I did it to myself. I said that we weren't going to keep horned goats. But then came the Boers, Herman and Lily. Though in my defense, it's basically impossible to get a hornless Boer goat and the only reason Pickles is hornless is that I got her as a two-day old and we disbudded her ourselves.
Then I found MamaGoat, the Mini-Saanen. Who had horns. Suckered into that, but she's a great milker for her size. Then during late Summer last year, I had a friend of mine beg me to take her Nigerian mix doe and her doeling. Both of which had horns. I sold the doeling, but NewNew is still with us.
And when I traded Olivia for Penny, a pregnant "Boer" goat three months ago, she also had horns (and also turned out to be not so much 100% Boer but a Boer/Nubian mix).
So much for a hornless herd of goats.
I don't care what you think of horns on goats; you think what you gotta think and do what you gotta do. I personally think they are very majestic looking and honestly believe that goats should have horns.....but I do not like them on our farm. Rhiannon has had a few close calls with the horned members of our herd when feeding time comes around. She now knows that she's not supposed to feed or clip the horned goats. I don't let her play with them. And I've been accidentally poked with a rogue horn here or there. They don't do it on purpose, it's just that those things are just, like, there.
But we did have an "on purpose" horn incident yesterday evening. Which had me up most of the night with nightmares.
Penny, the horned Boer/Nubian mix is on the bottom of the pecking order. She gets picked on a lot. Yesterday I came into the goat pen with some treats and on cue, everyone came running up to me to get a Cheeze It. Nettie is herd queen so she's first in line and while her front end was occupied munching on cheese flavored snackies, Penny came up behind her and gored her in the udder. Like gored her so hard Nettie's back end was picked up for a second. I immediately screamed in my scary banshee like voice for everyone to get the heck out of the way (and of course they played deaf and kept at me because they thought I had more snacks). I threw the Cheeze Its across the yard and went to look at Nettie's udder. Which was gushing. GUSHING blood. Had I not been so intent on getting Nettie into the barn and away from everyone else I would have put a bullet in Penny's head right then and there (yes, I know, it's not her "fault", yadda, yadda, yadda, but I was beyond pissed). I got Nettie up in the milk stand and surveyed the situation. I've never seen such a constant gush of blood. I put my hand over it to try and stop it, but it only drained right through my fingers and into an increasing sized pool on the barn floor. I didn't want to leave, but I ran to the house, got a bunch of towels and the blood-stop powder and ran back. Still bleeding. Her udder was covered in bright red, her back leg was soaked, the barn was a mess. It looked like a scene from a horror movie.
I got Nettie out of the milk stand and into the clean kidding pen and finally got the wound to clot a bit. She eventually laid down and I didn't get her back up right away afraid that it would start bleeding again.
I have no idea how much blood a goat can lose before going into shock. I'm surprised that I didn't go into shock. But I bet she lost a pint of blood. I stayed with her in the barn for a while. She was still laying down but grunting more. Although she's been grunting for a few days now since she's large from being pregnant and, of course, due to kid in a week. Great.
I eventually got Nettie more comfortable (or at least that's what I'm telling myself) and was able to get some Probios & B12 down her maw (figured it wouldn't hurt) and a shot of oxytetracyclene (antibiotic to ward of infection from the wound). She was still interested in grain so I gave her a few hand fulls. Checked on her right before bed, once during the night and around 5:30 this morning. She's still laying down, but has been moving around a little bit because there are three piles of goat turds in the pen.
I'm not sure what I'm going to do about the wound yet. I think that I'll just make sure it doesn't open up again at least until I can get Paul to help me later today. I may have to open it up to clean it out or if it's really bad, maybe stitch it together (or use super glue? I've heard of that).
The last time she had a small tear in her udder, I just kept irrigating it with hydrogen peroxide and gave her an antibiotic shot. Oh, didn't I tell you? I found her with a smaller tear in her udder just a week and a half ago. And at the time I couldn't figure out how she got it, but now I'm pretty sure it was Penny.
Penny is in a separate pen, awaiting a decision on my part. NewNew (the other horned goat) has been in the local sale paper since last night. MamaGoat I really want to keep so she will have her horns banded this weekend. And as for Herman and Lily? I don't like the horns, but they are kind of a different shape. Not pointy like Penny's or NewNews horns, they lay back so they really aren't a "poking or puncturing" kind'a horn. And since they are much larger, I don't want to band them. Besides, if I can find a newborn Boer buckling this spring I'll buy him, disbud him and get rid of Herman; we'll be needing new bloodlines anyhow. So that will just leave Lily with horns.
It's starting to get light outside now so I'm going back out to check on Nettie again. Fun times I'm telling ya, fun times.