“A day in the country is worth a month in town”Christina Rossetti

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

All's Well Wednesday morning

Just to show you how wise Layla is, this is today's weather. Snow on the ground when I got up, and blustery. The rest of the girls are hiding in the shed together, just keeping warm.

Layla's family is doing well. First sight this morning was her standing and both kids nursing.(Video below) After last night, it was a relief. I have a crick in my neck from sitting on the barn floor and helping the little guy get going.

Its important for the kids to nurse in the first few hours so that they get the full benefit of the mothers colostrum. You want them to have all the antibiotic and nutritional value they can get from the start. Their stomach lining can absorb it best in the first 12 to 24 hours and mom produces the thick milk for about 48 hours. Timing is important.

Our first kid, Uno, had problems getting started and then her mother developed udder problems. We ended up having to milk her to relieve the pressure. She was not happy. Neither were the milkers. To avoid a sickly kid or a nanny with mastitis, its worth the crick in the neck.

VIDEO of the twins this morning. The waggly tails mean we are getting to the milk.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Everybody's Nursing

We had a slow go with the buck nursing, but he finally got on.
His sister has found her way into the warmer already.
See her tail inside behind him?
She's a step ahead on night one.
Lets hope tomorrow everyone is hopping around.
Time for some shut eye. Dream of goat names.
Buck Nursing VIDEO

Babies In the Barn

We grabbed the twins in an old t-shirt and towel and brought their moist bodies to the barn. Layla was a little confused and didn't know to follow. Dave had to show her a bowl of corn to get her in.
More cleaning by the humans and then Layla got the kids warmed up. We tied off and cut the umbilical cords and dipped them in iodine solution.
Then the doe started looking for a teat...

...and she found it and latched on pretty well.

The buck is still looking and I gave up helping long enough to get some dinner.
First KID VIDEO. Hear their little voices.


Layla and the girls were outside on the hill in the old winter grazing field today. We had a breezy but sunny afternoon in the mid thirties. Layla had her twins in the grass in front of the old shed. Dave said he had seen her go in the shed earlier. We've been watching her closely.
This is the little buck. He's got a voice on him.They are about 15 minutes to 1/2 hour old in this set of pictures.
Remember, this is natural.
OK. Naturally we were at the Giant Eagle for the blessed event. Half way home we get a call from the neighbors who got to be at the first arrival of Uno. They get to see my goats before I do again! No Fair!!!!! But it was hugs all around. Its been a long wait,
The dark faced kid is a doe. She is a bit taller.

Layla is cleaning her babies. This is her first kidding and she is being an excellent mother.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Keep A Dog to Keep You Healthy

The blur in the picture is Jock, our almost seven year old Border Collie. He is the farm herder although he is not always herding what we want him too. When he does run, as in this picture, he is fast. Even on the quad, he can circle you up to maybe third gear. An old neighbor clocked him at 35 MPH -going downhill- onetime.

He was adopted five Novembers ago from a home in Rector where he was getting picked on by other dogs and needed his own place. We were lucky to find him although the road has not always been smooth. But that is a long story.

The short story is that house breaking a two year old, high energy, frightened dog was a hard and amazing project. It also probably is one reason we know our property as well as we do. He demanded many walks in ALL - I repeat - ALL weather, to keep him calm and trained. I live by the quote, "A good dog is a tired dog." I think that without Jock on the property we all would be less healthy. He has been a good exercise leader.

Jock tends to be submissive with other dogs and friendly with just about anyone, but only for a short span. Then his attention is elsewhere. But start a vehicle or open a door, and speed is the word.

The VIDEO is Jock with our daughter Kristin, taking a spin on her quad.

Yes -those are the goats in the background. It was sunset and they wanted into the barn for the night. They know the routine.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Barn Door Renovation

Yesterday a lot of work got completed on the renovation of the west barn doors.
They needed heavier, bigger hinges and the whole door had to be re framed so that they could open flat against the walls.
The wind is a huge problem and the hinges that were on the doors had been bent and the doors kept shifting. I think these doors will be sturdier and since we were working on a windy day, they were already tested.

