let's talk farm animals

Little Hop-a-long

 By Patricia Grotenhuis

One day when I was in high school, I noticed that one of my goat kids seemed to be having trouble walking.  It was only, at most, a month old, and while the others were out on pasture, it had stayed near the barn.  I went out to see what was wrong, and checked the kid over.  One hind leg was being favoured, and the hoof was on a slight angle. 

I flagged my dad down right away, and he confirmed my suspicions…the kid had a broken leg.  We could not call the vet or bring the kid in to the vet clinic, so we made a splint ourselves for the small kid.  Popsicle sticks were the perfect size to stabilize the leg, and we wrapped it with multiple layers of vet wrap, which sticks to itself but nothing else and provides support.

Within a short amount of time, little Hop-a-long was back out playing with the other kids.  Granted, his gait was not nearly as smooth as the others, and he was not quite as fast as them, but considering his condition he did very well.
By the time Hop-a-long’s leg was healed enough to remove the splint, we had trouble catching him to do the job.  Once the splint was removed, we had to look for Hop-a-long’s markings to distinguish him from the other kids, he was doing so well. 

When we first found Hop-a-long with his broken leg, we worried that he may not heal right or that he would have a limp.  Thankfully, this was not the case, and he was just fine once the bone healed.

Farm animals can get sick or injured, just like us or any animal.  Once that happens, the farmer will do what they can to help the animal, whether it is administering care the way my dad and I helped little Hop-a-long, or calling a vet.

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Posted by Farm and Food Care on March 22nd, 2012 :: Filed under Animal care,Canada,Farm life,Goat
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