Busy Days

Most of my days are busy. The livestock need to be fed and watered, there is always more fun fiber to spin, more yarn to be woven, supplies to buy, pictures to take, the website to be updated. There are lots of things to do to keep animals and to have a business.

This is from several weeks ago…. Today felt busier than most and it all had to do with the animals. The horses get wormed every three months. When we were going to horse shows we wormed them every two months and I worried about it more since they were exposed to more germs. Now that all the ponies are retired and don’t ever leave this property we are on a three month cycle. I try to do these things on the first of the month but this month it was today. Horses don’t like to be wormed. They act like I am trying to poison them. Worming them requires catching them, putting a halter on them, tying them to the fence, grabbing the halter with a firm grip and squirting the paste into their mouths. None of it is particularly difficult since they are easy to catch and halter and they all tie well. While I had them tied up I gave them a good spray with a fly repellent. The flies have been bad this summer. You would think the horses would appreciate the protection but they aren’t really happy about this procedure either.

The old goats get treated for lice periodically throughout the year. We use Ivermectin pour-on that’s intended for cattle. There aren’t a lot of drugs labeled for goats since goats don’t make up a very high percentage of the livestock in this country. We take formulations intended for other animals, mostly cattle and sheep, and figure out dosage for our goats. It’s not perfect but it works. So today was the second treatment for lice since these guys were sheared a couple of weeks ago. The goats are friendly and get under foot all the time except when they realize you need to treat them for something. I didn’t quite have to chase them all over their pasture but it did require some fancy footwork on my part. Fortunately, with their coat so short, getting the Ivermectin through their hair and onto their skin was easy. It gets more difficult as they get shaggier.

The new baby goats got to eat in the barn this morning. We ran fecals on them a while back and they were all +1 or +2. We don’t usually treat them at +1 but this was Paxton who was so sick so I treated them with a new wormer last week. It’s time to check and see how they are doing. If I was the vet who has a light touch and lots of experience, I would have taken a fecal sample out of each goat but I’m not him so I picked up a selection of goat berries from the floor of the stall. I ran it up to the vet to be tested. It came in at a +2 so I’ll be treating them all again tomorrow morning.

While I was at the vet’s I scheduled the new young cats to be spayed, the old cat for her annual checkup and shots and the three weanling goats to be banded. While none of those things actually happened today, it made me feel all the more busy today.