ANZ's Farms

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Goats and Summer

This has been an exceptionally hot spring and now summer is upon us. My goats are hot. I would love to let them play in the sprinkler to cool off like we did as children, but goats are sissy about getting wet. So what to do?

Thanks to the counsel of my online friend Jordana, I purchased good dog clippers and headed to the goat yard for the summer shear. I wondered how they would respond to it, especially the sound of the clippers. They were hesitant about getting into the milk stanchion mid-day, but a little grain easily solved that problem. They gave the quiet whir little notice with noses buried in grain. And they LOVED the attention. Little spasms of their skin bespoke pleasure as the hot fur dropped off.

They look different without their coats, especially my doeling AnnaBelle, pictured above. She changed color. Her skin is dark but her fur is a golden brown. My precious wether Buddy, pictured right, changed little as he has a solid brown coat. I didn't clip them too closely because I have read that they sunburn, light skin burning worse than dark.

It was quite an afternoon for me. It's silly, I know, that I have a great sense of accomplishment. Experienced goat keepers would laugh to know that I agonized about how to do it right and about doing it by myself. (I shy away from new things, especially those I haven't seen before. I am a visual learner, so when I see something done, it helps empower me to do it. I haven't seen this done before ...) But I was willing to overcome my "fears" for the sake of my goats. They are cooler and happier for it. And that makes me happy, too!

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