It is true for our farm, goats rule. Everything is worked around our goats. Our doctor, dentist, eye exams, dermatologist, grocery shopping, clothes shopping, hauling hay, getting feed, everything is worked around our goatsí schedule.
Now what kind of schedule can a goat have, you ask. Right at the moment we have 172 goats on the farm and this number can go up and down depending on sales and kidding. So we are all the time running into schedules for the goats - worming schedules, feeding schedules, kidding schedules, breeding schedules, doctoring schedule, bottle feeding schedules, hauling hay schedule, buying feed schedule, and just plain olí doing the chores schedules. One schedule we are lacking in is a hoof trimming schedule and thatís what Iím setting up next. The girls donít need to be trimmed much, but with the number of goats we have, sometimes they surprise me and I find myself asking a goat, "Holy Moley, when did you buy them skis?" Then a hurried hoof trimming session starts.
Take for instance the other day, a dermatologist appointment was set for Lee. It seemed the sun had kissed him a little too hard on top the head and he had a basal cell cancer that needed to be cut out. We had scheduled the appointment in between bottle feeding time. Iíve found if you keep the bottle kids on a regular schedule, fed at the same time every day, there was less stomach upsets in the kids.
Many people donít realize that when they get into the livestock business that you have to really care for the animal, have times to haul hay to them, worm them, grain them, etc. You canít very well say, "Oh, if I have time next week or next month, Iíll feed you or give you water." It donít work like that. They have to be cared for and have a definite place in your daily schedule no matter what, or you lose livestock.
So back to the story, Lee and I are heading down the highway to the dermatologist and they actually take him in on schedule and in no time he was out. Very impressive efficiency, we thought. I asked Lee how it went.
He said, "I got disbudded."
I said, "What?!"
"Well, they shaved the top area of my head, gave shots of adrenalin in the skin to slow the bleeding and something to numb the area, cut it out, and then burned it. Smelled just like when we disbud kids," he said.
Lee is tall so I couldnít see all that they had done until he bent over to show me.
"Good grief, thatís deep! I didnít know you could go that deep before hitting bone!"
"I asked him if he was going to cut to the bone," Lee said, "but he said he didnít get near the bone. He just cut down to the fat."
"We have fat on our heads?" I asked in astonishment. So, I guess itís really true if we call someone a fat head, they really are! Of course, you have to realize itís one fat head calling another a fat head.
Lee nodded. "He also said he couldnít fix a bandage for the top of my head, it wouldnít stay on. He said if I bumped it, it would bleed a lot and I was to just stick my handkerchief on top my head and apply pressure and when it stops bleeding, to trim the handkerchief up and leave it there. If I pull it off, itíd start the bleeding again."
Lee asked, "But, what if I donít carry handkerchiefs? I guess Iíd have to take my sock off and stick it on top my head."
Made sense to me, use what you have. But, we did later hunt up some gauze pads to carry around with him. After all, he has his goat farmer image to keep up and a sock stuck to the top of his head just doesnít fit that image.
We got home in record time to start the next goat schedule. I think the adrenalin applied under the skin left Lee a little wired, plus mixing that with the diet Pepsi he drank on the way home, he was talking a mile a minute and his eyes bugged out a little. Anyway, we got home in plenty of time for goat chores and the planning of the next schedules of goat events on the farm. As the "in" human kids might say, "Goats Rule, man."