Today was going pretty good. I cleaned up part of my room this morning and even washed the sheets and blankets on my bed. While Mom helped me a bit in my room we had the two milk goats and Phinny out in the other side of the yard doing a bit of mowing for Mom. To bad they got into the small azalea plant that our Neighbor gave Dad when his Mom died so Mom put them up. When Dad got up He took the trailer back to his cousin. Then him and I went to check out the calves again and we did a bit of roping. Not a bad start to the day … to bad it didn’t stay that pleasant.
While checking the calves we found one that needed to be given a shot of medication. We actually have a system to tell who gets what and when. You see, out of the 20 calves, only two can be told apart from the others. They are black holsteins and the rest are Jersey Cross Bred Calves…. Look …
This is them all eating … See what I mean. Anyway, we mark them with cattle chalk of a different color for different things. Then we tag them with a large ear tag so we can use a number and make sure we have the right calf each time we doctor it. The last thing we do is write the treatment in a notebook to keep track of what shots each one gets.
Anyway, It sounds complicated but it really is simple… Okay we ran into a snag on that plan right from the start. You see, Mom was ready for the calves to need a bit of help getting well from their long trip and she even stopped and picked up a new bottle of medication for them yesterday. When we pulled it out to use it today Mom noticed that the bottle she bought just yesterday was 9 months expired. She got on the phone and got it all straightened out and the store that was 30 plus miles away delivered a new bottle to Mom and picked up the other one and took it back. Mom was really happy with that solution and all she had to do was go to town and make the switch.
We were headed to town anyway so it was no big deal. In town we donated two bikes to the church, went to the extention office, stopped by Harry’s (who forgot we were coming so we didn’t get anything done there) and picked up a couple of Pizzas for dinner at the Grocery store.
When we got home we went back to the calf pen. We doctored the one calf and then took a good look at the calves again. We were going to just use the ear tags the calves had in their ears but when Mom saw what was going on she got mad. The ear tags that are used by Texas Dairies are a state tag but Mom HATES them. Not the idea of tagging but the actual tags. They are metal tags that folds over the outside edge of the ear and then goes through the ear and hook closed. Well, as the ears grow the clip doesn’t move and we find all kinds of problems when they are used.
Just like today. We found some infected. One was put in wrong and it had folded the calf’s ear in half piercing the ear twice and pinching the ear in half. Another one had grown into the ear. And several were making notches in the ears as the ears grew around the tag. This type of Tag rubs the ear raw in different places making sores and blisters. With all that going on you can imagine Mom’s reaction when she found the condition of some of the ear tags. (please remember it is the law that this kind of Dairy tag be used and they only had one put in wrong … The rest is just the way it is in the industry)
How did Mom handle it??? Well, She got the tin snips out and had me help her hold each calf down and all the metal clip ear tags were manually removed. Except one. It is infected the worst and Dad will have to help me get it out of the little guys ear tomorrow. Mom cut most of it away but it looks as though even after boiling it with hydrogine peroxide that it will take a little bit of cleaning up to get the actual clip out of his ear. So tomorrow Dad will help us and we will finish getting that one out … As for the rest Mom made quick work of those tags and they are all gone.
When we were finished with that Mom and I finished the orchard. We just had to trim the grass from around the trees. We got it done in no time really. I used the push mower and Mom weeded around the trunks by hand. Then Mom set to mowing the front yard. By this time it was time for chores but when Mom went to feed the goats she found that Holly didn’t eat all her dinner. Worried she started questioning why …
The AZALEA Plant was remembered … and the book and internet consulting began. Turns out Azaleas are poisonous to Goats. It is the one plant that Goats are drawn to even though it is poisonous to them. Most the time an animal won’t eat things that are bad for them unless it is all they have. That isn’t so with Azaleas. So now Mom is upset with herself and the Goats are on watch for the next two days as well as Holly’s milk being tossed out. Did you know that Azaleas are poisonous to humans too???