keeping themselves prime for the ladies, the LEAST of which is peeing on their faces and drinking their pee.......("Is it 'nessary', for me to drink my own urine? Probably not but it's sterile and I like the taste.......if you know the movie that came from you'll know why we changed Tommy's name to Tommy O'Hoolihan) anyway, I digress. Let's just say that buck goats aren't shy about their parts and making sure they work correctly. However, bucks can also be lovable funny critters that you just can't help but love.
My only experience is with Kinder or Pygmy bucks which are little. Having to wrassle them sometimes has made it very clear to me that I wouldn't want a big buck to have to deal with!
This brings me to my final two points........(yeah right Goodwife, you couldn't shut up if you tried).
Another episode of Confessions of a Goodwife.....that's right, it's a twofer in one blog!
I'm not a goat expert (in case you couldn't tell that). May will be only my 4th crop of kids. I've only had dairy goats since the fall of 2007. I hope I didn't come across as a goatie know-it-all and I've tried to stress that this is the stuff that works for me, not the end of the word on goats. I don't know anything at all about any breed of goats except Kinders, more specifically MY Kinders. I know my goats, that's it. I don't know if they are typical, or atypical or if what I do will work on any old goat or what, I only know it works on my goats.
If I were to give any advice to somebody wanting to learn about goats, particularly dairy goats I'd tell them to read, read, read, read, read. I'd send them to Fiasco Farms and tell them to read some more. I'd tell them to read every goat article they can find online, every pamphlet, every book, every blog, every nugget they can get their hands on. I'd tell them to talk to other goat folk. Then, now here comes the most important part, I'd tell them to use the brain God gave them to weed out the crazies and make the best decisions for their animals.
Everybody has an opinion and you know what they say about opinions right? You have to do what's best for you and your situation, not what's best for me or any of the other folks whose blogs you read, even though they may be telling you otherwise. Use common sense and listen to what more experienced folk are telling you, but don't get caught up in hero worship of those folk. They are human, and they started sometime too. They don't know it all (even if they think they do).
You have a brain....now don't be afraid to use it! ;0)