Tuesday, August 12, 2014

So Happy, I could just roll in it

In order to keep the pastures from getting chewed to the ground and the girls provided with a continuous source of fresh browse,  the goat kids get moved each week to a new area of the pasture.  Some portions of their grazing areas are lush with grasses.  Some are flush with clover.  It seems however that their favorite areas are those that have honeysuckle, thorny stuff (including thistle, blackberry, and multifloral rose), and poison ivy.
Poison Ivy
I'm glad this makes them happy.  It will eventually remove these noxious plants from the pastures making them more acceptable to other grazing critters. In the meanwhile, a little caution will need to be exercised by Mom.  Happy goats sometimes roll around in the stuff they love so much, coating their fur with poison ivy oil.  Absent mindedly reaching down and giving someone a pat or a scratch, may result in a nasty rash on the arm or hand.  One learns quickly.
***Nice to know: if exposed to poison ivy: wash in lots of soapy, warm water.  Use a soap designed to cut grease, such as Dawn dishwashing soap.  Remember, too, that if it's on your hands it could also be on your clothes.  Tossing dirty clothes in with the rest of the laundry may result in transferring the poison ivy oil onto the rest of the wash.  So keep them separated, again washing in warm to hot soapy water and rinsing thoroughly.
It's hard to keep from scratching but a liberal application of hydrocortisone cream may help relieve the itch.  Other natural remedies include Jewelweed.  This plant grows in profusion in Central New York.  Mashed up and applied directly to the exposed area, Jewelweed is said to help heal the inflammation.

The old adage: 'Leaves of three, leave them be' is good to know however not always reliable.  The simple, 'If you know know for certain what it is, don't touch it' it probably a better rule of thumb to follow.

more about the treatment for poison ivy exposure can be read here:

Poison ivy treatment tips
Natural methods for the treatment of poison ivy

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