Well. It is over. The most painful day of kidding season each year! Honestly, this is the day I dread. Disbudding/dehorning day.
For the goats own protection and safety, we disbud them when they are around nine days old. The goal is to destroy/cauterize the tissue around the little horn buds so that no horns will ever grow.
Horns on goats can be pretty dangerous. I know of goats that died after getting their heads caught in fences. I know of a goat that almost died after getting its horn caught in the collar of another goat. And, horns can be pretty dangerous weapons when they are excited or in rut… So, for their well-being, we remove them, but it makes for a very hard day!
We have a metal disbudding iron that we heat to about 1000º and I hold each squirming goat as we apply about a 6-8 second burn on each horn. They are not happy and it really hurts my heart, but it is for their own good.
Kelly made me turn off the monitor in the barn so she couldn’t hear the kids bleating in the house. The boys all said they were going to ‘find something else to do,’ but I made them help. Besides the lesson in unpleasant responsibilities, the whole process goes faster if they can bring/take goats while I sit and perform the quick procedure, all the while counting down to the last one.
We have three more to do on Wednesday and one that I know I will have to do over. Can’t wait to get that job behind me!
As I was doing it, though, I thought of how much more it must have hurt the Father to see His Son suffer for us who needed a Mediator to enter covenant. Wow!
Even now, I can still smell the burned hair and flesh of the kids. How the Father must still be able to ‘smell’ the price of that sacrifice and the sin that led/leads to it. Does He recall those hours on Calvary each time we sin? Especially when it is willful sin? Ouch!
I know as children, we would scoff at our parents saying, ‘This is going to hurt me more than it will you,’ before they applied a little tough love. But truly, as a parent, disciplining a guilty son is hard! Harder still to take that innocent goat and disbud! It doesn’t understand what is happening and has done nothing to deserve it.
Yeshua, bless Him, did nothing to deserve death and fully understood the price yet still willingly took my place! Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!
If He loves me that much, how can I not be obedient to His Torah?
This post brought tears to my eyes. Not only because of the poor goats, or that fact that you have to do it, but primarily because it was done originally on my behalf.
I usually wait for the little horn to grow about 1/2 to 3/4 inches so I can make sure I get all the way around it.
By this point each little goat has come to trust me, and comes to me each time they see me. It always worries me that they will reject me after I have “to hurt them”.
But after I burn the horns off, I quickly place our soothing salve on the little ones and hold them as they recover a little bit. They run off to their Mom’s and start to nurse.
The other goats seem to see this as a rite of passing, and after it is all over, they still continue to trust me.
Maybe we should do the same for our Messiah, as He allows us to go through some pain for our good. It means we are part of the family.
This remindes me of the time I cared for a young horse that had a wound from a stalion that bit him in a battle for a mare. And the wound on the back of the young horse required a H2O2 daily and a salve applied. And the first time I did it the, Flag was the name of the horse, Flagg ran away and then would not come back to me. I had to use food and then tie him to a post. But after a while Flagg understood what was the experience meant and we became real good friends.
You said it, Pete, our obedience is a response to His magnificent love for us.