Cronkshaw Fold Farm, Goat herd update, October 2017

Long time no blogging.

Balancing A-levels, mental-health awareness work, work experience, practicing flute diploma repertoire whilst starting up my Golden Guernsey herd leaves little time for blogging. We can all make time for the things we love, however- I have plenty of blogs in the works.
After having great feedback on my ‘Animals are my therapy’ blog post, I am working towards compiling a part 2, with other people sharing their stories to reach a wider audience. Busy busy busy! But it is important that whilst we invest our energy into making a change to society’s perception and understanding of mental health, that we look after our own mental health. One word- goats.

Whilst I will always be a perfectionist, finding other outlets for success helps me to continue plodding along despite my world crashing down over losing 3 marks in an exam. I try to ignore the people who support the whole burn-out culture of work, because I should not feel guilty for living my life and balancing my studies, no one should. Discovering my practical abilities, and utilising my sensitivity and empathy as strengths to care for animals has given me a new purpose, one that cannot be defined by a number. I am also not going to draft blogs multiple times, I will simply type what I would like to share and press PUBLISH.

^ A little off-subject, but a reminder to myself that I am breeding goats to learn, not to have perfect award-winning goats that do backflips. Like Boers are susceptible to foot rot, Golden Guernseys can have skin problems. If animals were in perfect health, vets would be out of their job. So over October, I have been researching goat nutrition and changed their diet to a more coarse goat-mix rather than beef nuts. I was advised to purchase an equine mineral supplement due to the higher copper content.
Over the next month, I will continue to learn and try different treatments to improve Lyra’s skin, dietary changes will be seen through gradual progression.
Goats are browsing animals, but they do love to run through the farm yard to the fields to graze on lush grass. I have been brainstorming enrichment ideas, to have a bracket in their barn to insert branches so natural browsing behaviour is encouraged.
They will love their goat playground, when I get around to building it with my dad!
The goats have certainly become part of the Wilson family, but it is important to keep their spreadsheets of finances, health records, weights etc. etc. up to date especially as the herd expands, because they are not pets and having a small dairy herd should be economically viable. Another management learning opportunity!

Jasper has now been separated from the does, so he may go on a holiday to meet some new girlfriends (sorry Esme and Lyra).
I have collected faecal egg samples, but worming will be a separate blog post once I have received the results.

Apart from the great improvement in lead training, and that I am pleasantly surprised the goats enjoy their himalayan salt lick, there is not much more to say… but not to worry, November is a hectic month.

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