Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Monday, December 12, 2016

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

The Fixer

I really don't know how anyone makes it in life without knowing how to fix stuff, or having someone around who knows how to fix stuff...especially on a farm.  And, I really don't know how it can be that companies have been making farm equipment for so many years, yet they still seem unable to make anything reliable.  Seriously, we can't get through a season without more than one piece of equipment breaking, malfunctioning, or just plain dying...multiple times.

If Tom wasn't capable of fixing nearly anything, we'd spend half our time and all of our money taking equipment to repair shops.

 My mower, which is not very old, stopped working about three or four times this season.  This particular problem happened to be something stemming from a safety feature.  If I get up from the seat, the engine turns off.  It's a good feature because if the mower flipped over with me on it, I sure will be happy that it turns off instead of chopping me into pieces.

However, the sensor isn't in the greatest place.  It's kind of forward under the seat, between my legs.  Somehow, it got out of whack and was sensing that nobody was in the seat, even when I was sitting in it.  Tom insisted that I had lost weight and was now too light for the sensor to sense my weight.  As much as I'd like for that to be true, I knew I hadn't lost weight, so it had to be something else.

Thank goodness Tom could diagnose and fix the problem fairly quickly and I could be on my way.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Pink Eye

We managed to stave off the parasites pretty good this spring, so I guess we're due for some illness around here.  A couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, I discovered that some of the goats had pink eye and we had to treat all fourteen of them.  Billy didn't get it even though he was spending quality time with the does, but we treated him anyway...just in case.

It's pretty much a pain when the goats have to be medicated because, well, they don't like to be medicated.  They particularly don't like to have stuff squirted in their eye.  We only have one goat who likes medicine, but only the kind she gets to swallow.  You can see her in the video below, getting in the way because she wants to taste the medicine.

For two weeks we squirted them all in the eyes twice a day.  OK, the truth of it is that there were a couple who didn't get it twice a day because they wised up and ran away, even though we tempted them with yummy sweet feed.  It's really, really hard to catch goats that don't want to be caught.  For several days, it was a disastrous melee with horned goat bodies flying all over the place.  I had several bruises on my legs to prove it.  We desperately need a chute.  Don't ask me why we've been raising goats for eight years and still don't have a decent set up for situations like this.

But, we finally got it down to a manageable system.  By Thanksgiving, we thought they were improved enough to take a break.  Even though they're supposed to be treated until their eyes cleared up, it was a pretty laborious process, we ran out of medication, and I had been reading things that sounded like it would clear up on it's own anyway.


After Thanksgiving, there were a few that were completely well and a few that were worse.  So, we had to get more medication and start over with the ones still showing signs of illness.

This doe was the worst.  Her eye was completely clouded over and inflamed.  She actually had to have a shot in the eyelid.  Ouch.  But, she's getting better.

This is one of the does that ran away and made it more difficult than it had to be.  She missed a few doses the first time around and her eye got pretty bad.

Another picture of the goat above.  If her eye was normal, you'd be able to see the rectangular pupil and a clear amber colored iris.  As it is, the eye just looks dull.

This guy got better, then worse.  Both of his eyes are cloudy.  You can barely make out his pupil.

If you enlarge this one, you can see that her left eye is clear.  Compare it to the other pictures of cloudy eyes to see the difference.  When they have pink eye, it kind of looks like a cataract, a cloudy spot that can cover just a spot on the eye, or the entire eye.

Her eye has begun to clear up, but it's still swollen and partially clouded.

Here's a video that I made with the GoiPro of our morning goat medicating session.  Too bad I didn't think to video our earlier goat wrangling efforts because I think it would have actually been funny to see.  It involved lots of running around, chasing, falling, and trying to fake the goats out by acting like we were just ambling on by and weren't actually going to grab them (no, that doesn't work), a bit of failed amateur lassoing, and snagging goats with a staff.

It's hard to see in the video, but goats have an extra eyelid under the eyelid that you can see.  It closes from the back of the eye towards the front.  Some of the goats are particularly hard to medicate because they'll clinch their outer eyelid really tight and when I pry that one open, they'll close that inner eyelid which blocks the spray.

The video doesn't work anymore because, apparently, Blogger doesn't give a flip.