Went directly from school this afternoon in the unaccustomed heat and humidity to get set up. Ugh. I had the car packed with the structure of the booth last night, so I was able to just go directly over.
In spite of the warm temperatures, I hope a lot of folks can get out for the festival, it’s always a good time.
Warning: there is content in here about the birth of a goat baby that was not normal. If you are squeamish at all, you may want to pass this post by. But I am posting as this happens to be part of life on a farm, albeit not something that one would expect.
5 days early, she had her kids. Luckily I had a pen cleaned out and ready for her.
I checked on her late last night and nothing was going on. She looked uncomfortable, but in the last week or two that is always the way. When I got out there a little after 5 this morning, I found this cute little fellow standing next to SnowPea, mostly dried off and obviously fed already. I really couldn’t quite believe that she had just had a single, although he is a 7 pounder. But a little way away from where they were standing was what I took to be two stillborn babies. Both black, so at first I did not see them on the ground. When I got up close, I really couldn’t believe what I was looking at. I will not post photos here as it is a little macabre, but there was one body and two heads. The back legs were too long and at the bottom one foot looked like it was trying to create another joint, but no hooves there. And the back was open along the spine and it looked like one organ was outside the body next to the spine. It was such a shock, I had trouble wrapping my head around it. I guess conjoined twins happen in any mammal, but it’s not something you expect. While John took that baby away, I got to work making sure that the live buckling was ok. We got antibiotics and vitamins as well as molasses water into SnowPea and she seems fit and normal, considering the birthing experience she must have had.
All day I kept thinking about how SnowPea had been able to actually deliver that conjoined baby. I feel bad for her, but that’s a people thought, not an animal thought. It’s nice, as Pam of Hatchtown Farm commented, that she has a baby to mother. It didn’t look like she had spent much time on the stillborn baby, so this little guy will be it for her this year. And a splendid little guy he is, too. What a handsome boy!
So the lambing and kidding season is finally closed at Ruit Farm North for the year! I can’t say that I am disappointed as it’s been an extremely bumpy ride. It’s quite the relief, actually. I think I may go sit in the bathtub with a glass of wine :*)
I am exhausted! Firstly from the 8 days of rain, downpour after downpour. Then we had a wonderful treat for the weekend: our older son and his girlfriend got up here late Friday night and stayed the weekend. It is the first time in a few years that all of us have had a chance to spend time together. They had an awful drive up from north Jersey on Friday in the rain and the wind, but today their return trip should have been a breeze! Because of the rain, we didn’t do much until today when we did many of the Pemaquid Peninsula touristy things. We spent some time at the Granite Hall Store in Round Pond, and then took a leisurely visit down at the lighthouse on Pemaquid Point. The lighthouse tower was open and the kids and John went up, so I took a picture from below (I have been up there many times). It didn’t come out too badly, either, even though the camera was pointed almost into the sun.
Right now I am doing my imitation of a vegetable. A little knitting as well as keeping my feet up! I am definitely not ready to go back to work tomorrow. It feels like we just got a nice day and now it’s over too soon. Ah well. It was a great weekend, one of the nicest ones that I can remember. Lots of food, laughter and fun with the family. Can’t do any better than that!
She looks to be the only goat who will be offering us milk this year. Her babies are due at the end of the week, and probably will be born while I am vending at the Maine Fiber Frolic next weekend. John will have it covered.
I have begun multiple evening checks on her, and tonight when I went out there, it was still raining, and she just stood there and nibbled and licked my fingers while she stretched. Her babies were having an activity period, so I guess she felt better standing. Hopefully the weather will improve and I can create a dry jug for her for when her kids are born. Phew! Enough rain, now!
(SnowPea with one of her 2012 doelings, and Pippi behind her).
On Monday I got home from work and my husband was very excited. He had been watching something moving toward the house out in the rather unkempt side yard, and realized it was a painted turtle. He watched her as she came fairly close to the house and then dug a depression in the sandy soil there to lay her eggs. He took the opportunity to get a beautiful closeup photo of her. I love their orange bellies and the little orange marks around the edges of their shell. They are such beautiful turtles!
I am taking a Red Zinger tea break right now. Running from one thing to the next trying to get ready for a visit from my older son and his girlfriend for Memorial Day weekend. In reality, most of what I am doing is trying to continue getting ready for the Maine Fiber Frolic which is two short weeks from now! Yow! To that end, I did a little bit of yarn and lock dyeing today, but not as much as I had meant to.
I really needed to set up a temporary pen right outside of one of the paddocks so that I could get the three ewes and two goats in there to eat up the green stuff. It’s just enough to begin getting their rumens ready for more. So back I must go soon to invite them to return to their paddock. We are supposed to be getting some fairly serious rain tonight and tomorrow, and I don’t like to have them eating drenched grass early on before they are totally out on pasture. So they have had a few hours of fun. And I think it’s about time for me to get back to work!
(While I am rushing from one thing to the other, I decided that I would love to listen to one of my favorite audiobooks again. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is an excellent read, but it’s an even better audio. The book is a series of letters back and forth between all the characters, and the audio is done by a group of actors, so there is a male voice reading the letters from men, and female voices for the women. It’s fantastic! If you have a chance to give it a listen, it’s wonderful. Post WWII Europe, Channel Islands, remembrances of the islanders’ experience during the German occupation, and a little bit of a love story all rolled into one. Very satisfying!)
It really doesn’t take much! I had a great time outside yesterday taking photos. I don’t manage to grab the camera every chore time, and frequently I wish I had it with me as one of the sheep or goats is frequently doing something cute or funny.
SnowPea the goat is getting rounder by the day. Her due date is at the end of May, so I am pretty sure she really is going to give us some kids. The lambs are growing like hotcakes and their moms are not being as solicitous with feeding times. They are just about 6 weeks old now. I can’t believe it! Pretty soon it will be weaning time.
Even though it was 35 degrees out this morning at 5, I refused to put on my knit hat! But I did cave and wear my ‘air conditioned’ wool longjohns. I am such a baby!
No frost, however, so that was a plus. Looking at the long-range weather forecast, it looks as though our nightly temps should be staying in the high 40s and 50s from now on… but that’s what I thought two weeks ago as well :*)
I doubt that frost would hurt the weeds that are popping out of the compost piles, however!
I love foggy mornings in the warmer weather. It wasn’t extremely dramatic, but it was striking because the trees are still that delicate light green color and the leaves are still small. We got quite a bit of rain throughout the day, but the sun is out now and everything is clear and bright. Here are a few photos of the day. I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day!
Coopworth Fiber, LaMancha Dairy Goats and Cheese on the Coast of Maine!