Billy The Goat
Eventually, when Billy gets older, we plan to put him out in our macadamia nut orchard. There are parts of it that are very steep, rocky and difficult to mow. It's difficult to get the mower through there but a goat should have no problem. Goats can easily damage coffee trees but should do an excellent job of keeping the macadamia nut orchard clear. At least that's the plan.
For now, Billy has a small pen near the house. He sleeps in a small dog kennel. When he's not asleep, he likes to stand on top of the kennel and bleat repeatedly until we let him out of his pen. As far as he's concerned, if it's not feeding time then it's play time. Play time consists of following us around and tasting everything. Goats like to graze. They nibble on everything within reach. Christmas decoration seem to be a particular favorite this time of year.
Billy doesn't seem to understand that he's a farm animal. He's not happy unless he's on the porch with us and he will come right into the house if he has a chance. He's not house trained so he goes right back outside as soon as we catch him. It's amazing how fast a baby goat can be.
Billy had a rough day on Saturday. It's important for goats to get disbudded and castrated while they are young. Neither process is particularly pleasant, for the goat or the farmer, but both processes are important if you want an adult goat that isn't aggressive and dangerous. Our neighbor had both the disbudding iron and the elastrator but we had the privilege of actually performing the procedures. Disbudding consists of using a red hot iron to burn off the horn buds. The horn buds fall off and, if the procedure was performed correctly, don't grow back. Castrating consists of applying a tight rubber ring to the base of the scrotum which cuts off circulation causing it to atrophy and eventually fall off. As you can imagine, both procedures are a bit delicate and require the goat to be restrained properly. It took three of us but I'm pleased to say that we seemed to have done everything properly and Billy is recovering just fine. He was walking a bit stiff for the first hour or so but now he's right back to running, jumping, climbing and eating everything.
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