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12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS
4 H FRETTER-ER
A BUCK GROWS UP
ADAPTING
AGAIN, THE SKY IS FALLING
ALL YOU NEED IS ... CARDBOARD
AMANNAMEDJED
AND THEN IT GOT COLD
AND THEN IT WARMED UP TO ZERO
ANGRY GOAT FARMER
ANTIQUE GOAT FARMING
ANYTHING BUT THAT
ARE BUCKS EVER BABIES
AROMA THERAPY
ARTFUL DODGERS
ARTIC FRONT
AUTUMN BOQUET
B U B - B U B - B U B
BABY BACK EXCUSE
BABY MONITORS
BACK TO NATURE
BAIT
BARKING AT GOATS
BARN SOUR TRUCK
BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED
BE HAPPY
BEAUTY MISTAKES
BEHAVIORS
BEHIND THE GATE
BIG 10-4 GOAT FARMER
BIKINI WEDNESDAYS
BILLBOARD GOAT FARMING
BILLIES & STICKWEEDS
BLIZZARD OF 92
BLONDE GOAT FARMER
BLONDE HUMOR
BOTTLE BABIES
BOTTLE BABY TALK
BOTTLE BABY WITHDRAWAL
BOXING SUNBEAMS
BRONCHITIS.
BRUISE OR DIRT
BUCK LOVE
BUCKETHEAD
BUCKS IN STOCK
CALLING YOOOOU
CAN'T TOUCH THIS
CANE I DO IT?
CARPAL TUNNEL HAY
CATCHING PEARL
CHICK CHICK CHICORY
CHOCOLATE PLUM
CHRISTMAS KIDDING
CHUCK
COLD IS OUR FRIEND NOT
COUGH DROP WORMER
COUNTING
CRUMPLED
CUD CHEWING CONTENTMENT
DAYCATIONS
DEAR FAVORITE RELATIVE
DELOUSED
DOES ANYBODY REALLY KNOW ...
DOES ON KIDDING
DOWNSIZING
DRAMA QUEEN
DRENCHED!
DRESS FOR SUCCESS
DUCT TAPE.
DUMPSTER RAIDERS
EARPUGS
EGG SHELL MASSACRE
EMMITT
EMPTY NEST SYNDROME
EQUIPMENT OPERATORS - DANCERS
ESCAPE ARTIST
ESCORT SERVICE
FALLING SKY
FARM WALK
FARMER C S I
FEEL LIKE A NUT
FIRST IMPRESSIONS
FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE
FIRST YOU TAKE YOUR SOCK
FLOATING MUSHROOMS
FORKS IN THE ROAD
FULL OF BULL
G G
GATE ATTACK !!!!
GIRL WATCHER
GLIDING
GLOBAL SUPPORT CENTER
GNAWED AND BASICALLY CHEWED
GOAT ADDICTION
GOAT CELEBRATIONS
GOAT FARMER SONG
GOAT FARMER WEIGHT TRAINING
GOAT FARMER'S CREED
GOAT FARMING CAMP
GOAT HOLIDAY GIFTS
GOAT HUNTING
GOAT KLEENEX
GOAT LANGUAGE
GOAT OLYMPICS
GOAT PROFILER
GOAT SCIENTIST
GOAT WHEELS
GOAT WRITER
GOATS RULE
GOOD GRIEF
GOT RUNS?
GOTTA WORK KIDS
GRAND CANYON OF CHILDRESS
GREAT KIDDERS
HAULING GOATS
HAVE MILK WILL TRAVEL
HAVEN'T GOT A CLUE
HAY MONITOR
HE-BE-GEE-BE'S
HELP! HELP! HELP!
HELP! I'M IN THE BATHTUB
HELPING HOOVES
HERD OF TURTLES
HERE COMES KIDDING TIME - A CHRISTMAS TUNE
HOBBLE, HOBBLE
HOLIDAY TRADITIONS (A GROANER)
HOME DECORATOR
HORNLESS
HOT CHOCOLATE
HOW TO BUY GOATS
HOW YOU FEELING?
HUGS
HUNDERD YEARS
HUNTING LUMBERJACKS
I APPROVE THIS MESSAGE
I FEEL PRETTY
I PREFER LONG EYE LASHES
I REALLY DO HAVE A HOME
I'LL HOLD HIM BACK
I'M A LITTLE TEAPOT
I'M STILL HERE?
INDIAN SUMMER
INNOCENT 1ST TIME KIDDERS
INTERNET AUCTIONS
INVESTMENTS
IRON WILL
IT TOOK TWO
JINGLE BELL GOATS
JOKE - GET A JOB!
JOYFUL
JUMPY LITTLE SNOWBIRD
JUST 1 MORE GOAT
KEYSTONE KOPS
KID CATCHING
KID IN A BOX
KID SENSORY OVERLOAD
KIDMARES
KNUCKLE SANDWICHES
LADYLIKE BUCK SELLER
LAST BUCK STANDING
