Itís easy to get smudged on a goat farm. Particularly when you are worming and wear glasses. Thinking of getting smudged, itís real easy to get slimed, too. But, weíll work on the smudging now.
The other day, feeling rather heroic, we decided to worm one pasture of girls. That turned out to be seventy girls, because I jotted down everyone we did and also the delousing we gave them. You know, doing spring cleaning on your goats, and all that. I wanted the girls to start the summer right. Weíd already done the weaned kids and the yearlings last weekend, so onward until the whole herd gets done.
Now the yearlings and the kids were rather easy to do because they are still innocents. They donít know what on earth is going on and the yearlings are just starting to get a clue that this worming drenching thing just might be more then a one or two time thing. Still, ever hopeful that us catching them had to be something else, the drenching didnít take too much time. The weanlings were the easiest, they just didnít know how dastardly we could be. Worming was something they would never have thought of in a hundred years.
Now those older does, no fooling them. They knew that we were up to no good. Ranging in age from two to ten years, they knew what was up. We donít have fancy catch pens, so we do the next best. We have an old feeding area, smallish, still has feeders, and a nice corner to set up a cattle panel to form a V to let a hard to catch goat run to and then find herself stuck in that V. Lee then moves in and nabs her and I come in with the wormer and the delouser. And it helps that many of the girls are real pigs and if you put out a little grain, you can catch them real easy.
A lot of times Lee will throw a leg across the goatís neck and act like a squeeze chute to hold them steady. Now, most of our goats are disbudded so no danger getting accidentally gored. Heíll then take the drencher and give the wormer that I have drawn up for that particular goat, while I am measuring out the delouser, usually Cylence, to put down the goatís back when he is finished worming.
When the worming starts, those worldly olí does start working that tongue immediately, trying to push the drencher out and when that doesnít work, they start snorting. If you arenít careful, you end up with a face full of wormer. The glasses take a beating on this. Leeís glasses got more than heavily spotted with sprayed on wormer. Why, there wasnít a smidget of space to see out of and we had to stop several times to take smudge breaks, so Lee could wash his glasses.
This snorting the goats do is the reason I know every flavor of wormer or medicine Iíve ever drenched our goats with. It seems I never learn. I always work with my mouth open, talking to them to tell them everything is all right. Iím probably one of the best wormed and doctored humanís around. Only another goat farmer could beat me out of this title.
You know, when I use to work horses, I never really noticed their snorts. Now a horseís snort is really volcanic and super sized. They are a big animal and when they snort itís huge and itís usually clear stuff you get sprayed with, coming straight from the horsesí noses. Why I never got grossed out by this fact, I donít know. Iíve had an infatuation for horses all my life so would forgive them about anything. Plus, when you worm a horse, itís usually with a paste wormer that they canít spit out at you and also it doesnít go through their nose to spray you, so whatĎs the big deal?
Iíve had friends snorted on by a horse get so grossed out that they would run out of the barn heaving. A horseís snort is nothing compared to what a little goat can do when it snorts. The goat can not only snort with itís nose, but also its mouth, making sure they get rid of anything nasty or using the sound as a warning to other goats that danger is near.
A lot of goat stampedes are started simply by a goat accidentally rubbing itís nose into something nasty and it snorting to get rid of the offending odor. The whole herd takes the snort as a warning snort, evidently there is no difference between a having rubbed your nose on something nasty snort and thereís a big monster out there snort, and they can hit a dead run in two seconds flat.
Whatever, when going out to drench a goat, just count on those smudges. At some point they are going to snort and if you arenít quick, those glasses will be smudged so bad that thereís no seeing. If they donít get your glasses, your shirt or pants are next. Iíve had an explosive cud blown all over me a couple of different times. If you want to smell something really nasty, wait until you are pasted with cud. The other goats will think you smell great, but youíll find yourself gagging more than a few times.
So go out there, be brave, and get smudged. The goats need that great smudgy care you are giving them.