Thursday, July 17, 2014

An Update On Goats

        I haven't been letting y'all know what's been going on with the goats lately, but I kinda figured I should since things are a bit different. I suppose I'll just go goat by goat and then summarize things at the end.

Eponine - My darlin' has been doing very well as of late. She is quite chubby, but then again, a chubby stomach in a goat shows that their rumen is healthy. ;) She is still my snuggle-bug, and a gorgeous goat, if I may say so. Since she isn't pregnant yet, I am thinking of just waiting a few more months (separating her and Thorin when she is in heat), so that she will have spring babies. I think that will be easier and more enjoyable.

Thorin - My little man is doing well too. He is starting to get a bit smelly, though, so when he wants to jump in my lap for snuggles I don't always let him. ;) I think the last time I posted a picture of him he had horns, but we have since banded them. He was too bossy around the food and wouldn't let Eponine eat. I've never done disbudding before but I'm thinking that it is a better option than the banding. It was SO hard to get the bands into the right place to begin with, and that process in itself was traumatizing to Thorin. He yelled bloody murder, not so much I think because it was painful, but because he was restrained and desperate to get away. After we got the bands on, he was fine for a few weeks, but when the bands started cutting into the horns we had some problems. I think this is normal, but there was quite a bit of blood and other stuff around the horns for about a week; we were worried it would get infected. Not to mention he was in a lot of pain during that time. I knew there wasn't anything we could do about it so I didn't let myself get too sad for him, but I'm not sure I would want to do that again. He just wanted to be by himself and just lay around for a week or so. When the horns fell off there was even more blood and stuff running down his face and... yeah, gross. This is when we first put the bands on:

And no, I don't have any pictures of the stuff running all down his poor little face. That was disgusting. Now, though, he has no horns. After the horns fell off, there were these gaping holes in his head where the main blood vessel had been. Since I had never seen anyone band a goat's horns before, I didn't know if any of this was normal or what, so I put some natural antibacterial powder on and hoped he'd be okay. He was, although now he's growing some scurs. That can't really be avoided when using the disbudding iron either (or so I've heard and seen), but the whole process was painful and traumatizing to him and scary for me. I don't think I'll be doing it again unless I absolutely have to. Of course, he doesn't remember any of it now - he's not very smart for a goat - but I still feel bad.

Lilly - No, Lilly isn't our goat, but we've been taking responsibility for her a lot lately. I don't want to say a lot of bad things about our neighbors, but lets just say that they have no memory (or other brains for that matter). To make a long story short, Lilly got sick because they were just feeding her big bowls of oats and alfalfa pellets three times a day, and her milk production dropped way off. Now, she never gave much milk to begin with since she doesn't come from good milk lines, but the amount we were getting was cut in half. My mom finally got it into their heads that if they didn't fix what she was going to eat. So, Lilly went on a diet. Milk production was completely shot by that time, so we still are hardly getting anything. We are thinking of breeding her too, because does always give more milk their second freshening.

        So that's what's been going on with our Capricorns. Breeding will probably be held off until Autumn, so I'll just content myself with taking them for walks and snuggling them. As much as I LOVE goat babies, I can wait. ;)



  1. We always disbud rather than band the horns. We do it when the babies are 4-6 days old. It's not pleasant but at least it's over and done QUICK! I've never had any problems beyond a baby accidentally knocking his/her scab off and having some blood (which is easily stopped with some blood stopper powder). I'd HIGHLY recommend that route next time :)

    1. Yeah, I think that's what we'll end up doing with our babies. Thorin was too old by the time I got him, but I like that it's so fast to use the disbudding iron. My friends do that and they said that the babies scream bloody murder while you're doing it but when they go back with their moms and nurse for a bit they're fine. Sounds a lot better to me!

  2. Years ago we used to have a big herd of about 20 goats. I can remember when it was time to disbud was not fun at all!

    Blessings -

    ~ Aspen