One of the lovely things about outdoor animals is their ability to host internal parasites. The only way to know for sure that a critter has worms is to take a sample of their "daily deposits" to a vet for examination with a microscope. We don't do that, but it is pretty safe to say our animals are no different than any others, and so we take precauctions to ensure our goats and sheep are not overrun by parasites. (If you are really interested in this topic, see http://www.goatbiology.com/parasites.html)
So this week we did some "deworming". The traditional method involves getting the animal to ingest some chemical designed to kill the worms. In past times we have used these, but never on any animals that were destined for the dinner table. This year thankfully we discovered a more natural solution - garlic. Google is our friend! Through some online searching I found someone that has spent many years researching this topic and has found garlic to be very effective.
Armed with this new knowledge, I mixed up the recipe of garlic and molasses thinned down a bit with water, and headed to the barn with my drenching syringe. This handy little tool is like a doctor's syringe but bigger. Instead of a needle on the end, it has a long metal tube. This is placed in the back of the sheep or goat's mouth, and the contents of the syringe are emptied out. Presto! The animal swallows its medicine like a good little boy or girl. On our farm, Brandon is the nurse and I am the doctor. He holds the critter still, while I administer the garlicy treat.