I’ve been putting off giving the 12 week old kids their CDT booster. After all, I can’t find much concrete information about the exact best timing for it. Being an expert procrastinator has helped tremendously with this lack of decision. But as all procrastinators know, eventually the thing that must be done… well… it must be done!

We’ve owned our little herd for a less than a year, and I don’t have much of an appetite for administering vaccines to small, wriggling, plaintively bleating baby goats. In fact, Gabe has mostly done the horrid job while I “assist” by holding the animal. It’s not like I have NO experience. I did manage to give our yearling buck a sub q injection once upon a time a while back.

Fears must be faced, and qualms must be quashed. This evening was my turn to administer.

As I drew up the 2cc dose for each kid, I felt inordinately proud of how capable and independent I’ve become in the last year of “farming”. This is the stuff that true pioneer women are made of! We headed to the barn, and I assured my husband that I was indeed going to do the evil deed myself this time. As we clambered into the stall and chose our first victim, I bravely brandished my needle and began to search for that perfect little tent of skin. You know, the one in the “armpit area”. (When you find a goat’s armpit, could you please let me know? I’d like to see it.)

I think the armpit is somewhere under under all that fur. Side note, loose skin in goat armpits (and the rest of their bodies) disappears when said goats become uncomfortable. You know, like when they have to get a shot.

Ok, time to do this. Gabe got the squirming kid into headlock. As I gingerly poked the needle at the nonexistent “tent” of skin, Gabe helpfully pointed out flaws in my technique, and gave hints on how to angle the syringe and how far to push it in. Duh, I’ve done far more goat vaccine research than he has! I gave a determined jab, and finally drew blood. From a needle plunged deep into my left index finger.

It’s a proven fact that stabbing ones self with a needle reduces ones determination by a factor of about eleven to one. If you don’t believe me, just try it.

We did manage to get most of the vaccine in the patient little goat, but in the end it felt like all I wound up with was a bleeding finger and wounded pride. In the excitement of impaling my finger, I somehow managed to squeeze the vaccine from the second syringe, still in my pocket. Thankfully the needle cover was on, and no other fingers or body parts were damaged.

I stomped to the house, hot tears burning in my throat and vowed that I would never make such an idiot of myself again. I sobbed to Gabe that, “It would help if you wouldn’t yell at me and tell me all the right things to do because I already know in my head what I’m supposed to do!” He says he never yelled at me; I know he didn’t. It was later on in the evening, once I had the finger bandaged, that I began to see a glimmer of humor in the situation.

After awhile I could even admit that it’s a funny story and we should all learn to laugh at ourselves.

The truth is that no matter how much you research, and how many youtube videos you watch on a subject, the only way to really learn how to effectively do something like vaccinate a goat, is to get out to the barn and do it.

And one day I will. But to be honest, I gave up for the evening on this go around. Gabe finished the job for me, and managed to do it without further mishap. A rather anti-climactic ending, all in all.

Disclaimer: The necessity of the CDT vaccine is something of a debate among fellow goaters. I am still considering whether I will continue the CDT protocol for my goats or not. Perhaps the best way for me to make an informed decision about it is to just allow myself time and experience to see what works best for us.