Today was fall goat maintenance day. Tom has been working regularly so I was on my own. We have gradually figured out how to get this done with less effort and pain. You just have to be smarter than a goat sometimes. So I enticed the goats into 1/2 of the barn (to the left in the photo), opened up the gate to let only one goat through, and use grain to convince him/her to step up on the shearing/milking stand onto the spool. While they are eating grain from a bucket, I put a collar around their neck and then elevate the bucket enough so I can latch the collar to the 2×4 attached to the spool. I then hang the grain bucket away from them and proceed to the maintenance.
The fall maintenance involves checking their hair coats, body condition and conjunctival color to make sure they are healthy and adequate for winter. I trim their hooves. They get wormed and copper boluses. A few of them showed signs of hoof scald so they were treated for this as well. Afterwards they are individually led out the other side of the barn. Twenty goats were treated this way today. Apart from some minor kicks, this went well and is much, much easier than how I used to do this. Trying to work smarter, not harder, here at Schoonover Farm.
Next up will be fall maintenance on 36 sheep.