Another busy day,
filled with the usual trials, tribulations & eventful events. After sleeping for much of the morning being tired from his travelling travails yesterday, Tony spent most of the afternoon in the lambing shed, shoring up the mesh walls of the old pens in preparation for their pregnant occupants to give birth as they were a little worse for wear after last year’s exertions; as well as mending a broken roof truss & patching up a few leaks.
Meanwhile I knuckled down to writing my next article for ‘Smallholder’ magazine; this time recording our eventful Easters on the Ffarm, the arrival of weaner pigs, the weaning of goat kids, & teaching the Mums to be milked for the first time (whilst struggling novices ourselves).
Ironically I was just penning the drama of one of the young kids unfortunately breaking her leg, when Tony came running up from the yard, with the dreadful news that he suspected that Merson, our stud male, had just broken his own leg! I anxiously sprinted down to the goat shed as fast as my welly-clad feet would allow, the vet’s number at the ready in case an urgent summons was required.
Merson was standing apart from his anxious little harem, clearly distressed & leaning heavily on the knuckle of his front leg, the hoof bent upwards beneath him. Tony explained that as he’d been working in the building next door he’d heard a sharp cry; & rushed in to find Merson with his leg wedged between the gate hinge & the wall. The trusting Merson had allowed Tony to assist, & he’d managed to free him with patient care; but naturally was convinced that by the looks of things, damage had been done….
I quietly went into the pen & reassured the unhappy caprine before bending down & examining the leg, which he presented pathetically to me. I carefully inched my way down, inspecting for signs of crepitus (grinding of bone), grateful that my military First Aid training had taught me how to deal with such emergencies; although I suspect it was more geared towards wounded personnel on the battlefield, rather than an injured animal! Yet I could find nothing, although the joint was grazed & was already starting to swell.
Thankfully, it soon became apparent that the worst Merson had suffered was bruising to his shin – & worst of all for him, to his pride; along with a slight strain. A goodly application of antiseptic spray gave us the confidence that the graze should not become infected, & it was remarkable how swiftly he recovered from the stress of his ordeal when presented with some tasty titbits to massage his ego back up to full strength!
The next urgent item on the day’s agenda was, subsequently, carrying out a modification to the gate to ensure the same thing could not happen again – but we’ve learned by now that if it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen to a goat.
As evening fell Tony turned his attention to the dreaded tax returns, the date by which self-assessments have to be completed looming large; tackling mine first (as the uncomplicated one) & then his but finishing them both in only a couple of hours. I finished writing my article & started cooking the evening meal, by which time we felt we deserved a break (though not what Merson had in mind earlier!) & relaxed quietly after a tasty fish pie supper.
Oh, what a taxing day – but (as ever) it’s not a day, I’d choose to forget.