LEFT OVERS
LETTERS
LETTERS FROM THE FARM
M. D. GOAT
MAD AGGIE
MANIPULATE WHAT?
MASTER BLASTER
MAYBE THIS TIME
MEMBER ME
MIND CONTROL
MR. SNUFFY
MUSHROOM HUNTING
MUTTER MUTTER
NAMING GOATS
NANNY BERRIES ~ DEAR FAVORITE RELATIVE
NEW "KID" ... SHOWING
NEW HAY IN THE HOUSE
NEW KIDS.
NEW YEARíS RESOLUTIONS
NORMAL
OCTOBER KIDDING
ODE TO ODOR
OH, MY
OUCH
PANIC ATTACK!
PAW PAWS
PHILOSOPHY OF HYPOCRISY
PHONE CALLS
PHONE CLASS
PICK POCKETS
PIRANHA PEN
PLAYING DEAD
PLEASED AS PUNCH
PLEASING GOAT CUSTOMERS
PLOP
POOF POOF
PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE
PRESENTS
PRISCILLA THE HUN
PRO WRESTLER OR PUPPY
PROFESSIONAL POO CHECKER
PSYCH ME OUT
PUTTING ON A SHOW
QUIPS & QUOTES
QUIPS-N-QUOTES II
REAP THE WILD WIND
RECORD KEEPING
REDNECK TANK TOP
REFEREE
REQUESTS
ROAD TRIP 2003
ROCK ON
ROLL'UM ROLL'UM
ROLLIN', ROLLIN', ROLLIN'
RUB DIRT ON IT
S-T-R-E-S-S
SANDWICHED
SAWDUST.
SCHEDULING
SCREAMING BANSHEES
SECRET AGENT
SHAGA GOOBLE SHAGA BLIP
SHANNIGANS & KID SLOBBERS
SHORT TIGHT STEPS & OTHER ODD EVENTS
SHOTS
SHOULD EVERYONE VOTE
SLEEP DEPRIVATION
SMART GOATS
SMUDGED
SNAP, CRACKLE, POP
SNATCHED BALD
SNEAKY
SONG OF THE FROG
SPIES, SECRET AGENTS, SPOOKS, AND OTHER GOATS
SSSNAKE
STAMPEDE!
STARGATE BOERS
STEAM-IRON SANDWICHES
STEP BY STEP
STICK IT WHERE
STOMPING ORANGE STRINGS
STUCK AGAIN
STUDENT ANALOGIES AND METAPHORS
STUPID IS...
SUNSHINE BOO BOO'S
SUPER HERO
SUPER SUCKERS
SUPPER AT SEVEN A.M.
SURVEY SAYS
SURVIVING KIDDING
SWASH - BUCKLING BUCKS
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS
TALKING POCKETS
TATTOOING
THANK GOODNESS FOR MUD
THE $37.50 BUCK
THE 2003 DARWIN AWARDS
THE COWBOY WAY
THE DACHSHUND AND THE LEOPARD
THE DANGERS OF GUM BOOTS
THE FARM WOOKIE
THE FLYING GOATZANIES
THE FRAGRANCE OF HAY
THE GAME'S AFOOT
THE GOAT WHISPERER
THE MOB SQUAD
THE MORAL BUCK
THE PET CHICKEN
THE PIED PIPER
THE PLAN
THE SCARECROW GOAT SELLER
THE SMELL OF MONEY
THE TALKING GOAT
THE TARP ANNIHILATOR
THE THINKER
THE TICK
THE TRUTH ABOUT DOGS
THE V WORD
THE WINDY TAX
THE WORM HAS TURNED
THEN THE KNEE DOCTOR SAID
THIS END UP
THUMP, BANG, WHOOP, AND HOLLER
THURSDAY, THURSDAY
TIE THE ROPE TO THE HAMMER
TOO MUCH FENCE
TORNADO ALLEY
TORPEDOS AND TIDAL WAVES
TOSS THE BLOCK
TOY TRUCK
TRAINING HUMANS
TRUE LOVE
TWITCHY HANKEY
UGH DAYS
UNCLE ARTHUR
UNWITTINGLY
USING CAFFEINE WISELY
WALK LIKE A TURTLE
WALK ON THE WILD SIDE
WALK THIS WAY
WANNA BUY A GOAT (WINK, WINK, WINK)
WARNING LABLES
WAS THAT 65 OR 66?
WAS THAT CHRISTMAS?
WAS THAT THE WIND
WATER BUCKET TOAD
WAY TO THE HEART
WEANING WEANERS
WEE GOAT FARMERS
WELFARE GOATS
WHAT A DAY
WHAT DAY IS IT
WHAT'D YOU SAY?
WHATSTH THISTH
WHEN LIFE HANDS YOU VEGETABLES.
WHERE'S THE BRAKES
WHOOWEE
WIDE LOADS
WILD GOAT MILKING
WINTER LIST
WOE, DISPAIR...
WRONG.TURN!
YOU CALL HIM WHAT?
YOU COME HERE, NO, YOU COME HERE, NOÖ
ZAPPED!

