have just come in from cleaning out the goats and my husband was waiting for me
with a cup of tea in his hand, - well I can dream can`t I?
don`t usually mind cleaning them out, I only have six goats in four pens and I
rotate the cleaning each week. Using aubiose means I do not need to clean them
out just as often as I would with straw. What I do find hard is trying to sweep
up wet hay from around the run, it is really heavy work and I have muscles my
husband would be proud of.
this time of year I always think my goats look their best, with the coming of
the colder weather their coats thicken and fluff up and hide some of their less
attractive features. I am hoping they are all pregnant, although one can never
be sure, this year has been particularly confusing.
very nice stud male I borrowed from the local
children`s farm where I work developed fly strike and I had to send him
home before he had left his visiting card with all my girls. For those who don`t
know, fly strike is a very nasty problem which is caused by flies. They lay
their eggs in moist parts of the animal, usually around their rear ends, the
eggs hatch into maggots who then start to eat into the flesh of the animal. It
is unusual for goats to be affected, it is usually sheep who suffer as the
maggots thrive in the moist warm coat of the sheep.
all the years I have kept goats I had never seen a case of fly strike, and then
this year I have heard of several cases, perhaps the warm wet weather has been
the perfect conditions to encourage it.
am sure not all goats react the same way but in my case the first thing I
noticed was Borneville was not yelling when I went down with his breakfast. I
was really pleased because he was the noisiest male I have ever had and with the
proximity of my neighbours it was quite a relief. He did not always eat his
breakfast straight away so I was not surprised he showed no interest in it.
the day I watched him and he appeared to be kicking his side with his back leg
and he was spending a lot of time quietly lying in his shed. I called the vet
who failed to diagnose fly strike and it was not until I took him back to the
farm next day that the farmer noticed what the problem was. The flies had laid
their eggs underneath the goat around his penis and that is where the maggots
were. Treatment was to cut all the hair from around the affected area, remove
the maggots and treat with an antisceptic spray. Borneville has now recovered
had a phone call the other day from a researcher for the Alan Titchmarsh Show.
explained that they were doing an item on goats that week and would be having
some dairy goats on the programme. He wanted to know if I could provide some
pygmy goats to compare the differences. It
sounded quite interesting and I thought here at last was my chance for fifteen
minutes of fame. As the conversation progressed I began to have doubts. I would
need to be up at the studio near Waterloo by 9 am, so far so good. He explained
there was nowhere to park and immediately visions
of walking across Waterloo Bridge in the rush hour with my goats in tow came to
mind. I asked where they would be kept while they were waiting for their staring
roll, he seemed a bit puzzled and asked could they not be kept on a lead. All I
could see was goat droppings all over the studio and a couple of very boisterous
goats making me look an idiot. (alright, no change there then) Needless to say I
decided against it but I did manage to catch the programme. There was a very
overcrowded pen with six mixed dairy goats in it and an expert discussing them
with Alan. They then brought on two very placid laid back pygmy goats on leads.
Not a poo in sight, but then neither was the owner, a presenter discussed
the goats with Alan for a few minutes and that was it. I will have to wait a bit
longer for my fifteen minutes.
was a knock at my door the other day and when I opened it there was a young lady
standing there. She asked me if I kept goats, and as my girls chose that moment
to start bleating for attention I was unable to deny it. There is a public
footpath down the side of my garden where the goats are kept and anyone walking
along it can hear them bleating sometimes. Was she going to complain?
No, apparently the smell reminded her of the cheese they made in her
village in Spain and after I had assured her I did not make cheese and we had a
little chat she went on her way. As the smell was coming from the very pungent
male goat I was borrowing, I dread to think what the cheese must have tasted
By now those of you who are intending to breed this year will have had your females served. My goats are due to kid earlier than usual due to a whole catalogue of circumstances and I am hoping we don`t get the snow we had last year. I have four who will be kidding for the first time as well as two old hands, with that ratio I cannot fail to have at least one caesarean. It would be very useful to have the goats scanned, then you would know if they were pregnant and also how many they were expecting. However, few of us have that facility and so we have to rely on crossing our fingers!
hope you all have a really lovely Christmas and I look forward to hearing your
kidding stories in the New Year.