Goats: Spring Cleaning!


Photo by Unsplash/Antondarius

Originally published March 2012

Some have said that a “heat wave” can be defined as three consecutive days where the temperature is 20 degrees or more above the normal recorded temperatures. Well, by that definition we had a heat wave in Maine this week! Woohoo! It was 82 degrees yesterday, March 22nd and 83 & 80 the two days before. Average temps are usually in the mid 40's to the low 50's in March, we've even seen it 25 degrees below zero in mid-March, so we're all soaking this up. One of my friends sent me a photo of her two daughters dressed in shorts and flip-flops standing on a huge snow-pile.

Part of our usual spring clean up includes branch and fallen limb removal which we did this year in mid-March instead of late April! My husband actually scooped up the remains of a snow-pile and dumped it elsewhere so the snow melt wouldn't run down our driveway.

Photo by Janice Spaulding

Today was the official “GOAT CLEAN UP DAY”. Each of our very pregnant girls was led out of the barn and on to the fitting stand. Some needed to get their udders trimmed before kidding in another two weeks, others just needed their hoofs tended to. All of them got their annual CD/T vaccinations.  

Photo by Janice Spaulding

First girl on the stand was Winnie. Her registered name is Wenonah, but I like Winnie much better because it lends itself to some cute nicknames! She's a French Alpine and compared to our American Alpines she's more on the petite side. Being smaller in stature though, does not prevent her from becoming humongous during pregnancy. We call her “Wide Winnie” or better yet, “Winnie-bago”. It's normally way too cold at this time of year to be outside trimming udders, so we usually do it after they kid rather than before. Not this year!

Photo by Janice Spaulding

The photos of this beauty show her before her “dairy trim” and afterward. Hairy udders cause several problems, one being that hairs can drop into the milk pail during hand milking, YUCK! Secondly, while you are squeezing the teats you can accidentally pull some of the hairs on the udder. This will cause a foot in a bucket faster than you can say “heck”! Also, it's way easier to clean up their “tushies” after kidding without all that excess hair.

3/30/2012 3:54:27 PM

Thanks Deborah! Glad you got some good information from the post. Believe me, your goats will be much happier at milking time without hairy udders :)

3/29/2012 9:14:22 PM

Thanks for the blog on the bottle feeding schedule; we really needed that! Also the info and picture on the udder trimming. We have already started kidding so that information will be put to good use. Thanks.

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