Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A Milk Stand, Goat Worry, and Silly Feet

Wendigo was kind enough to demonstrate how the goat milking stand that Brandon built will work to hold a goat in place.  I only had to ask Brandon to help me hold Peaches still while I soaked her sore foot once before he was ready to build a stand.  Peaches is hard to hold in place, but with the stand holding her head, and the bucket we mounted to it full of goat food, she will tolerate me messing with her feet.  For a few minutes anyway.  If we ever get the point where she's is to be milked, I'm going to have to learn to milk fast, or feed her extra to keep her still.  

I'm worried about Peaches' feet.  The crusty and weepy red spot that was on just one foot is now on all four feet.  It's not a problem with her hooves, which is what comes up if I do a search on line for goat foot problems.  Like most things, searching on the internet is not reassuring.  There are some terrible goat hoof diseases that I hope I never have to treat.  

Peaches problem seems more like bad athletes foot on the back of her foot/lower leg, below the dew claw hoof things.  It hasn't rained much at all since she came to stay, so she doesn't stand around in mud or on dirty bedding. It's not even the part of her foot that touches the ground.  I've been doing the Betadine soaks and painting her with the purple anti-fungal/anti-bacterial, like the goat lady said to do, and I think the first sore is drying up (it purple now, so it's hard to tell), but what's causing it?  I can't see any mites, but would I see them?  It seems like she's itchy to me, but I can't tell if it's a normal amount of itchy or extra itchy.  Or maybe she's itchy because I coated her in diotomacous earth and she feels as dusty as she is!  I'm more careful to make sure she has mineral supplements available at all times now.  And I dosed everybody with herbal wormer again.  It might be time to call the vet.  Sigh.  Goats are more fun when they are healthy.  

Peaches thinks I'm more fun when I'm not so obsessed with her feet too!  So far, she eats like normal, and doesn't limp or anything.  The Rivers don't seem to have any problems.  Peaches uses her lower front teeth to scratch her sore places, which probably makes them worse.  It also makes her lips purple!  When I get her foot in hand, I do a little trimming of the hooves, so her hooves are getting better looking as I get more confidence in how much to cut off.  

Rufus and I are having some good luck with handling his feet.  We play "silly feet", which is silly, I know, but when talking to a one year old donkey, silly is okay.  We put on the halter, attach the lead rope, walk together to a post, tie him up, and then hang out while I rub his front legs and pick up his feet and dangle them from his knee.  I swirl them, and tap them on the ground, and basically make his feet silly while I act silly.   He likes having silly front feet, but kicks me off when I try to give him silly back feet.  Back feet are still very serious, but we're working on it.  I've been putting Rufus's hay in this mesh bag, and hanging it in his stall.  It's supposed to keep his hay off the ground and also keep him from scarfing his food real fast since he as to pull the stalks through the holes in the bag.  He likes it.  The goats are jealous.  

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