A recurring early winter farm chore is chipping ice out of the outdoor water buckets.
While the winter has been very mild so far (it was in the mid-60s on Thanksgiving and the forecast is for around 60 on Christmas) and we have so far avoided any significant snow fall, the temperatures have still occasionally dipped below freezing overnight. While the goats and chickens can handle temperatures below freezing without much of a problem, they still need access to water.
This means having to chip the ice out of their water buckets to give them access to liquid water.
Here is a solid piece of inch-thick ice removed from one of the water buckets – I managed to remove almost the entire ice block from the top of the bucket in one piece.
One morning while tending to the flock, I noticed that Elf’s head was covered with blood. He had broken his horn and was bleeding from the wound in his head.
Goat’s horns are actually a living part of their skulls. As a part of the skull, the horns contain blood vessels and usually bleed when broken. A broken horn can cause significant blood loss, and even death in some cases.
Luckily, Elf’s horns had mostly already been removed earlier in his life and he only had a small scur on his head that broke off. It was a small break so while there was a decent amount of blood on his head, the active bleeding had mostly clotted on its own.
I managed to separate Elf partially from the main herd. By the time I got him separated from the others, the bleeding had stopped. I sprayed his head with a veterinarian antiseptic spray called Blu-Kote. The spray helps prevent infections. It also turns everything very blue to help you tell where it has been applied.
As you can see in the below video, Elf’s head is now blue!
Click continue to see more pictures of Elf’s recovery.