Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Noodleville Bloody Battle of Wills

I’m naturally a stubborn person. Persistence is my middle name and I’ll usually stick with it until I accomplish my goal or until it becomes glaringly obvious that persistence is futile.

I really hate to confess that I may have met my match. Worse yet, standing so stubbornly against me is a goat.

This goat to be exact... Don't let that sweet, happy face fool ya....

That would be Bleuberry of course. She is a 1st freshener this year and our milk stand mambo every morning is getting old.

In the beginning I tried cutting her some slack… After all she had a rough kidding (mentioned here) and if you recall, she had a nasty leg injury a while back… Well I thought the multiple doctoring that injury required (all done on the stand) may have made her a lil wary of it.... So I tried very hard to be sympathetic...

We had a back breaking routine every morning……. She walks peacefully up to the stand, I break out the treats and try to coax her on. After failed bribery, I pick up her front end, place it on the stand, and pull her forward by her collar so she can’t back off. At the same time, I reach back with my other hand and try to grab a hind leg & heave her forward. Every day. Twice a day, this same old routine.

Bleuberry is not a small goat.

I am not a very strong person.

This game is no longer fun.

My sympathy and understanding are rapidly deteriorating.

This morning in particular I was up late the night before, didn’t sleep well, then my alarm didn’t go off so everything was a bit hectic. To say I was NOT in the mood for her nonsense is an understatement.

Our battle was more dramatic than usual… she finally figured out my trick and kept backing off the stand before I could grab a back leg, so it took several tries. Then she decided to do the jitter bug on the stand, spilling most of the milk and even splashing me with some. Since she can NOT win this, I ended up milking quite a bit on to the barn floor while she danced, hopped and snorted at me.

This is great because she finally got the hint that I will continue to milk, regardless of her actions. This is not great, because I would have to come out later and clean the barn floor so the milk wouldn’t sit and attract flies.

I finish up and I’m wearing more milk than I thought was possible.. My jeans are soaked and thanks to the holes in my jeans, I can even feel lil puddles of milk inside of my right boot!!!


Given how much I’m wearing, I’m assuming her production is decent… But I can’t say for sure because I haven’t got a full milking inside to weigh yet…… I grit my teeth, talk sweetly and give Bleuberry her customary treat for finally standing still. I was about to turn her loose when I realized I forgot to spray her teats.

In the beginning she was really fussy about the after milking spray. I use Fight Bac spray, and it’s a bit cold, so it took her some getting used to, but the past few days she’s not even flinched when I’ve sprayed her.

I walk around behind her, let her know I’m there, and hold one side so I can spray it well. Then move on to the next one…..

Then WHAM!

Before I even did the second spray, and without a bit of warning, she mule kicks me square in the face!

I really freaked because I thought she broke my nose and there was blood spraying everywhere. It is really quite amazing the amount of blood that can come from a nose.

I swear to you she purposely lulled me into a false sense of security and had this attack planned the entire time!

I don’t have anything but my barn towels to hold on my nose and I just bought new ones so I didn’t want to stain them up with blood. Since the entire front of my shirt was covered in blood anyways, I just held my shirt up to it, sprayed her teat and let her sit on the stand while I leaned against the fence holding my injured nose.

Called the barn cats up to finish what little milk actually made it into the bucket, & glared at Bleuberry the entire time I waited for the throbbing to subside and the blood to stop pouring.

On my trek back to the house, I fancy I might have looked like one of those action heros after the grand finale in a top notch action movie…

Ya know, like Bruce Willis dashing away from an explosion or something. Bloody, beat up, but triumphant...

Ok, ok.. Perhaps my slow trek back to the house wasn't THAT dramatic..
 There were no cool explosions behind me as a back drop, but still, the milk soaked clothes and blood EVERYWHERE looked pretty darn dramatic as I trudged back up to the house. Would have been even cooler if I were toting a weapon, or someone I rescued, instead of my milking caddy, but you work with what you have.

Whatever the image, I do know, without a doubt, that it was shocking, or perhaps “disturbing“ is a better word for it…….

Hair disheveled. Covered in sweat, milk soaked jeans, blood down the front of my shirt, a bit of blood smeared on my cheek & chin and strangely I had a good bit on my arm too….

This is the lovely image the Fedex man saw as I met him at the porch. His expression as he took me in was worth a thousand words. I really must start toting a camera just to capture these moments...

He asked if the name on the package was correct, did his lil' scanner thing, and warily asked if I was ok.

My uber cheerful reply?

“Oh sure.. I’m great! Just finished milking a goat…This weather is just fabulous, don’t ya think??? How are you doing today?”

His facial expression after that comment was far better than the first. The beaming smile and overly cheerful tone were a stark contrast to my bloodied appearance....

It took all I had not to giggle manically at him. Though now that I think of it, maybe I should have…. Would have been funny…

He wished me a speedy “Good Day” and was on his merry, wary way.

Poor guy, probably wondering how that much blood was involved in goat milking.....

Granted I *could* have explained myself better, but vague answers get much funnier reactions, and after my morning, a laugh at the expense of another was well earned. At least he did not get stuck in the situation I put the UPS MAN in a while back… That was a bit more awkward…. lol I really must make a note to try harder not to disturb, embarass or upset those who deliver my packages....

ANYWHO, looky what was in my package!!

Goat goodies! Dewormers, nipples & tubing so I can build a lambar feeder, needles, Fight Bac, syringes (much cheaper to buy in bulk online that to purchase from TSC), more dairy sanitizing products, new filters for my stainless steel strainer, coccidia meds, a new weight tape since Jasper ate mine, CIDR applicator, and some products for my momma too.

As a side note, for the evening milking, I told Bleuberry that there was NO way we were repeating this morning’s fiasco. She could cooperate and get treats, or I’d sell her for dog food. But one way or another, I was done, done, done with the drama, and all my understanding and patience went right out the door the moment she busted my nose.

She glared at me, ears back and stood right behind the stand. I held out a treat and calmly let her know this was her final chance to hop up unassisted......

After a minute of contemplating, she, for the very 1st time, 12 days after freshening and 25 back breaking, individual battles later, jumped up on the stand all by herself!!

Dunno if it was my tone of voice, or if she just sensed that I was finished, but either way, I’m thrilled…..

Persistence does pay off my friends…. Especially when it’s accompanied by a few threats.



* Crystal * said...

Oh....BTW- Bleuberry milked a hair over 4lbs that evening and the following morning, gave me 4 1/2lbs.

This puts her at a lil' over a gallon per day.

Due to her being a 1st freshener, and then the rotten luck of only having a single, I must say, I'm pretty darn happy with her production. Especially since she hasn't peaked yet :)

Anonymous said...

They do understand English, you know. :-)


petey said...

Puts a new perspective on the phrase "how to get your goat". Mine bloodied my knuckles so many times, and we did battle daily for so long I finally lost my mind and BIT HER! They do not always bring out the best in us. :)

Leigh said...

Good grief, if it isn't chickens it's feathers! Bleuberry obviously knew you meant business! Whew. Wishing you peace and calm for the next 10 years.....

The Faery Enchantress said...

I really enjoyed reading your blog, sounds like you have a passion for life and that's wonderful

Rachel x

BeautifulDees said...

Your alot braver tha I...I dont know if I could do that.
Thank you for your sweet comment's.