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Just Ask Siri

If you think your goat is not acting like itself, one of the first things you do is take its temperature.  Unfortunately, a goat doesn’t let you rest a thermometer under its tongue until the beep.  So, the only way to take the temperature of a goat is to lift up the tail with one hand and slide the tip of the thermometer into its rectum with the other.  Thankfully, my husband does plenty of rectal temperatures on people in the ER so off he went to the barn with a thermometer in hand when our goat seemed under the weather late one evening.  He returned shortly after with a worried look on his face.  “103.7, she’s sick,” he reported confidently.  For some reason, at that moment, I had a flashback to when one of our children was very sick with a temperature of 103 degrees F in the middle of the night and how we had flipped out – it’s a scary moment when your husband who is an ER doctor says we need to get to the ER.  I was thinking of that memory as he opened the refrigerator and read the labels of the bottles on the top shelf of the door where we store all the vaccines and medicines that help keep our animals healthy and happy.  Our sick goat was pregnant with twins so her babies were on our minds too.  He finally found the right antibiotic that could be safely used for pregnant does and gave her the first dose that evening.  Her fever didn’t break the next day.  My husband and I were worried about mama goat, our kids by that time were worried about the unborn baby goats, even the goat herself looked wary of all of this extra attention.  Early the next morning before he went in to work for his scheduled ER shift, he upped the cc’s of the antibiotic and injected her again after the thermometer gave the reading of 103.5 degrees F.  My husband is always subjecting his poor colleagues to his re-tellings of all the daily happenings on the franch – so, after one of his fellow doctors overheard the tale of the sick goat, he had said matter-of-factly, “Maybe that’s the normal temperature of a goat.”  My husband pretended to take offense, and gave him a hard time, “Don’t you tell me about my business of farming.”  But, my husband grew up with only cows and the occasional horse on his family farm and he learned only about treating people in medical school.  A temperature of 103.7 degrees F is indeed considered a fever for cows and people.  But, he had to admit that he had never treated a goat with a fever before.  So, he quietly asked Siri, “What’s the normal temperature of a goat?”  In less than 2 seconds, Siri responded, “The answer is about 104 degrees Fahrenheit.”  Our goat wasn’t so sick after all.

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1 Comment

  1. Poppy

    I saw that ending coming – very funny
    I always learn new facts from Franchlife
    Who knows – someday I might be on a game show and the million dollar question is – What is the normal temperature of a goat?
    That is the only reason I can think of why I need to store that data in my brain….

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