The past two days were lovely here in central Kansas. 50 + degrees & sunny. The girls were long overdue for some TLC so I treated them to their favorite lunch and pedicures!
Now then, if you own goats you must have a stanchion. Yes even if you have meat goats & no dairy. Why you ask? Because not many goats that I have ever known LIKE to have their hooves clipped. Even the ones that will “stand” for me give me more difficulty than I care to deal with. Before Joe’s Daddy made me a stanchion, we’d have to end up laying the girls down and straddle them to get it done. A pain for us and they hated it!
So Friday afternoon I started luring the girls one by one to the milk house with grain. HA! ya not one by one, that was my wishful thinking!! More like ton by ton! Now I don’t know about any of you but my girls are good about following you and then slipping in front of you real quick like so that you trip over them. Then by the time we get up to the milk house they are like a swarm of bees, surrounding me in hopes to knock me down or climb me like a tree and eat all the grain in my pail!! They drive me nuts! Thank goodness Joe’s daddy was home to help sort out the mess!
Everyone did pretty good on the stand. I made a temporary step out of some shelving that has not been put up yet for the Myotonics. They are not jumpers and have a harder time getting UP & Down from things. Some I had to lift up on to it (oh my aching back) but all & all it went well. When Joe’s daddy built the stanchion he did so for a Nubian goat. I have four 2×6 boards stacked for height as Nigerians are much shorter than a full-sized Nubian. He is going to build me a platform that hinges open so that I can adjust the height according to breed / age of goat. Always keep the future in mind, I say.
With them in the stanchion, I was able to check them over head to toe. I was sure to check everyone’s parts & pieces (with the exception of Blue Boy, didn’t want him getting to excited and god knows when you have a buck you can’t miss their parts & pieces as much as they expose themselves!). It gave me great opportunity to see how close each are to kidding. Myotonics have awesome udder structure. Their bags stay well up against their tummy with no sagging after drying up, so it can be hard to determine just by looking how full their udder is. Being able to feel is best with them and much to my surprise some where fuller than I thought and others not so much.
Two days of this dog & pony act to get Blue & all 19 of the girls done. Here is Luna modeling the stanchion
Pebbles was a trick & I’ll need to work with her daily. She doesn’t like being touched so much and did not like me touching her udder, which is not unusual for any goat that has not been worked to stand. When she finally does stand for me she will milk out well. She is a Nigerian & has a nice bag & big teats. Guinness is obviously favoring one teat over the other so Pebbles is just going to have to get used to the idea of being milked sooner than later. I was able to squeeze out a nice stream so she isn’t clogged up. We will see.
Ginger (our Myo/Boer cross) is a smart one. She’d put ALL her weight on the leg I wanted to work on. She’s shorter than a Boer but heavy as full-grown Myotonic! Heifer I’d say! It was like prying super glued feet up from the stanchion! I know she was laughing at me in her head!
Silly little Halo nearly sat on her bottom while I tried to do her back feet! The whole time I worked on them her butt was literally 3 inches off the stanchion floor! Talk about difficult. She was eating the whole time too – silly goat!