Saturday Barn Report – Limited Edition – Goat Health Check

Our goat herd needs their hooves trimmed every six weeks or so.  It use to be that we’d mark the calendar and every six weeks or so put each goat on the stand, trim their feet, give them a general health check, check their inner eyelid’s color for worm load (FAMACHA method), give any needed worming and any needed inoculations, trim the udders of milkers and take notes on all of these facts plus give the goat some one-on-one attention (brushing, petting, sweet talk).  With our increased herd of 45 that is no longer possible to do in one day and we are still finding our rhythm on how to break it down over time.

We have been lucky to have many teenagers, many of them friends of our children, come to volunteer on the farm.  Lately, Gabe’s friend Rhys has been coming Saturday mornings.  Gabe joins him in the hoop house and we have been slowly working through the herd trimming feet and everything else needed to be done.  We have already done the sixteen doelings from this year and the new seven Alpine girls and a failed attempt at the two bucks (can’t move bucks in rut, maybe next Saturday?)

This morning we worked through this season’s twenty milkers (dried off two weeks ago).  The boys made us laugh as they described what was happening as “spa day for the ladies”.  After all they were getting mani’s and pedi’s and lovely massages and Rhys thought a little shiatsu by him would be a bonus.  Given the season Gabe and Ryhs also sang Christmas carols to them.  They brushed and petted and soothed and massaged each milker as we did all our work which was not as welcomed but necessary.

The milkers are resting and growing beautiful babies and getting their bodies ready to produce a season of milk for us.  Kidding will start in late January and stretch through April.  We will need many more volunteers to help us through kidding season but we expect (hope? pray?) they will be easy to find.  Who can resist a newborn goat kid?  Here is our first kid of last year’s kidding season, Annika, who is now a gorgeous doe due to kid herself in late February or early March.

We are trying to rest too.  We have six weeks “off.”  That means we are not tied to milking twice a day and to making fresh cheese from that luscious milk.  But it also means we are catching up with everything we have neglected for the last 10 months.  At least the routine is different and that in itself helps.  And it is the holidays, so our days are filled with family and friends.  We love this life.


One Response to “Saturday Barn Report – Limited Edition – Goat Health Check”

  1. jan Says:

    It is a good life, for sure!

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