BUT, FIRST I HAVE TO GO SCRATCH BABY BACKS
by
Connie S. Reynolds
autumnfarmsboers.com
Connie Reynolds
Autumn Farm
Ravenswood, WV

"I know I have dishes to do, but first I have to go scratch baby backs." How many of you have used this excuse to put off a household chore or a wash the car chore? I have successfully used this excuse for over 12 years, to go and scratch baby kidsí backs. There are many important reasons for scratching baby kidsí backs, much more important then doing dishes. When I tell Lee I have to go and scratch some kidsí backs, he just accepts it and nods. He knows how really important it is. The only time he protests is when we are cleaning out stalls in the barn, and then I have to postpone scratching kidsí backs. Lee just hates to be alone with the only pitchfork in use during barn cleaning time.

Now how can baby back scratching be so important, you ask. Iím glad you asked. One of the obvious reasons is that kids are very limited on being able to scratch their owns backs. Another reason is to tame the kids. I have long since given up my track shoes to chase down a goat to treat it. Either I am raising faster goats or have to accept the obvious, my track shoes are wore out. So, why embarrass myself trying to chase down a goat when I know I canít? I know it would give the neighbors a good laugh, but Iíve opted to reserve a shred of pride by scratching baby backs and taming them down. That way, once tame, I can usually walk up, grab a collar or put a collar on, and treat them without them getting all upset.

So, from the first hour they are born, I go in and gently scratch their little backs and tell them that they are simply gorgeous. And, I continue it every day, no matter how many kids there are. Now, would you run away from someone who pats you on the back and tells you that you are gorgeous? Good grief, no. If anything, they probably couldnít get rid of me. Thatís how Lee has kept me around so many years. And, thatís the way many of my kids and adults goats are now. They see me or Lee and they want to come over and say Hi and see if we are handing out any free back rubs or compliments.

Now, this year when I was sick all during kidding and Lee was over run with chores, I didnít get to scratch backs at the beginning with the kids. So, what I have now are a bunch of wild hooligans with only a few that have caught on to late back scratching and compliments. These few who got scratched late and like it are helping me tame some of the others down but itís a rough go. Most the kids look at me and yell, "Run! Run! She looks like sheís needing a kid snack!"

Or, Iíll put out the grain and in their eager attack on the food, they forget me for a few seconds. I then attempt to scratch a few backs, only to have a kid try to shoot straight up my nose and do leg work like the cartoon road runner and disappear in a puff of smoke. I can tell this is going to take a while.

Another good reason for putting off household chores to go and scratch kids and goatsí backs is for observation. Sit yourself down on a stump in the middle of the herd and just watch them. I would have suggested you carry a bucket out to sit on in the middle of the herd for your observations, but if they saw you carrying a bucket out to them, I just couldnít guarantee your safety. I learned the hard way one day when all the goats were in the middle of the pasture and not a stump was around. I innocently picked up a bucket and headed out for them. It didnít take long to get to the herd because as soon as they saw me and a bucket, they all came to the same conclusion. Feed!!!!

When 60 goats in one of our herds stampede straight for you, itís a frightening sight to behold. I just barely saved myself by throwing the bucket up in the air and pretending that I had track shoes on. Their eyes followed the movement of the bucket and went after it instead of me. At least it shows I can think fast on my feet, even if my feet are moving way too slowly in my opinion.

So, itís better to find a stump to sit on or a tree to lean against in this quiet observation of your goats. I can sit or lean against something for an hour easily in observing the goats. During that time I am busy scratching backs, but you still can learn things from the goats. You learn who is boss over whom. You learn what acting normal is to each particular goat. Why is that important? Later you can glance at a particular goat and know almost instantly if it is sick, just because it is not acting as it usually does. Very important.

Why is it important to know who is boss over whom? And, why do I keep repeating "whom"? I rarely get the opportunity to use it so Iím tickled to know itís available. Even if there is a good chance itís being wrongly used. I can at least say I have used the word "whom" at least once. Back to knowing which goats are the bosses. If for some reason you have to divide the herd up, you donít want to put a major bad boss in with a bunch of timid ones. Sheíll eat them up. Repeatedly. Sheíll think she has died and gone to heaven, but the timid ones are just as sure they know where they have gone.

And unlike timid people who tend to go "postal" at times and turn on their tormentors, the timid goat never turns. They just get even more timid and terrified and stand in their corner waiting to be tortured or they say, "You go ahead and take all the food. Donít mind me, Iíll just stand over here and starve." Horrible thing to do to a timid goat putting a bully in with them. You want to be able to divide the herd out as evenly as possible and letting the bullies stay together to fight it out. Oddly enough, many times the bully does donít fight it out. They just eye each other and agree to pretend no one else is there and very carefully stay away from each other. A few will stand off and decide whoís the supreme bully, but once thatís settled, they are careful to ignore each other and stay away from each other, but they donít go hungry like the timid ones do.

Another thing about scratching baby backs and observing the herd... Oops. I see Lee looking for me. Probably wants me to mow the lawn or something. I think itís time to go and observe the herd again. Iíll tell you later what I have observed, after Lee has forgotten what he wanted me to do. Gotta go.


 

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