The Second Annual S. Florida Goat clinic was a huge success. Last year we had 10 attendees. This year we had to turn away 20 people. :( Our clinic was filled. 35 people RSVP'd. and yet when counting heads we had 45 in attendance.
The day is long and hot (October is still sweltering down here). Sun was baking down on us the few times we headed into the ring to do some hands on. Luckily the farm hosts had lots of tents setup.
Again, my friends Mike+ Kathy Lott, Strawberry girl farm, Tampa came to give the actual presentations. They are just so good at it. He kept the attention of 5 year olds. :) Of course with a little of my bribing too, by whispering to them if they were good I'd let them feed my goats later in the day.
It was my first year bringing all my girls, 7 of them, packed in my new (old) trailer. The night before i took out the divider in the middle section of the trailer. We did only 20 minutes worth of training to get them to get in and out. Amazing what a bottle of TUMS will do for you. My goats love their TUMS. And we were off to the host farm.
The clinic itself is basic husbandry, management, tips and tricks, education on associations to join, and then show prep. How to show, what it takes. And so on.
Clinic starts at 10 and goes to 3, breaking for an hour for lunch. This is the best part as you can chit-chat with NEW friends.
We had attendees come from West Palm, Wellington, Port St. Lucie, Belle Glade, Indiantown, Okeechobee, and Stuart. And it ranged from those just thinking about goats, to those that have been showing for years that just want to get a re-fresher, or mingle with other goat lovers.
10 am start:
-INTRODUCTION of presenters, farm host, Who I am, Who they are, what they do. Why they are here. And why you should listen to them. turn it over to The Lotts.
-Joining ADGA, FDGA, INBA and so on. (very important) 20 minutes or so. Showing them past newsletters. Magazines. Exhibitor books. etc.
- Goat on stand and short discussion on type of goat, conformation. Breed types. Items to look for when buying a goat.
- finding breeders in your area.
- interacting with attendees, asking them what kind of goats they have etc.
- talk about types of feed. Minerals. Hay. Discuss anything the attendees have questions regarding this.
- VACCINATING - do's and don'ts. Demonstration on injections, injection sites, etc. Demo on where. How. Sub Q vs IM.
- discussion of wormers. What works, what doesn't. How important it is to KNOW goats metabolize meds and wormers differently. Ivomec. Safeguard.Dosages.
-FAMACHA style of worming protocol. Need certification to get the chart. etc.
- you need to supplement your goats based on your region. Selenium. Copper. etc Why. How. What to buy. This it seems is always a big WHY? People seem to think they can just throw goats on pasture and their going to thrive. This is where problems start.
- TRIMMING FEET
- This really needs its own time. and not lumped into other discussion. Needs hands on. letting the attendees get up and get close to the trimming. Possibly even trying it on a goat.
- Trimmers. Spend the money to get a good pair.
- Sadly not many vets know about goats. Goat owners need to become experts at diagnosing, dosing, and becoming caretaker when a goat is sick.
-pepto/nutridrench/Vitamins/Penn G/baking soda, the list goes on... of everyday items you can purchase at any store to help you save the life of your downed goat.
MAJOR PROBLEMS- discussion of what it is, what happens for you to think this is the problem.
Discuss generally what they are. The signs. How to help.
Questions and Answers.
- show attire. what to wear. How to look. Polished. all about the exhibitor.
- goats. How they should look. why. what it says to a judge if they are not shaved. or not trimmed neatly.
SHOWMANSHIP VS. OPEN DAIRY SHOWS VS. 4 H SHOWING
- many kids will be 4h'rs with that kind of experience but for showing ADGA sanctioned showmanship its a whole nother ballgame.
- discussion on first entering the ring to how to walk in.
- setting up a goat. bring out a goat and SHOW them do's and don'ts. Show them tricks. How to do it quickly and without adding attention to you.
- your behavior, your ethics in the ring. DON'T crowd the person in front of you etc.
- watching and listening to the judge. EYES always on the judge.
- Let the kids do a mock ring set up. You be the judge and start having them get used to holding a goat.
- Walk the ring.
- Stopping and starting.
- ask them questions. Like a judge would.
- side by sides. Figure eights. Proper way to put your goat back in position. Switching owners and goats.
End it with Practice. Practice. Practice.
Most importantly. NOW make the kids give their parents the goat. And make sure they do it too! Let them see HOW hard it is to focus on the goat, while looking at the judge, while standing up straight and composed. Let them feel the pain.
- clippers. blades. brand you like.
- how to introduce the goat to the clippers.
- start shaving a goat.
- let them give it a try if they want.
- show a before and after goat. Let them see the difference.
Sit down and pass out!
And that my friends is what we did at our clinic.
The Lott's were amazing all day long. I helped by walking the goats around the attendees, letting them pet them. Or when discussion on FAMACHA came up showed them how to pull eyelids while looking at the chart. In the ring i walked around and helped the kids set up their goat, help control them. etc.
A clinic of this size NEEDS more than one helper. There is so much to cover. So many people. So little time. Heck at some points during the presenting all I did was walk around and pass out grapes, carrots, peanuts to keep everyone happy.
One thing I did differently this year was NOT to print out a million articles. Instead we passed around a clipboard and asked everyone to fill out their phone and email addresses. I'll follow up this week with a thank you and add some pertinent pdf's for people to read. The economy, we had to save money and this is good for the environment, too.
So go forth and have a clinic! It seems daunting. But really in the end its fun. Educational. And you are doing a good thing!
Thank you Mike and Kathy for driving down to put this on! And Thank you Conway's for hosting!