Goat Wrangling

My view from the milk stool this morning is on goat wrangling. We had two more does who needed their hooves trimmed (we got interrupted when we were doing it last) as well as the two bucks. We also needed to worm the four doelings that I kept back and the bucks. Because we dam-raise (as nature intended) our goat kids, they’re pretty wild. No problem. We’ve got plenty of small places to run them up into. I do the catching, Wally does the dosing.

While Wally was waiting for me to finish milking the two does who needed to be trimmed, I put Galactica up on the stand for him to shave. Galactica channels her Swiss roots and even though she lives in the South, grows this long scaggly coat that she doesn’t completely shed out. She looked like a one-eyed, one-horned, blind purple people eater or at least like Ms. Snuffleupagus.

While Wally shaved her (and he did an excellent job), I milked the two that needed to be trimmed. One got put on the stand and the other I let loose until Wally finished. Well, while she was loose, she somehow cut her foot on the edge of a piece of aluminum siding and started bleeding like a stuck hog. We weren’t able to completely stop the bleeding so we wrapped it up. Hopefully it’ll stay wrapped until we can go to the livestock supply store and get some vet wrap to wrap it a bit better.

Never a dull moment.

The two bucks needed to be trimmed and wormed. These two bucks, whom I raised from little squirts on a bottle are now big, hulking, blubbering hunks of stink – already and it’s not even breeding season yet. Got them wrangled, because by now they’ve forgotten that they were raised by me and I’m now an ogre wanting to do some horrible things to them. Given how much they wined while Wally trimmed them it was a really horrible thing we did to them.

While I certainly understand why most people who raise dairy animals bottle feed their offspring, but I hate the practice. I don’t believe it benefits the offspring except for making them more accepting of human handling. I raise my goats to milk. Once they come into milk, as soon as they learn where the food is, they’re there.

One of the two does I kept back from last year, Kat2 is her call name (her mother’s name is Kat), is almost always in the first group coming in. She rides on the coat tails of Galactica, who is huge and bulldozes her way in to where ever she wants to go. Kat2, while slightly bigger than her mother, is a small goat. I haven’t milked Kat2 this year. She has two doelings on her who happily take all of her milk. I’m not too worried about milking her next year. Her mother, who was also dam raised, broke to milking without lifting a hoof and is still just fine. It took four of us to catch Kat when we bought her, but I can go out and catch Kat if I want too. She’s tamed nicely.

Bug (Beetle Bug, her mother’s name was June Bug) is a different story. She gets up on the stand and is a dream to milk, but she’s much more skittish than Kat2. Her mother was pretty standoffish.

I expect Kat2 and in time her two doelings to fall in line.

I’ve thought a lot about my post from yesterday. I probably shouldn’t have shared that I was feeling depression. Yet, it’s not an uncommon emotion. I feel better for having lifted it off my shoulders. I didn’t get up and out as early as I wanted to this morning, but we got a lot accomplished. Tomorrow morning I have to do another unpleasant task – process rabbits.

The photo below, which I took yesterday with the Lensbaby lens, is of fennel, the herb, not the bulb variety. The plant is about five tall. I bought it last summer and planted it. It took forever to bloom. Fennel is similar to dill in how it blooms.

Until later …