Today new latches and door handles were attached, so with one more latch, we should be ready for any windy day.

Thanks Dave and Andrew!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Goat Inventory

We were watching Layla to see if she was going into labor since she seemed to be napping and panting a lot on this sunny day. But it could have just been the heat, In the 60's today. A bit much for December.

Her udder is getting bigger.

She is only getting wider and seems to be a bit slow on her feet.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Flood Conditions

Old railroad bridge abutment on Mill Creek behind the Ligonier Stadium.
These were taken with the phone around 2:30pm on Friday afternoon. Unfortunately I had the incorrect size setting. Those of you that recognize the area realize that normally you have to lean over the abutment edge to see water. The good thing is that this is about as high as it will get. The water will spread on other surfaces before it can rise much more.

Friday evening there was a short while where we were close to being an island. The intersection to the west of us near the firehouse was flooded mid day. At 4pm I was worried about crossing water almost up to the Explorer's belly. Too fast and you churned up the water too much. Made it though.

That evening when I walked down the lane to see how high the Four Mile Run was - high - I realized that no traffic was traveling on Darlington Road. I guess by then the "Road Closed" signs were up on Idlewild Hill Road.

High water on the pond VIDEO

Because the rain was so heavy starting in the morning, the goats stayed in the open part of the barn for the day. They would not have gone outside anyway. They had been hating walking in the mud and puddles already. IF they went out, they would all huddle in the shed and their hay would have gotten wet and ruined.
My mistake was not thinking about the trouble they could make in a day. Lets just say half a baby monitor lost its power. The wire was chewed in half - plugged in - so I wonder who got a little jolt, or a big one.
Then they got into the shredded paper and had that all over the ground. I guess they didn't think I gave them enough hay. They eat paper sometimes, even if they have hay. They chase me around as I spread clean paper in their stalls, and they gobble it up. I try to make the piles tall so they don't get to the dirty stuff underneath, but I think they are pickier then that anyway.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Beautiful Blue

I took the camera to take pictures while the snow was sparkling, but it actually made it hard to see in the digital screen. It was a bit of a guess at what I was framing.
I came in and looked at what I got, and its the sky I noticed most.
This might be my favorite today.
Snickers was licking the ice off the rail. ??
She is not very photogenic.
I think she is much more adorable in real life.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Thought on Hens





--Samuel Butler

Friday, December 12, 2008

False Alarm

I really though we were going to have kids yesterday or today, because I took a discharge as a sign. The tail area seemed soft, but a day later, no goat babies.
I mean really, doesn't she look ripe for her first kidding?
She spent the night in her own area that is all clean and closed off from the other girls. I had her in the barn today.
We've had the baby monitor on at night on for about a week now. I bought it second hand - of course. Poor child of mine never had one!!

We were given due dates of last week in November and second week of December.

What's funny is that one night the channel on the receiver got switched and the next morning I was getting some one's morning activities with little kids voices and a hairdryer.
I called the only neighbor that I could imagine it was and luckily it wasn't them.
But then who was it?
How far does this thing transmit?
Its pretty far from inside the barn to the bedroom. 100 yards maybe.
I call this the "suitcase for the hospital".
Its been in the kitchen for a month.
We are ready to go.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Made My Day - The Theme Continues

Hap-pee Birthday!

...even when we're old goats

When you get to a certain age,
weird stuff starts happening with your cycle.
Now that last one is just clever!
Thanks for these and many other fun greetings, cards, visits and calls.

December 11 - We have a theme

Good Morning!
Here is my first present of the day from Norma (nice surprise in the mail), getting used for my morning coffee.

Then we have the goat couple, and look in front of them...

...their goat hair goat.

Snickers is waiting out the rain in her usual spot where she can see a lot of the action. Its been two days of rain and she's been there two mornings in a row waiting for movement from the house between barn visits.