Sunday, June 22, 2014

Bonking Convenience

Blood. Everywhere. Everyone had blood on them. But who was wounded? just seems to be on their faces. All of them, even my sweet Nutmeg. Who was injured? Did they kill a coyote? It is a good thing I have a strong heart, because it was pounding. Hard.

Then I saw it....a scur on the ground. Charm's scur. A scur is a twisted little bit of horn that grows back after an incomplete dehorning attempt when the goat is a few days old. I don't dehorn, but I have two goats that were purchased "disbudded" and who grew scurs.

Apparently, he played a vigorous game of bonk with EVERYONE and knocked off a scur. Like most head/face wounds, it bled...and bled....and bled.

Silly goats. I hope he knocks the other one off and takes Ginger's long scur with it.

This happened exactly two months ago, and the other scur has continued to grow ever since then.  Although mostly harmless, scurs can be unsightly, or more importantly, they can become uncomfortable for the goat.
I admit I am squeamish about taking care of business and removing scurs.
My two goats with scurs, Ginger and Charm, both have been obliging enough to bonk their scurs  off during rough play with their herd mates, letting me off the hook.  As Charm conveniently did in April.  I let this one go far too long, hoping, hoping, that he would give someone....or someone (Peach!) would give him just one good, solid, well-placed bonk and off that little hornlet would go.  Instead, it grew in a circle and started to press on his head just over his eye.  He started to look a bit uncomfortable.
I continued to find excuses to put the job off.
Finally, I contacted the local goat group forum and asked if I could pay someone to do my dirty work.  All I got was lots of advice.  Some of it good advice.  All of it advice I'd rather pay someone else to carry out.  Preferably when I was not at home.
Finally, I put on my Big Girl Panties and grabbed my very large and muscular husband and we dragged the milking stand out in the yard where we could both work around the goat's head.  And possibly be arrested if our neighbors decided we were torturing our goat.  By the time we were done, we'd have had some 'splainin' to do.
 Charm was relieved of his scur.

After getting him on the milking stand with some grain to entice him, hubby firmly grabbed Charm's face while I positioned the bolt cutters, planning on just trimming a bit off with the hopes that he would then bonk it off or get in caught in a fence and pull it off or other such weiny-whiny cop-out.
I closed the jaws of the cutters and...Charm gave a violent shake of his silly head and off came the entire scur.
Well, that was easy.
My handsome boy in the bloody aftermath.  Please bonk the next one off.  Please.
I spritzed it with Blue Kote and tossed some flour on it to slow the bleeding.  The above photo was taken about 10 minutes later.  So much for the flour.
He'll survive, and will be much happier if he isn't already.  I, on the other hand, will be having a nice glass of liquid courage after the fact, a bit of home made mead from a couple of years ago.
It's a good thing he's cute!