Friday, March 28, 2008

Burning Horns

I don't know how people could stand burnings at the stake. I mean as spectators. (The victims didn't have much choice.) It's not just the sight - the smell of burning flesh is terrible.

You, dear reader, are probably becoming concerned about my mental stability just now, but never fear! I am alright. Only prompted to muse concerning such gruesome odors by the task I performed last night.

Disbudding is one of those things which you'll never enjoy but you just have to do it anyway. If you don't then you'll either be possibly injured by your goat's horns or you'll have to put them through the dangerous and painful surgery of de-horning - a process most vets refuse to do because of the risks of infection to the brain and the grotesqueness of the procedure.

Disbudding involves searing away the hair and skin (right down to the bone of the skull) around a kid's horn bud, then scraping away the bud from the bone and cauterizing the area with the red hot iron. Educational photos *hopefully* coming soon.

It wouldn't be so bad except for two items. First the kid writhes and screams terribly, bellowing out his distress from the depths of his little goat lungs, if not his little goat soul. As if that weren't enought to traumatize any goat "mother" like me, the stench is abominable. Dense loathesome hideous black smoke obscures sight and suffocates you even while you are trying to hold the iron steady so as to not burn the kid further than necessary or brand yourself.

This isn't nice sweet or foresty smelling wood smoke which reminds you of musty Dark Ages in of cold stone or manure huts within deep dank forests. No.

This smoke is the aroma of death. It is the most utterly repulsive odor imaginable.

Last night something pricked my mind of a theological analogy, but I'm still casting about for what it was.

Any way, I succeeded in shooting (with CD&T vaccine) all of my bitties despite squiggles and squirms and managed to burn all the horn buds without branding myself or seriously injuring the kids. They were all rather stunned to receive this kind of harsh treatment from the girls they've looked to "for every good thing" 'till now, but they'll be fine by tonight and their burnt heads should heal within a few months.

I'm just glad to get disbudding done and over with. I was getting anxious about not having enough time with all my homework, but it worked out fine. Yes, I know - if I have a lot of homework I ought not be blogging. {cringes with guilt}

No comments: