Friday, March 25, 2011

The Fine Print of Farming

I love farming. I really do. But there are days when you find yourself reading the fine print that comes with this lifestyle, and you wish you could take an eraser to it...

Two weeks ago, my cow accidentally kicked me in the leg. Thankfully, I only had a baseball sized bruise to show for it, but was a reminder that my 400 lb. heifer will soon be an 800 lb. cow that might kick a little harder.

Last week, while trimming Ivy's hooves, she slammed the back of her head into my face. Again, nothing too serious, just a lot of blood, a busted and swollen lip, and an inability to talk or smile for 48 hours. Ivy got the silent treatment for a while after that...

These things naturally come with the farming lifestyle. Accidents happen. People and animals get hurt.

Today I had another "fun" day. My two goat kids, Beatrix and Bertram, had been dehorned when they were 7 days old, but both needed to be done again, as the horns were growing back. Along with dehorning them, I also needed to castrate Bertram, and draw some of Heidi's blood so that I could get it tested. Fun, fun, fun. (Not)

Thankfully, I have a friend who is a vet tech, so she came out and helped me get everything done. Drawing Heidi's blood was pretty uneventful, but the dehorning was another matter. I vehemently dislike dehorning, but unfortunately it's just one of those things that has to be done. The kids definitely screamed more than last time; maybe because they're older? Personally, if someone touched me with a 1000 degree iron, (no, that's not a misprint; the iron really is one thousand degrees) I think I would probably scream a good deal louder and longer than the goats did! But we got it done. And we even got poor Bertram castrated. Whew!

When we were done, I looked like I had been in hand to hand combat. One of Bertram horns had bled a little more than usual, and the ornery fellow decided to rub his head vigorously on my shirt and arm, leaving some lovely scarlet streaks hither thither. Thank you Bertram.

All the animals are resting quietly now. Bertram looks quite pathetic, and I feel so bad for him. But, goat kids always spring back to their normal, bouncy self in a few days, so that's a small consolation.

Despite the pitfalls, bruises and blood that come along with the farming life, I still love it. I am willing to endure the bad experiences, because I know that the good ones outweigh them....

Anyone want to learn how to dehorn a goat? I still have lots of babies comin'! ;)

1 comment:

Hayseed said...

Never fear, I know how to disbud kids. Bethany's dad taught me how. And I do not enjoy it....