Volunteer Farming III

by Mason
VGI Volunteer

This is Hummel.

photo(1)

Hummel had an infection around his eyes, ears and horns, as you can see in the picture. While the first thing that comes to your mind might be something like, “poor Hummel,” that’s not the choice of words I often used.

Hummel and I met at Quinta do Vale, a small organic farm near Coimbra, Portugal. Everyday it was my job to move Hummel to new grass, bring him water and rub creme around his eyes to keep the flies away.

There was actually a rumor going around the village that Hummel was some kind of a super-ram because one of the neighbors saw him head butt me off my feet and into the air. I don’t remember the specific occasion, but it’s it’s true that each morning and each evening Hummel and I wrestled. I’d always win.

I would approach and he’d wait until I was within charging distance, and then he’d try ram me as hard as he could. Standing back and shaking my fist at him, I’d try to reason, “Come on Hummel, truce!”

We didn’t know the sore was an infection at first, but with help from a Veterinarian we determined it was in fact a common livestock infection. She suggested using anti-fungal creme (the same stuff used for athlete’s foot) and anti-bacterial creme three times per day for three weeks.

While at first he hated the treatment, in the last week I could walk right up and finish without the wrestling match. He could recognize the simple cause and effect of; creme equals less flies and less itch. By the time I left Quinta do Vale the skin around Hummel’s eyes, ears and horns were healing well, and none of the other animals showed signs of infection.

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