My visit today was off to a good start. I walked Ellsa around the path once but since she wasn’t being cooperative I decided to walk Ellsa twice. After Ellsa was walked using the halter, I practiced showing her.
Ellsa walked 5 laps consecutively, which is the most she’s ever done and I barely had to use the chain to get her to move forward. I’m so happy that she’s making so much progress because I feel like there isn’t as much work to be done before the fair showmanship wise.
Once Ellsa was finished with showmanship I put her up on the stanchion to brush her. Apparently the more you brush a goat the shinier it’s coat gets and now that there’s a possibility of PETA harassing me at the county fair I have to make sure the goats look their best. On Thursday, we had a meeting at the fairgrounds about the potential for PETA “activists” to show up and protest 4-H and FFA because they see the treatment of animals at fair to be inhumane. In order to better understand their point of view I went onto PETA’s website. They feel like animals aren’t exercised enough and that they get incredibly stressed out at fairs, which is false. Everybody that I’ve met in 4-H works very hard to make sure their animals are treated well and I think that a big part of 4-H is instilling a sense of responsibility to make the world a better place and to take good care of your animals.
Once Ellsa was brushed I tied her up in the pasture and grabbed Scarlett. All the rain means that the goats are getting more parasites that usual so we had to deworming all of our goats. There are two different solutions that Donna used Safe-guard on Scarlett and the bigger goats because when she sent their feces in for parasite screening they had a different worm than the younger goats. Ellsa was next to be dewormed. She along with the rest of the younger goats were given another type of deworming agent orally. Once Ellsa had her medicine I released her and started to walk Scarlett.
For whatever reason, Scarlett was a pain to walk. She would zigzag when she walked and every time I touched her tail instead of walking forward like she usually did she would walk in a circle and yank the halter so much that the nose strap ends up on her eyelid. Eventually I got her back to the pens. I grabbed a harness and worked on showmanship outside of the pen. Showmanship was alright, but it wasn’t as good as showmanship for Ellsa.
Once I finished working with Scarlett I captured Eve using a handful of treats and walked her using the halter. After out walk I attempted to do showmanship with Eve but she was less than cooperative. Eve is the most stubborn of my goats and although I got her to walk a lap or two I didn’t spend an extensive amount of time trying to get her to walk.
Today’s chore was stripping the hay in the lower pasture. The hay is outside the bed for the goats and it’s gotten pretty soiled in the past few weeks. As Jordan and I were shoveling hay onto the tractor the goats were milling around and at one point Dasher jumped into the tractor and started munching on hair. As you can see in the picture below, the loader attachment was getting pretty full and we didn’t want Dasher to get stuck or hurt when we emptied the hay from the tractor.
After we emptied out all the hay we put in a round bale. The bale was pretty heavy so we added an attachment to move the bale. Once the bale was in the right position on the pallet we wrapped a piece of wire fencing around the bale so that it wouldn’t fall apart when we removed the strings from the bale. Removing the strings was fairly straightforward; we used a pocket knife to cut the string and just pull on one side till the whole string slides out. After I finished my chore I talked with Donna as I walked back to my car. She said that if I’m still interested in showing livestock next year I will be able to raise a market goat and market swine, which would be a great way to end my 4-H career.