Dear Santa – Farmer Style

As I scan through Facebook and notice the comments friends are making about things they’d like to see under their Christmas trees, I am starting to realize that my own wishlist might come across as being a little odd to other people. Santa keeps reindeer, so I’m sure he probably understands, but for the rest of you here’s a brief explanation of my asks, my wants, and my needs.

Mother Earth News Subscription

When the world comes to an end I plan to be ready. Unfortunately if the Mayans are right and the apocalypse is set for the 21st of next month, my Mother Earth News subscription isn’t going to help. But for future dates with the end of the world, I plan to be prepared. Whether I need to build a chicken coop out of a propane barbecue, fertilize my garden with composted zombie corpses, or construct a shelter from the tough outer shells of cockroaches,  Mother Earth News will have instructions on how to make it happen. Forget your Navy Seals Survival Guide. This is the REAL deal.

Diseases of the Goat by John G. Matthews

After the ringworm ordeal I experienced when I brought home my first two goats I have come to realize that experts on sick goats are few and far between. Therefore, it’s probably in my best interest to become one of them. I have a digital microscope and a strong gag reflex so I am all set to check out wormy poop and skin scrapings…I just have to know what I’m seeing in those super-magnified samples. With graphic details and excellent advice on a plethora of illnesses and conditions, this book will be a real boon in distinguishing Chlamydia from Toxoplasmosis, and Ringworm from Lice. Bathroom reading at its best – hold the tapeworm!

Kid Puller

Who doesn’t dread the moment when you realize a kid is presenting sideways in the birth canal and you have to go in up to your elbow to rearrange? The kid puller is designed to loop around the head and forelegs of a somewhat stuck baby goat so you can gently maneuver it into position and out of its mom. Some people just use baling twine, but personally I think it would be a little traumatic to pop into the world trussed up like a Christmas turkey. Gently easing into the universe with a nylon loop wrapped around your melon seems like a much better alternative.

Navel Cord Clamps

Get your mind out of the gutter- these are for the goats.

The first time I cut an umbilical cord I almost fainted. The scissors weren’t as sharp as I had hoped and who knew that naval cords are slimy and tough? Dipping the stump in iodine was easy, but tying a tight dental floss noose around the bloody thing was next to impossible. Even before they can walk, baby goats don’t stay still well – at all.

You don’t want germs in your umbilical stump, that’s a fact! Navel cord clamps snap over the dangley bit to keep bacteria at bay. The clamps come 12 to a package so it just might be what all the cool kids will be wearing this Christmas if I’ve calculated their due dates correctly!

Hoof Stand

Horses are heavy, it’s a fact. Although Willy is pretty good about letting me do stuff to his feet, he also thinks seems to think that when I ask for his hoof I’d like the entire body to come with it. While a construction crane with a horse sling would be the best solution to this problem, I think it’s much more likely that Santa can fit a hoof stand in his sleigh. Why should I bear the burden of a heavy horse when a piece of steel and rubber can do it for me?

Deluxe Milking Machine

Get your mind out of the gutter again. It’s for the goats.

Some people think that carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by using a computer mouse too much. I know for a fact that it’s actually much more likely to be a symptom of chronic goat milking. Don’t get me wrong – manually squeezing the milk out of a goat is a relaxing and enjoyable experience, but not nearly as fun as standing by sipping a coffee and watching a machine suck the milk out for you. Right now I only have one or two goats to milk at a time so it’s quite manageable. When there’s 40 or more to deal with it will be a different story. If the portable milking machine doesn’t come to fruition, the goats will be getting pressure relief valves surgically installed on their teats.

Height and Weight Tape

Ever try to guess how much a horse weighs? There’s a scientific formula to figure it out that goes something like this: h(10)+(x² -y)= weight in pounds where h= the height of the horse in inches, x=the number of curse words you say while the horse is standing on your foot, and y=the number of days it takes the bruise to disappear.

Or you can buy the Height and Weight tape which calculates it by simple measurements.

I choose the latter.

Rasp Handle

When I bought my hoof rasp I didn’t buy a handle. I didn’t think I’d need one.

I didn’t think.

The rasp has two ends… a flat end, and a pointy end where the handle screws on. The rasp cuts in one direction only. When you’re holding the rasp in the proper cutting direction, guess which end points directly at your stomach?

So there’s a rasp handle on my Christmas list. Hoof trimming is hard enough. I don’t need to be skewered in the process.

 

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