Last weekend, intern Phoebe and I trekked up to Westfield, Vermont to work with the goats of Lazy Lady Farm.
I always know I’m close to my destination when my phone receives the “Welcome to Canadian Cellular Networks – Texts and Calls will now cost a Small Fortune” message. Lazy Lady Farm is situated up on Buck Hill, where Laini lives off-grid using only solar and wind power.
We have come to do two tasks – the goats have some parasites, so we will be giving Copper Wire Oxide Particle (COWP) boluses. The boluses travel down the throat to the rumen, where the outer layer dissolves and tiny wire particles lodge in the stomach wall. Ugghgh. While they probably cause a minor tummyache, the dissolution of the copper makes the stomach toxic to parasites, so a die-off of internal parasites happens rapidly. Unlike with regular wormers, the copper doesn’t introduce medication to the whole goat, and the milk is still pure and fit for consumption.
The biggest obstacle to using COWP, then, is convincing goats to take pills! That’s where I come in. Convincing a goat to do what you want is 50/50 muscles and psychology. It helps to be strong enough to hold the goat’s head so that it can’t escape, and more meaningfully, to hold it so firmly but calmly so that it forgets how much it wants to leave. You have to hold the goat without alarming it. Not an easy task, and definitely more straightforward with the first twenty-five goats then with the last few, when you’re tired and they’re alarmed. Nevertheless, we got pills into every goat with only a few dropped pills.
The second task was the fun one. The Lazy Lady Farm website needs some updating, with better pictures of the new, young goats who’ve joined the herd and more complete information. Taking standard pictures of each goat helps potential purchasers compare animals and choose well. We want to show the structure of the goat, the quality of the udder, and the conformation overall.
Some of Laini’s beautiful gals:
We topped off the day with a trip to Cajun’s snack bar, where goat-wrasslin’ put me in the mood for a corned beef sandwich. Yum!
I will be showing off the new Lazy Lady Farm website as soon as it is completed.