Nope, this entry isn`t about that album released by the Rolling Stones back in 1981, nor is it about my Wolverine tattoo. (Yes I do have Wolverine permanently inked into my skin. I am THAT much of a comic geek.)
Actually this here post is about getting ready for our county fair which is about two weeks away. Now as many of you know who have children who show at your local fairs things have to be done beforehand. This includes (At least in our county) paperwork that has to be sent in to our local extension office, forms mailed to our goat barn supervisor stating which goats and what classes are coming to fair this year, a visit from a large animal vet to ensure all who are going are healthy and lastly but not leastly 4-H books must be completed before Round-up which kicks off fair for our 4-H kids.
Makes ya tired just reading it don`t it? In all fairness it`s not as bad as it sounds, at least we goatherders don`t find it so. The goats on the other hand, now that`s a different story! This year’s entrants are already complaining loudly about the necessary accoutrements and falderal that`s being heaped upon them.
Through trial and error (Many errors to be honest) we`ve come up with a routine that seems to work well for us. I thought I`d show you some of the before fair goings-on just because it makes the goats so contrary and therefore makes me snicker some. Their faces sometimes just speak volumes!
What we do here on the hillside farm is tattoo our goats before we do anything else. Since we`re proud members of A.D.G.A. ( The American Dairy Goat Association) all our does are registered, as are our two bucks Anakin and Auron who by the way are still behind their fence. *Snickers at contrary goat male faces outside window.* I just love the word contrary as you can tell.
Anydoodles back on track here. *Sips coffee and mind clears*
Tattooing is our preferred means of identification. Some people use ear tags but after a rather nasty incident with one of our Nubian doeling`s ripping a tag from her lovely long ear we swore we would ear tag no more forever. (One of many new goat-owner errors I mentioned earlier.)
Our registration papers from A.D.G.A. have each goats herd ID and their individual ID along with their names and their genealogy back to grand sires and dams. Our herd tattoo is BVSL and must be placed in the goat’s right ear. Their personal ID numbers must go in their left ear. This year’s letter is A and must be followed by the goat`s number. So for example Calliope is A9-Freya is A2-Persephone is A1 and so on.
‘But what about those LaMancha`s? They have no ears!’ I can hear you all asking.
Very true and good job on the mental telepathy my blogging buddies! The LaMancha`s are tattooed on their tail-webs. YEOUCH! Talk about a rather embarrassing thing to have done to your tail-web! A friend of ours does our LaMancha tattooing for us since she raises them and has the much smaller tattoo letters and numbers required. I`ll spare you and Freya the mortification of posting pictures of her tail-web tattooing and just show ear tattooing.
So here we go into the wonderful world of yodeling goatherders and goat tattoos!
This is our handy tattoo tote, filled with all the assorted goodies we`ll need. Tattoo pliers, green ink, toothbrushes, rubbing alcohol, paper towels, digits and letters and rubber gloves. Why I carry the rubber gloves I have not a clue since neither Mister nor I will wear them. Go figure right?
Next we have lovely young Calliope who will be helping us show how we tattoo. First we get the inside of the ear as clean as we can with rubbing alcohol. All my goats dislike having their ears handled which adds to the enjoyment of the whole tattooing job by leaps and goaty bounds.*Rolls eyes*
Then we use one of the old toothbrushes to rub the tattoo ink inside her ear well.
One last check to ensure that the letters/numbers are not in the tattoo pliers upside down. The county vet who checks each goat when they arrive at the fairgrounds frowns upon improperly placed tattoos so we like to double-check just for our own peace of mind. Looks like we`re good to go!
Since the actual tattooing is a two-person job with lots of blatting, kicking and wrenching I`ll have to skip any shots of it occurring. I was too busy trying to restrain Calliope to make sure she didn`t jerk her head violently and rip the tattoo gun free. That would tear her inner ear and we don`t want to subject her to something that painful on top of the tattooing itself. It does hurt I won`t sugarcoat it, but it`s a short-lived pain. As soon as you release them it`s pretty much over with.
On we go to the left ear! Clean, ink, repeat.
It is a very messy job as you can see. Thankfully the tattoo ink wears off much faster than Blue-Cote but for a couple days Mister and I have way more than a green thumb!
Now as you`ll see in this last picture there is a reason we tattoo first, aside from letting the ink soak into the tiny tattoo holes, then bathe followed by their show clippings.
Green really is her color don`t you think? After the deed had been done Calliope got some extra hugs and smooches which seemed to make her feel special and much better. Next comes the bathing and clipping which I`ll post up shortly and is always a good time!
Nothing like soapy goats and yodeling goatherders to look forward to seeing is there?