Tuesday, May 29, 2007

a-mincing we will go

Last Wednesday we had the unpleasant task of emasculating Captain Stubing and Umlaut. We decided to use a Burdizzo-type tool, which is sort of like a hand-held clamp that locks into position when closed. I hate the idea of the elastic bands, and I didn't want to cut them open if I didn't have to. So the clamp it was. We gave them a shot of painkiller beforehand, and also used this time to give all the babies their CD&T booster shot. We were fairly certain that I wouldn't be able to hold the fellas still enough, so John was the holder and I was the clamper. He sat in a lawn chair and held each one of them on his lap, kind of in a sitting position, and I fidgeted around with their . . . business and found the cord, then clamped it for 7 seconds. Much screaming ensued--funnily enough, little boy goats don't like having their scrotums clamped. So now we wait for 3 weeks to see if it took, at which point the little package should be firmer and not have increased in size at all. I'll say this--as hateful as it was, I far prefer it to disbudding, because once you shut the tool, it's on there, and you don't have to keep holding it.

Our disbudding has been a colossal failure this year. I think Traci's babies are the only ones who aren't going to have scurs. Grr. I was just so worried, and it looked like we were burning down to the skull, but I guess we didn't burn enough. Tilde and Umlaut and Nona all have little horn buds that look completely unaffected. I have read here and there that you can use the elastic bands on the horns, and it seems to work well and not be invasive. But maybe we're going to have to eat them all anyway, so it won't really matter.

Some neighbors of ours called the other day and said they have a friend who might be willing to trade flooring for goats, which would be great for us. Get rid of extra goats and get our kitchen floor taken care of in one fell swoop. Our kitchen floor is a right mess. I can't figure out how to get this rotten tarpaper off, and I'm leaning toward just getting some cork tiles and putting them down. I'd really rather have the wood, but not if it's going to take me the rest of my life to get it done.