CLICK HERE FOR BLOGGER TEMPLATES AND MYSPACE LAYOUTS »

Friday, April 18, 2008

it begins . . .

It's time to start disbudding. Here's how it goes: Imagine someone took a thumb-sized cylinder of copper and heated it in the very flames of Mordor, then attached it to the handle of Zeus's curling iron. That's called a disbudding iron.

We have to kill and cauterize all the horn-growing cells in the goat's head, otherwise it will get horns like Tilde has, because I did such a crap job of disbudding last year. But in my defense, it's one of the most horrible things I've ever had to do to a living creature. Aside from the deer that I smooshed in December.

John is the kid restrainer, and I have to do the burning. I take the iron and place it with the horn bud in the center of the 800* cylinder, and rock it all around until there is a nice copper-colored ring around the horn. Sounds easy, right? Not so, for behold:
See how the ring around his horn is NOT copper colored? I don't know what the deal is, but every time I think I've gone down to the skull, and every time it turns out I didn't do it long enough. Keep in mind that all this time the kid is SCREAMING and trying like the dickens to get away, and both John and I are trying to keep from being burned on the iron. Sucks. I hate it so much. We did Traci's baby tonight, and afterward he took his little* foot and scratched off the little* horn bud in the center and started bleeding. He was making sad little* noises, and I'm pretty sure I've ruined him.

*Edited to add: You can tell I was freaked out because I used the same adjective three times in those last two sentences. I will compose myself.

8 comments:

THE WILKER CLAN said...

guess i'm old fashioned i like de-horning animals so the next time one grows its horns out... bust it off just like i know you can Laynie WW

All8 said...

Definitely one of my least favorite things to do too. Green cheerios next?

I have a link on my blog that you have to check out.

Bamamoma said...

ok, so here I am showing my ignorance for all to read. Why can't you let them grow horns? Will they fight with them? Go ahead and say "duh" or whatever. I can take it!

Layne said...

No green cheerios for us--I will post about that fun process in a few weeks!

Layne said...

Also I read that post--seriously, this is what I'm talking about. Why can't people just not be greedy resource pigs in the first place?

Bamamoma--we don't let them grow horns because it's dangerous to us and them. Pack goats and meat goats usually have them left on, but not dairy goats.

Nate and Claire said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nate and Claire said...

Does it hurt them or is it like trimming your fingernails?

Bamamoma said...

Thanks, that was a very kind "duh." :)