A few weeks ago we hosted a Goat 101 in conjunction with our club WPDGA. This was an amazing event where we had a turn out of over 40 people that came from up to three hours away to spend a day learning about goats and their care! What struck me by this was how many people had goats and cared enough about them to spend their hard earned time and money to come sit in a park pavilion and learn about these creatures that I love so dearly. It really got me thinking about the importance of having goat mentors to lean on. I have had goats since I was a little girl and I have spent hours reading, researching, talking to other goat owners, watching shows and videos and I still learn things when I talk to seasoned goat owners! This can make things so daunting for people that do not have this same background to learn as much as they possibly can about goats. That is why I think it is so important to have a goat mentor that you can ask questions to no matter what. This can be the breeder you got your goats from or someone that you know that has had goats that you trust and respect.
This came true for us this weekend. I went ahead and bought a tattoo pen to tattoo my babies. We have used clamps before, but the past few years we had our good friends at Caprigem and Bit of Whimsy tattoo the babies when we took them there for disbudding. After watching them do our kids for several years I thought, lets go ahead and do our own tattooing with the pen.... and boy we were in for a surprise. I had read up online, watched videos and seen it done in person, not to mention the countless bananas that I practiced my tattooing skills on prior to trying on our goats. I felt confident, but that did not last for long!
Rob and I set everything up, we cleaned the ears and I got ready to tattoo. It was much more difficult than I expected!!! Poor Rob was doing everything in his power to hold the goats still while I slowly and clumsily did their ears. We got one baby done and I thought I must be doing something wrong, so I called our friends and goat mentors to come help us out. They were gracious enough to come down yesterday and walked me through it again, to only find out it was my lack of patience and persistence that was the problem and nothing else. We vowed to try again next year, but to always remember that we had the clamps to fall back on!
Just remember no matter how experienced of a goat owner you may be, its OK to ask others for help, their opinions and what they would do in a situation. There is no manual for how to do all of this and we are all learning our way through to be the best goat owners that we can be. I hope you all have a great week and Happy Goating!