Have you ever had a day that the oddest things happen? I know, with goat farming, that can be every day, but to have several really odd things happen all clumped together in one day? The day started out pretty good too, beautiful weather, early morning, not too cold, not too hot. Just a great work day.
We had decided on Saturday to worm, delouse, and give those who needed their CD/T shots their shots on one group of goats, and that totaled about 70 adult does and 40 of them needing their shots. I got all my needles, syringes, vaccines, wormers, and decided to use Cylence as a delouser. Plus, I always bring the Blu-Kote to dab on any raw places I saw on the goats. It’s great for keeping flies off, lasts longer than most things put on raw spots, but the goats do hate it because it does burn some.
We put the goats in one of our smaller feed areas, even the wildest will run in there hoping that grain is waiting. We had our cattle panel set up in the corner to herd the wilder ones to so we could quickly close the panel to nab each one. The girls were all inside the feed area, milling around, grazing on weeds, checking out feeders, and we went to work.
You have to realize most of our girls are relatively tame. Oh, they become smart alec’s if they think you are wanting to doctor them, but they don’t get too perturbed about being caught. A lot you can just walk up and catch, and then brag on them for being good girls and give them a good hugging.
The gentle ones we do first and then move them on out of the pen because if you go to trying to catch the wilder ones first, their crazy actions will upset your tame ones and they’ll start acting like the wild ones. And, we definitely don’t want our tame ones to go wild.
We had just caught one of our tame ones and had wormed her. I had drawn up her CD/T shot, and bent over to give it under the skin on her side, just behind the elbow, and she did something. I don’t know what for sure. Maybe she kicked or just jumped a little, but whatever it was it drove that needle clear through my thumb, going through beside the nail, angling so it came out the center of the thumb. It missed the bone.
I was using a 22 gauge, one inch needle and I quickly drew the needle out and watched as the thumb end of my rubber glove fill up with blood. I was using gloves this time because of using the pour on delouser.
“Would you look at that?!” I showed Lee. “We’ve finally got some really sharp needles. I’m sticking with this brand!” I said in admiration.
He wanted me to go wash the hand and put iodine or alcohol on the thumb, but we had been moving along very efficiently and I said no, I didn‘t want to break the momentum. I put pressure on the thumb to stop the bleeding. It turned a brownish purple on the bottom of the thumb and then I put on a new glove and we kept on working.
Three fourths of the way through the herd, Lee had just caught another girl, I walked over to the spot where I was storing the wormers and started drawing up the wormer, and I heard really angry buzzing sounds. The feed area did have clover in it with happy bee’s at work that day. I looked all around my feet and I didn’t see any bee’s and then I realized where the angry buzzing was coming from. My pants! I had on loose pants and somehow, while standing there in a patch of clover, drawing up the wormer, a bee went up my pants leg and was close to my waist band, and he was mad!
I hurried over to Lee. “Lee, do you hear a bee in my pants?” I just couldn’t believe it. He was holding on the doe that was to be wormed and gave me a dumbfounded look, like you’ve asked me some crazy questions, but this one is a first. And, then he heard the angry bee.
“It’s in your pants!” he exclaimed. “I know, I know,” I said, and without thinking, swatted my waistband.
Naturally, I got stung. Without a moments hesitation, I freed my modesty and the bee at the same time. Fortunately, no one was driving by on the road at the time.
After we had finished up with all the girls, and I did keep an eye out for anymore wandering bees, we went to the barn to do some chores there. One of the cute little eight month does hadn’t gone out on the hillside to graze with her herd. She was standing there with her tail down and looking worried.
Every summer we have to keep check on the does’ udders. When they get into the tall weeds, little gnats will start aggravating the sensitive area of their udder and the does will react by gnawing on their udders and sometimes they will get red raw places in between the teats where they have chewed. I’ll delouse the ones affected hoping to keep the gnats at bay. And, once again Blu-Kote does the job in cleaning up the place and keeping flies off. But, it does sting since it has alcohol in it.
I had Lee get hold of the little girl, we put her up against the barn wall to control her better, and I thought I would be clever and lift up one of the hind legs and hold it while I bent over with the Blu-Kote dauber to dab the stuff on the raw area of her udder. Don’t ask me why I did it this way. Usually I get a paper towel and put enough of the Blu-Kote on a corner (I am wearing gloves when I do this, you know how permanent the bluish stuff is) and then just wipe it on the udder while Lee is holding the goat.
I must have been rattled in thinking this would be a better way. After all, it had been a day of impaling my thumb and getting a bee in my pants. But, even with me holding that leg up off the ground, that little girl kicked so hard and fast, she kicked me in the middle of the forehead. How did I know it was exactly in the middle of the forehead? Later I saw in the mirror this bluish purple print of a little hoof left from the Blu-Kote.
“Good grief!” I shouted. “She kicked me in the head!” I got a better hold on that leg and daubed that raw place again and she kicked so hard and fast several times that she crammed my knuckles into the oak wall of the barn, taking all the skin off and making them swell later, but HA! I got that Blu-Kote on that little udder. And also up one of her sides, down one leg, and part of her belly, but I did get some on her udder. Success!
It was an odd Saturday. But, in spite of some minor set backs of a bee in the pants, needle through the thumb, kicked in the head, swollen and skinned knuckles, it had been a very successful goat farming day.