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This past week in Invercargill, I've only had two hours of work in the morning due to school vacations. I've been in the pool with pre-schoolers doing lots of ring-around-the-rosie, follow the leader and blowing bubbles. This has left time for other pursuits like planning for my four week roadtrip with my parents!! That's right, Jonny and Eddie will be making their New Zealand debut in late October. The subject of many future blog posts I'm sure.

We also went out to the farm the other day and happened to be there on calve de-horning day. Yes! While Juan hung out at the house, I went with his mum and brother to take part. It starts with the vet administering anesthesia to all the calves. After that, the vet injected a local into both horns. By then, all the calves are laying on the floor mildly out of it and then it's showtime. Irons get heated on a portable gas flame. When they're red hot, the vet takes one and burns it into the calf's horn. The smell of burning fur and flesh seemed a bit excruciating at first, but I was told numerous times it's actually quite humane. A while after, Juan picked me up to go back home.

Juan: How'd it go?
Me: Great! I got to help the vet hold down the calves when she administered the local to the horns. Except, I didn't hold very hard and she fell over when the calf started thrashing. Then your mum took over.
Juan: So you weren't the best farm assistant?
Me: Well then I asked brother if I could help him tag the ears. And I started pushing the pin, but then the calf started getting up and I could feel the cartilage breaking and I got a bit freaked out and might have let out a wee cry/moan/yell. Then your brother took over.
Juan: So you tortured a calf by not pushing the pin in fast enough?
Me: I guess it's a good thing I didn't get that head shepherd position.

Posted by keoco1 11:12 Archived in New Zealand

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