This little guy ended up with the decidedly uncool name “Scabby.” It’s not an official name, since we don’t give names to our bucklings. But it’s the handle he picked up and it’s what we call him.
Scabby got soremouth when he was very young. Soremouth is fairly common in goats and is similar to human chickenpox. It goes away after a few weeks and isn’t lifethreatening–except to young kids. For them it is very serious, because it can interfere with their ability to nurse.
Scabby was unable to nurse due to his soremouth, so Cherie bottlefed him. She saved his life, and in so doing turned him into one of the tamest kids we’ve ever had. He loves to have his head rubbed, and if he doesn’t think he’s getting enough attention, Scabby will paw at you with his hoof until you pet him.
Yesterday was market day–always a very bittersweet day on our farm. It was time to take Scabby and three of his pals to the market. It is just a fact of farm life that the bucklings get sold. Not only is it necessary to make the farm economically sustainable, but having a bunch of full-grown billy goats fighting each other and chasing after the nannies would be a farm nightmare.
So yesterday morning I caught the four amigos and loaded them into the truck. But I noticed that Scabby had mild diarrhea, which meant he needed to be wormed. There had been no sign of it the day before and I was annoyed because I knew it would affect his sale price. Had he shown any symptoms before sale day we could have treated him and solved the problem.
As I pulled out of the barn I was thinking about Scabby–what a fine kid he is and how we’d saved his life. Most importantly, I decided that we simply will not sell a sick kid off of this farm. So I stopped, put the truck in reverse and backed back into the barn. I took Scabby out and released him back into the pasture.
Today we’ll treat Scabby for worms. In a day or two he’ll be completely rid of them.
Scabby was lucky, of course, to become ill the very day he would otherwise go to market. But, truthfully, that was something of a lucky break for us too. Now we get another month to play with a really great kid.