By Connie S. Reynolds
Just typing the word makes me feel wet all over. How many here have ever drenched a goat? Come on; letís see a show of hands. I see a few out there that havenít had the wonderful pleasure of drenching a goat. Well, no need to feel left out. If you own goats long enough, one of these days you will have to drench one and itís a whole new experience that both you and the goat will feel you could have done without.
Drenching involves taking some type of medicine that you canít give in shot form and squirting it down the goatís throat. Sounds simple but somehow the goat can turn it into something impossible. You can use a syringe to squirt the medicine down or a regular drench gun or a large syringe specially made with a drenching nozzle on it.
The other day I didnít like the looks of one young bred doe. She didnít particularly like the looks of me either, but I can do something about it and she canít. So, I went and got my special large syringe with the drenching nozzle on it, got the medicine I needed for the doe and went to her stall. She eyed me and I eyed her and I got her cornered.
Usually when I have to use both hands to drench a young goat, I will straddle their neck and use my legs as a squeeze chute. Now, Iím a tall person and can get by with this. You shorter people might have some problems with the goat protesting about its nose being shoved into the dirt. Iím tall enough a goat can stand there and be comfortable. So, I caution vertically challenged people to be careful in trying this.
I can usually anchor a young goat in this fashion and do all the drenching I need. What I wasnít counting on that with more Boer in my yearlings how much stronger they were becoming. I thought I had this doe held tight and started to drench her.
I never saw a goat throw it in reverse so fast and go flying backwards around a stall. I still was clamped to her neck, holding on and running backwards. After a couple trips around I finally got hold of a crack in the barn walls with my fingers and also dug my heels in and got her stopped, with me still straddling her neck. I was able to turn her rear into a corner to stop this new reverse thing she had learned, and was more then willing to try again, and finally got her drenched.
Excitement like that doesnít always occur with drenching. Usually you just get all wet. Whenever I think about drenching, I get this uncontrollable urge to go get my rain gear on. Itís hot, but I feel more comfortable writing this story now with my rain gear on. This is how badly traumatized a person can get from drenching goats.
When you first drench your goats, they are usually innocent, such as you are. You have your spouse lightly hold the goat, you stick the drenching nozzle in the willing goatís mouth, give the trigger a squeeze, and youíve just easily drenched your first goat. Later though, after a couple of drenchings, the goat catches onto what this is all about.
Your spouse canít just lightly hold them, they have to put them in an almost choke hold to keep the goat still. Then you approach with the drencher and the goat looks at you like you are a bear ready to eat them, eyes bugging out (both you, the goat, and your spouse) and the goat desperately trying to run in place. Or, you get the strongly bullheaded ones who gives you a steely eyed look and you can hear them saying, "One more step and Iím going to stampede over you and drag your better half over the hill."
The goat does learn how to work the drencher against you. There are different ways of doing this. They can keep their mouth clamped shut and youíd swear they were born without lips. Or, better yet, allow the drencher into their mouth and then raise their tongue up enough to cover the end of the drencher and when you squeeze the trigger, you get thoroughly sprayed. And, you get sprayed in the face because you are bending down trying to find their lips to push the nozzle through and when you do, you have hurriedly squeezed that trigger, not thinking of the consequences. You come out of it soaking yet and hearing a goat chuckle. Sometimes you hear your spouse chuckle too, but they quickly learn not to do that.
The other day it was that dreaded time for worming with Valbazan. Lee had already caught a goat and had it in a headlock. I approached with the drenching gun. The goat eyed me and did something entirely different, started snorting and blowing air out of her nose and mouth. Just big blasts of air, repeated every few seconds as she watched me approach. I had to time it just right to keep from having Valbazan being blown back into my face.
"Ha!!" I told her. "Youíre going to have to do better then that to stop me!"
The next goat was chewing her cud. As Lee held her I patiently and politely waited for her to finish chewing her cud. Usually at the sight of me with a drench gun they swallow their cud whole.
Now, I had always pictured a cud as being a square block type of thing, all neatly together. Sort of like a plug of tobacco, more commonly know as "tobacky" around here. I waited and waited and she was quite content to stand there in a headlock and chew her cud. I couldnít wait any long and pushed the drench nozzle to the back of the cud and squirted.
The next thing I knew, there was an explosion of green foul smelling matter being spit all over me, my face, my coat, and my boots. It was the worse smell I had ever encountered on a goat and here I was covered in it!! I told Lee later I would rather hug a stinking buck then have cud smell all over me again.
Evidently, two others saw this happen and quickly drew up a cud to chew. We approached them with caution. Surely this couldnít happen again. Yep. No matter how careful I was I got blasted with cud bits and slime. By the time it was all said and done, Iíd been "cudded" by three goats. I knew then we had gone to a new and different level of drenching. Now, surprisedly, the wild acting three-week-old kids charged me and kept trying to lick the cud off my boots and coat. I had finally become palatable to the kids. So, there is always a plus in every situation.
Now bravely pick up your drench gun and boldly go forth where so many others have been defeated before. Iíll be backing you, a good long ways back.