There are some days that goat farmers have that they just have to endure. Itís what I call those muttering days. Itís days that are just plain irritating. Things happen thatís not enough to blow a gasket over, but enough to cause you to do a whole lot of muttering under your breath. The goats get muttered at, your poor spouse gets muttered at, telemarketers really get muttered at, itís such an aggravating day you even mutter at yourself. Now, thatís bad.
Itís those days where you have put away things to be used later on, and you just canít find them. Iíve lost new syringes, new box of needles, wormer, my walkie talkie, my cell phone, my truck keys, eighty goats, bags of produce (which a couple of hot days later were found behind the truck seat), and a variety of other things that I have put in a ďsafeĒ place that still canít be found.
And, if itís not a day of losing things, then itís a day of breaking things. Somehow, while in town, I broke the truck. It would only drive backwards. I sit and puzzled over that one a good while and finally drove backwards to my mom & dadís house in town, but thought Iíd better not try that trick on a main route to get back to the farm. I could see myself going backwards on 68 north and have people drive up behind me, facing me, startled to find the truck ahead of them with the driver looking them full in the face, waving hello.
Fortunately, Lee was able to get off work and get the truck to the farm, somehow got it to driving forwards, and then found out how to fix it from a mechanic on You Tube who had had the same problem and videoed exactly what he did to fix it. Iím so thankful for those who like to share on how to repair things.
You can also go through a spell where the electric fence is constantly being broken by the deer or wild turkeys, or a goat who thinks she can surely leap high to get over into the next field. You find yourself everyday repairing the electric fence, muttering the whole time. Or, how about you build this wonderful woven wire fence only to find it totally stretched and warped out of shape from deer repeatedly jumping into it, not over it, but into it. Thatís a real mutterer.
Last Saturday, with all the rain weíve been having all summer, we decided to worm every goat on the place. We got the first group, around ninety adult does, into a pen where we could entice them into a run-in shed with grain and then shut the gate at the back of the run-in shed on twenty or so goats at a time. We would worm, delouse, and trim a few feet and then turn them out into another pen. We had our drinks and snacks and empty molasses tubs to sit on to rest because we knew this would take several hours. Weíre not spring chickens anymore, able to just fly through a chore like this. Plus, I have a rule that every goat we catch and worm, we baby and brag on her and tell her sheís wonderful and we are not to cowboy any of our goats around. No matter how much of a twerp some might be, they get treated like they are the next best thing since peanut butter. Oddly enough, it makes them so much easier to catch the next time you need to. But, you do have to have the patience of a saint at times.
This can be a real muttering job, even if you are prepared and have done this a hundred times. I had a large four foot tall plastic container that is used in the winter for kid goats to get in and stay warm. Small door openings at the bottom so only babies can get in, except this summer a very large weanling somehow spread one of those openings and got herself trapped inside. This was a ďFor ever moreĒ moment, something we say over and over when we are amazed at what goats can get into. The hole had to be made a little larger to get her out. Well, all my things I needed for worming, this time the ivomec injectable to be given orally, the Cylence for delousing, two syringes for drawing up the ivomec because ivomec tends to eat the markings off the syringes, a couple of permanent magic markers to mark each goat, Blu-Kote for any scratches or raw places, triple antibiotic ointment for any slightly runny eyes, all laid out like on a table, to be easily used.
Low and behold, one of the first things to happen was a full grown half Angora half Boer doe, finding herself trapped in the stall with us, dove through that too small of opening for one her size, and pretty much stood inside the plastic container going, ďNaa, naa, naa, naa, canít catch me.Ē She got the double treatment from us with our muttering plus saying, ďFor ever more,Ē several times. Finally, when all the ones in her group were done and turned out, she dove out the plastic container and we nabbed her. You just never know what a goat of yours will come up with next.
Several hours later, on the last batch of does in that group, Iíd lost one. I knew there was one more to go but where was she. I stood leaning on the plastic container looking around at the group of does in the stall with us and was totally perplexed. Lee said, ďLook behind you.Ē
There stood a wise olí doe, with her face pressed against the plastic container, trying her best to hide behind me and up against the plastic container, and it had worked, if Lee hadnít turned and saw her. You had to laugh. Clever olí thing. I reached down and caught her before she could whirl around and take off.
Both Lee and I had been doing a lot of muttering, getting stepped on, and run over by the girls, and me reminding him to pet and brag on them when we were through worming and delousing, which got me some muttering from him, but odd things happened the next day. The girls kept coming up to us for some petting. Mutter all you want, but taking the time to pet and brag on them while you are doctoring them does pay off.