Well, I haven't posted for a few days now because I've been busy with a number of things, including studying for final exams, and more importantly, giving goat baths! Early in the week I saw that the Animal Rescue League of Iowa had 4 angora goats on their "barnyard buddies" section of the adoptable pets. I check there quite regularly in case they ever have hens who need a good home, but angora goats were new to me. I called Kelly and he was excited about it - what lovely fleece they would have if we could adopt them!
So, off we went to see the great folks at the ARL. They do such good things for our community, and have a lovely new facility that is second to none. I used to volunteer at the ARL when I had more time, and then I did some fostering for them as well. Also, Rosie came from the ARL - you can see the post about her back in September 2008. Well anyway, one look at those goats and I was smitten.
There are 3 baby girls, maybe 3-4 months old, and one older adult female, maybe 3 or 4 years old. She might be their mom, or maybe not. It's a bit hard to tell because they were confiscated from a farm where they were kept in terrible conditions. Their little hooves are very soft and curled under from lack of care. They have bad lice and are a bit underweight. And, to be blunt, when we first got them....they stank to high heaven! To top it off, they looked pretty dirty. It just makes me so upset that people can do that to animals, but fortunately, there are shelters who will take them and people like us who adopt them and give them good homes. I have to console myself with those thoughts.
Anyway, since they smelled so bad, we decided to give them a bath. Since it's very cold out, it was necessary to give them a bath indoors, in our tub, of course. So, last night, we began with the first little goat. Here she is in the nice clean warm water....ready to begin!
And here she is about 5 minutes later, after one short shampoo and rinse episode. As you can see, she is not terribly pleased about this whole experience. First, she decided it would be best to add her own "bubbles" to the bath. Then, she began bleating quite regularly, and generally being very slippery and hard to hold! However, lo and behold, you can see that she is starting to change colour! (so is the bath water).
After being rinsed, it is always best to leave your mark, to show people where you've been.
The ARL gave us some great shampoo that is helping with the lice, and they lent us a super-strong blow drying unit that they use on the shelter animals when they give them a bath. This has been a tremendous help. She kept giving me little goaty kisses when I was drying her belly. She would reach up with her head and touch her nose to my chin. It was very endearing!
Here she is being fluffed up!
After being mostly dry, she got to wear our greyhound's coat for the night, and she was in our spare dog kennel in the basement, to ensure that she dried out completely before going back out to meet her siblings. I swear they didn't recognize her!
So tonight, we did the same for the potential mom goat. She was a lot worse than the babies because she had been in those conditions for much longer. She had a lot of very matted fleece and her hooves needed a lot of trimming. We will have to keep working on that to get them to a point where they are approaching "normal" hoof shape. Here is momma goat in the tub!
Unlike the kid, she decided that she preferred to lay down in the tub. That actually made it a little easier, except when it came to rinsing, because she really didn't want to stand up at all!
She had the same spa treatment with the blow dryer, and she was very calm and well behaved for the whole procedure. We had to trim a lot of the matted fur and removed a lot of burr type weed seeds and other assorted bits of grass, hay and vegetation from her fleece. She will have a beautiful fleece grow in after the spring shearing when it can start fresh. Her fleece is very fine and soft - just beautiful!
Finally, she got to wear the dog's coat and she'll be in the kennel for tonight, drying out completely. She'll go out with the young ones tomorrow morning. I'll try to take some pictures of that reunion as well. Good night goat!