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

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

48 Hours Later And A Nice Surprise (Or Two)

Lucky for us we have great neighbors, and neighbors that love our goats.
Julia came twice on her school conference day to help get the orphan twins bottle fed.  Trust me. No easy task. We are not as good as mom.

Then her mom Allison came today and came up with a better technique and the twins ate twice as much as they had the first day.  Luckily, no scours (diarrhea) after 48 hours on powdered supplement. 
They are probably not getting as much as they would with mom, but we are getting used to the bottle and hopefully they will get used to the change and get easier to get started.  There is a lot of resistance, but patience is key.
After the morning shift and watching the herd come and take care of the orphans, we were closing up the barn when I looked on the hill and saw a bear walking the tree line.  As it turned out, after closer observation, he is sick with mange.
Our Game Warden was called, but of course, the bear ended his one hour nap in the sun and wandered off before he could be caught. We have the neighbors on the look out as none of us want any of our animals, or us, to share the bear's affliction.
Then just as things were settling down, Allison noticed Vinegar on her side in the corral. Yes, she was starting to kid. 
I struggled to get her out of the field with the buck, and once through the gate, she took herself into her stall. 
After a long half hour, she gave birth to a single, lovely, paint buckling.  Here she is unwrapping him!

 This evening he was fluffy and soft and a great cuddle after a long couple of days. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Freak Accident - Unbelievable

I don't know where to start with this post.
I'm sick about this.

Over the week-end we got the kids to follow their mothers up the alley to the first gate. The first day we had one or two kids "lose" their mother when they were busy browsing, and the yelling went on until a rescue by a sibling or the whole herd occurred. They've been on the ball since.

Yesterday evening, we moved a second shed across the alley for the nannies and their kids, and the four 2011 yearling does. We've had spring weather, but precipitation is back in the forecast, and all those goats needed more shelter. The whole group went to the barn door to wait to get in, while we moved the shed and the mineral barrel up the hill. I heard some gate banging and saw the group in the corral at the gate, and knew someone was challenging another goat through the gate.  It happens a lot.

Our move was done, and we went to the barn to get the stalls ready and get everyone in. We opened the barn door, the rush of caprine beasts came through, and I got everyone in their assigned stalls. As I was closing stall doors, Dave yelled to "Get out here!". Layla was on the ground by the gate with her horns locked into the wire. We tried pulling her horns every which way to free her and both of us couldn't get it done.  One of her kids was suckling her while all this was going on, and the four goats on the other side of the gate were getting irritated as they were hungry for dinner.

We stopped to try and figure this out, and Dave finally said, "Is she alive?". I looked down and realized she hadn't helped or fought or done anything for this eternal minute.  Then I saw her tongue.

Yeah! I swore!

Once her head was stuck, and at a low angle, I believe she got head butted back and her neck was broken.  My only relief is thinking it was quick. Since one kid was still nursing away, we brought her other kid out on the chance they could get any let down milk one last time.

We had to take the gate off the hinges and work a while longer to finally free her from it. It was horrible.
I barely managed to keep it together, but we now had orphans to deal with.  The saving grace I hope, will be they are so big and healthy, and at three and a half weeks have been eating grain and hay quite well.  The bottle feeding is messy and a struggle, but already Julia, my 4-H-er, was over to help this morning (no school because of conferences).

I'm praying all the issues with the change in diet and the stress won't set her twins back for too long. They are staying with the herd and playing, when they don't stop to call for their mother, so I hope we can keep them healthy.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

More Play, More Practice

Layla's twin does are becoming quite the acrobats.
And they are just so healthy and adorable too.
 These pictures a couple days old, as today we are back to "Mudville". You can see why the kids are looking so healthy.  They are all chowing down like champs.
Finally all the kids come out with their moms in the mad rush for breakfast.  One or two might still sneak back to play in the barn, but at least its only one or two to carry to the gate.  They are all getting quite heavy, so it can make for a lively work out.
The latest in the fence training is the kids are now exposed to horse tape.  They have seen all the types of fence that we have here in our fields, and this week-end, I hope to have this group join their one year old half sisters. That may require rearranging of stalls too, but it needs to be done.  It looks like we may have some new arrivals in a month or so, so we have to get ready.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Not An Optical Illusion

This is a fairly typical egg from my hens.

My only disappointment is that I lost the bet with myself.  I was hoping I was having twin eggs with my home fries. 

No matter. It was a good dippy egg!