Wednesday, January 23, 2013

You'll poke yer eye out!

It was a beautiful day today, 59 degrees according to the little thermometer out on the back deck.  A bit squishy, but almost sixty degrees at the end of January?  I'll take it.

Grandma, Rhiannon and I were enjoying the warm weather as were the goats.  Jumping around like nutjobs, butting heads and all those other goat-goings-on.  Lily and Chop Suey were roughhousing around and Nettie came in to break things up.  But when she got in the middle of it, Lily threw her head back and poked Nettie straight in the eyeball with one of her horns.

Nettie went reeling back and I tried to get a look at her.  She was keeping the eye squinted shut and I couldn't really get a good look at it.  After about a half-hour I went back to check on her and her eye was open and luckily it didn't look like there was any damage done.

I know that this is a pretty isolated incident, and it's not like Lily meant to poke Nettie in the eye (or at least that's what I keep telling myself), but it does reaffirm my decision to strive for a hornless goat herd.  My plan was to sell Lily after she kidded with at least one doeling and to also sell Herman, her horned brother, after he was used to breed Pickles later this year.  I really do like the looks of horned goats, but I'd like to lessen the chances of any potential horn-inflicted injuries.


  1. Ouch! Glad there wasn't damage done. My problem is that my nutjobs get their little heads stuck in the fencing - I have so-called sheep/goat fencing between the sheep and the goats (very original, no?) and Sage would regularly get her noggin stuck. I believe she has either a) come to her senses, or b) outgrown the opening. I am pretty sure it's b.

  2. Oh, ow-eee! We always dehorned our goat kids shortly after they were born because I was always afraid of them either injuring each other or one of us or getting their head stuck and either strangling or breaking a neck. I know it's "healthier" and certainly more natural to let their horns grow, but it is a potential problem. Glad nothing serious happened at your place. It could have been nasty.

    60 degrees??! Geesh, we had a high of only a few degrees above zero today. Whadda difference.

  3. Carolyn,

    Ouch!!! Now, I have a problem with even checking on eye injuries. I'm afraid if that were my goat that got poked in the eyeball, it would have to handle the situation all by itself.
    When anyone in the house asks me to look at their eye because something is in it, I get so freaked out. This only happens when it relates to the eye, and I don't know why. I can handle just about anything, except eyes that is.

  4. My goats were disbudded, but my buck has some nubs growing! I'm thinking the do it yourself disbudding doesn't work as well as the vet doing it! Hope your girls eye is okay ☺
    Thanks for posting Mama Peas chicken and dumpling stew! It was delish!

  5. I feel the same way about horned man and beast. Glad the eye wasn't injured.

    Have I mentioned I like your know kitty makes me smile every time.

  6. Yikes! I'm glad Nettie is okay! I'm leaning towards going hornless too. Right now, only Madeline (my milker), has horns and she gets a little "pissy" with the other girls sometimes and I'm always afraid someone is going to get hurt.

  7. Yikes! Shortly after Princess (the newest member of my feline clan) arrived on the scene there was an incident where she scratched another of the cats right in the eye. It was sort of a freak thing because he was running past her just as her paw shot out, but it was enough to require a trip to the emergency vet in the middle of the night with medicine every 2 hours for several weeks. Fortunately he got to keep the eye and no permanent damage was done. Everybody gets their claws trimmed on a regular basis now!

    I know nothing about goats - can their horns be trimmed or filed blunt to avoid the possibility of injury?

  8. Susan, Sheep and Goat Fence. Ha. Surely you jest!

    Mama Pea, I used to think about keeping their horns....until I had to unstick a stuck goat in the forty-two times a day.

    Sandy, so I'm assuming you really freak out when you see those gross eyeball candies at Halloween?? They are pretty icky.

    Kelly, since our first kidding, we've disbudded all our kids ourselves and have only had one male with a small scur, and if you wiggled it enough, it would eventually fall off. I think people have problems because they don't leave the iron on long enough. And I guess Paul is just really good at doing it.

    gld, glad you like the kitties! I LOVE kitties. Bet you didn't know that.

    Candy C., It's hard to find hornless goats around here, even at the county fair, I'd say over half of the dairy goats have horns (and I thought that was a disqualification). Different goat-strokes for different goat-folks I guess!

    EcoCatLday, I'd think you'd have to be constantly trimming or filing (just a tiny bit off the top, at that) horns as they are filled with blood vessels and not just bone. It would be, IMO, more humane to disbud them shortly after birth than to have to constantly subject them to more pain by filing or trimming, even if it were possible. I suppose you could somehow attach a big rubber nubbin on the points of the horn. Hmmmm.

  9. Ouch! I'm glad you are enjoying some good weather!

  10. Erin, you have NO idea how good 60 degrees feels here! Oh, thoughts of spring just buzzing round my head :)