Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Change in Plans

On Monday, my wife noticed that some of the herd is showing signs of an intestinal parasite problem. Net result, we did an immediate reshuffle of all other ranch business to handle the problem of worming the herd. The process is simple: catch a goat, weigh the goat, measure the medicine and force the goat to take the medicine. The easy part is weighing the goat. Using a syringe without a needle to measure the medicine and force it down the goat's throat makes those parts relatively easy. The hard part, of course, is catching the goats one at a time.

The goats do not want any part of taking the medicine. They have been through this many times before and most of them hate it with a passion. If they know it's worming time, they will even ignore food. They resist being rounded up and that, of source, is the first step. It took over an hour to get the whole herd in one compound about 1/2 acre in size. Some, of course, knew what was happening and lined up. They were easy. The rest got progressively more difficult. Putting out hay with oat pellets allowed us to catch a whole bunch. The last dozed, or so, had to be roped one at a time.

It is not easy to rope a goat. If they see the rope coming, they stop and change direction. The trick is to have a rope coming from the other side, so that when they turn to avoid one, they turn into the path of the second rope. Three ropes at once result in a tangle of rope and the goat getting away. Those last dozen goats took about two hours this time.

This process took the whole day and took the wind out of our sails for the day. So much for the plans we laid out for the week on Sunday! Well, we will get to the fence posts later today. Life goes on...

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