Friday, 23 January 2009

When Hell freezes over!

Lets get a fact about goats cleared up once and for all, they don't eat everything.
They do however try to eat everything. The day you see a goat not eating is when Hell freezes over.
So the flames must have been at least dampened today as Geisha, our lovely pedigree Anglo Nubian Goat turned her back on the food. Even though her stall mate Maggie started to eat it all she refused even to look at it.
A sudden influx of poultry would normally provoke an eating race but
still she persisted in her non eating.Clearly a non eating goat is a cause for concern and as our plans for milk and cheese are resting squarely on her furry shoulders action was needed to put her right.
The cause of her loss of appetite was footrot. Hooves grow continuously like fingernails and have to be trimmed regularly to prevent their feet literally rotting away. Imagine the worst case of athletes foot ever, but with little worms in just to make it more interesting then perhaps you can appreciate why Geisha felt less like eating and more like crying.
We have been trimming and checking her hooves weekly as we had noticed the onset of this horrible affliction but it just gets worse. No matter how many times I spray us both with the purple foot rot cure it makes no difference other than my colleagues at work giving me funny looks for sporting an unusual shade of purple nail varnish. What she needs are dry feet but given our climate and its propensity for rain that seems to be, well a real case of blue sky thinking. We have moved her to dry quarters and a dry bed on a dry floor where she rather pathetically just about managed a little piece of dry straw for lunch. A real case of A.N.D.Q!

Purple was a bit of a theme today as we cleaned The Boys, giving them a good brush and generally tended to their every needs. Its a strange thing smallholding, you spend most of your time making sure your charges are clean, dry and well fed while you on the other hand get dirty, wet and hungry.

Anyway Apollo had done his party trick of rolling in his fresh number twos, turning him from a white to a sort of nicotine yellow with green splashes. No worries, we have a new weapon against the terror of pooh, a spray that is especially formulated to turn off white ponies back to radioactive white in just a few squirts. Unfortunately the manufacturers of this particular soap spray have not met Apollo and his pooh so despite following the manufacturers guidelines he didn't go white, first he went a dull grey and then a strange kind of purple rinse effect took hold, like an old ladies hair do.

Luckily I only did from the shoulders back so passers by wont think there is anything amiss as this handsome Gypsy Cob whinnies hello.

The phony war in the garden continues, masses of preparation work ready for the spring offensive.

This is how it looks at the moment, the spring cabbages have survived Trevor's assault, the sprouts are over and the garlic is struggling but holding on.

Cant wait until we can start doing proper gardening as opposed to trying to stop yourself slipping over on the death trap paving slabs or suddenly walking with one very cold and wet foot as you have left a boot stuck fast in the mud.

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