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 don't be afraid to use it!  ;0)

God Bless.................



  1. As far as your "confessions" go , good idea , if it needs to be done, and you can't or have trouble with it , nothing wrong with getting help

  2. I have taken care of a buck before. I will never, ever, ever, reccommend somebody keeping a buck unless they would practically die without having one. I'm a bit of a pushover with my remaining, goat, Bill, but I will always stay steadfast in never having a buck again!!

  3. I love it girl! So glad you confessed you cant disbud the goats I really dont think I can either if I ever have too. I will be havin someone else do it! You do make it clear when you blog that this is the stuff that works for YOU. I take in all kinds of advice from many people, book, internet them I do what works for me! I'm usin the brain God gave me & havin fun doin it!

  4. great work baby! i like the "dun dun duuuun" the best

    and yes - weed out the crazies and do what works for you. some of the folks on the 'goat forums' are just plain nuts. and good old commmon sense coupled with research gets ya pretty far.

    and yes, bucks are gross. ick.

  5. that's interesting... on the tipless horns!

  6. Thanks for commenting everybody!

    @Fernvalley, sometimes asking for help is hard, but at times it truly is the best way to go!

    @Autumn, yup, havin' a buck can really be a handful!

    @Jennifer, yup, that's the way to go and thanks ;)

    @OFG, whew, I try to stay away from forums. I like to read blogs with pictures so that I can actually acertain if the folks are "do-ers" or just armchair farmers!

    @Nicole, tipless horns are still horns, and no fun at all! ;0)

  7. thank you! mountain man warned me that he didn't think i could handle it.

    no, don't beat yourself up over it at all, you just love your goats! :)

  8. Sing it sister! Ha.
    It takes a big person to admit their fears and anyone who could walk away from disbudding and not feel even the slightest twinge of guilt is neither a.) Human, b.) working with animals for the right reasons. I also suck at disbudding, 'course this is my first year. I've already had to do ours twice and that's with using a calf-sized iron! But you're right, what you can't do for yourself - hire someone else to do!
    While you might not be a goat expert - you're pretty darn smart in my book!

  9. Well, I wouldn't have any animals if it came to stuff I couldn't do! You know I HATE blood. I have to work the back pens when we tip the bulls' horns. Can't stand the spraying blood. I'm a big wuss.

  10. I'm learning about goats.... Hmmm interesting! Thanks for goat lessons!

  11. LOL... Okay on the disbudding the ONLY time i hav ehad it not work at all was when I was disbudding Pygmy goats! I had to burn those sucker THREE TIMES!!! And one still grew scurs! But I was told that pygmys (bucks and does) have a broad horn base and its hard to get it done. Seeing how you have Kinders well that only makes sense.
    I have been at this since 2003 and this year has thrown me for a loop. Definitely a learning process and FiascoFarms is an excellent source of info.

  12. Great post and enjoyable reading (as always)! I enjoy your goat thoughts and reading about how you do things on your farm. I bought my first goats the summer of 2007 and 2008 was my first kidding season too. I agree with your advice to read, read, read, and read some more! Of course experience will teach you some pretty valuable lessons too. It's great to have some good "goatie" friends to bounce ideas and problems off of too. :D

  13. Why do you have to disbud your goats?? Isn't it natural to have the horns? Why no horns?

  14. Hi Tree Hugger, thanks for commenting. This is a very good question and I'm glad you asked it. I'm going to do a little blog post tomorrow in answer! ;0)


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