Moat Goats, 9.7.17-13.7.17

With my big trip to Finland coming up, it was time to travel by myself down to Pembrokeshire. After a pleasant train ride down to Shrewsbury, I picked up a Starbucks (mango juice of course), before heading to the Aberystwyth-bound train’s allocated platform.

I took the opportunity to begin reading ”Lean in” which is about female empowerment in the workplace.

Gyppy and Mossy enjoyed a car journey to meet me at the station. I was over the moon when they greeted me with excitement, remembering me from last time.

My little Freddo (not so little anymore) also remembered me! Deciding to move his sister, Foxy, to the bottle baby pen was a successful move. Fred was finally thriving, after a scrawny start to life weighing just 1.9kg.

After I was taught the altered feeding regime as a result of goat movements, and had met the kids born after my previous departure, I was ready for a third week at Moat Goats.

The morning and evening jobs consisted of topping up the hay racks, filling up the water buckets, bedding down the pens, and feeding the goats the correct amount of cake. The kids had ad lib concentrate in the creep feeder, meaning it was necessary to keep the level high enough to last until the next feed.

There was one extra challenge and he goes by the name ”William”. Learning from his mum, he dived straight over the water buckets to escape the pen whenever he heard a human voice!  Even funnier… this escapee didn’t walk, but jump.

It didn’t take long for the other kids to catch on. So chasing and catching 10 goats became the last step of the twice-daily feeds. The cunning animals jumped into the feed troughs when they were lowered, before jumping out of the pen. It becomes a game to them:

There was lots of hoof trimming practice too. Steph taught me the fishermans knot, to prevent the halter lead from sliding across the bar. It made the job significantly more efficient, with the goats tied in position. The kids took the opportunity to get a drink whilst their mum was still.

I treated any cases of interdigital dermatitis with engemycin spray. If the hoof began to bleed, I also sprayed it. I used the spray on William’s ear as he had a pink wound, likely from his daily escapee adventures.

Over the course of the week, there were a few bucklings to castrate and ear tag. As soon as anyone entered the bottle baby pen, a mob of kids jumped up and attempted to get on your back. I returned with lots of lovely bruises!

Once all of the jobs were complete, Steph and I sat in the pen to allow the kids to go crazy.

On Tuesday, the four of us quickly got through weighing all of the kids, vaccinating with Lambivac, and the oral coccidiosis drench. I caught the goats in their pens and passed them over to Steph, who placed them in the crate and Meg noted their weight to prepare the correct dosages and calculate weight gain. Damo treated the kids.

I used the administration gun to inject a few of the kids with Lambivac, sub cut. The drench gun was more difficult to use, but like injecting I am sure it will become easier over time.

Spending time with the kids I had delivered was a wonderful experience. They will become extremely cheeky goats when they are older…

Mossy and Gyppy got their special treatment too! They enjoyed their walk down to the fields and jumping in muddy water. 

On my last night, I even let Mossy sleep in my bed too… what a bad decision! Spaniel craziness kept me up all night, but I forgave her as it is Mossy.

On my last day, I walked up the slope to lead the goats to the area they needed to clear. They loved all of the browse!

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