The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Abigail's skinned knee

Goat in the mangerSo, the reason behind our most recent manger renovation is that Abby skinned her knee and I freaked out. A skinned knee on a goat just looks really scary! Our poor doe had torn all of the hair and hide away from a one-inch-diameter circle on her front leg, and I thought the world was coming to an end.

I doctored her up with hydrogen peroxide and homemade comfrey salve, then rushed inside to ask those near and dear to me for a dose of perspective. "Was there blood?" Kayla asked over the phone.

"Well, no," I answered.

Gently, Kayla told me how the first time her nephew skinned his knee on her watch, she'd cried real tears of anguish. "Did he cry?" I asked.

"Well, no," Kayla answered.

New goat manger

Now, I'm not going to tell you that Abigail's woes were as simple as a human skinned knee. But in the ensuing days she hasn't had trouble doing the important things in life --- eating, drinking, sleeping, and head butting her herd mate. And even though there's some swelling, there's no sign of heat when I cup her leg both above and below the wound. So I think she's going to be fine.

Still, the manger --- the source of the skinned knee --- had to go. Luckily, Abigail likes the replacement apparatus much better. The bigger holes and higher surface-to-volume ratio makes it easy to pick out her favorite strands of hay...and drop everything else on the floor. I know this almost certainly gives a blog buddy fits, but spoiled goats seem to need to spoil hay. Maybe one of these days we'll grow our own top-notch feed and then our goats won't be so persnickety.

In the meantime, I'll continue to give Abigail everything she wants for fear of her skinning another knee. After all, a contented goat stays on the ground...

Goat in a wheelbarrow


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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Comment by Nita Fri Feb 26 09:25:16 2016

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