Sunday, November 16, 2014

Goats Gone Wild: First Aid on the Homestead

Accidents can happen at any time which is one reason why it's a good idea to know some basic first aid. When you live in a more rural area, this is especially important because you may need to deal with a situation before you can get help. Not only do we have to think about how to deal with accidents that can happen to people, but we also have to be able to handle those that happen to our four legged friends.

As you probably know, goats can be difficult to fence in. Bell is no exception. She is constantly getting out of her fence and night before last she thought it would be a good idea to break out again. Unfortunately, this time she seems to have caught her back foot in the fence and broke her leg. My husband had gone outside and found her wandering around but noticed immediately that something was wrong.

This was about 9 o'clock at night and otherwise she seemed to be fine. There was no blood and the skin wasn't broken which is a good thing. We decided the best thing we could do was make a splint but out of what? Well, craft sticks worked well when the chicken broke her leg so why not?

These are the large wood craft sticks that you can buy at any craft store. We taped four of them together to make it good and stiff and give it some bulk.

Next we wrapped duct tape from one end to the other. You know what they say, duct tape fixes everything! We tried to make sure the ends were covered well and padded so they won't rub against her.

Now we had to get it on. With flashlights in hand we traipsed back outside. The Oldest had been out there holding Bell and keeping her happy with some feed while we got everything together.

Hubby aligned her leg and held the splints in place while I wrapped them with Vet Wrap. If you don't have Vet Wrap yet I suggest you either check online, your local feed store, or your local Tractor Supply store. It's only a couple of dollars per roll and is definitely something you should have in your first aid supplies.

Ideally I would like to take her to the vet but unfortunately we just don't have the money right now. If it had broken the skin then I would suck it up and take her but in this case we are going to try and take care of it ourselves. 

Overall I think it turned out rather well. We checked on her again the next day and it seemed like it was holding up well. She was lying on it and getting around pretty well. Of course right now she doesn't want to put any weight on it and she's also not very happy about being confined to her pen.

If you've never taken a first aid class I highly suggest you take one. Not only can it be useful for you and your family but your livestock as well.

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