After our ordeal on Sunday, we have had some frantic days. Saffron seemed to come through her premature baby episode, but we could not get her to really start eating. Her temperature remained low (like 99F low) and it was quite a struggle (goat temperatures are normal in the 102-103F range). We continued to give her antibiotics, vitamin B, and also NutriDrench.
In the last two days or so she has perked up quite a bit, and is finally eating more and doing some serious cudding. Her temp seems to be holding at about 100.5-8. We got her a very stylish coat, to help her hold her body heat a little more efficiently, and the pen is really beefed up with lots of straw. She is roaming the whole paddock with her BFF Battie, as well as Betsy the Bouncing goatie girl, and Saffron seems much more like her old self.
Of course, I continue to worry about her recuperation, and now that the antibiotics are done, we continue to give her vitamin B and ProBios with her food. If she is cudding, she is creating warmth for her body, and I hope that tomorrow and Sunday’s temperatures will help. Sun will help a lot as well! Today’s ice mess was a welcome day home for me, but it wasn’t optimal for my girls. So we will continue to wait and see if Saffron keeps getting better.
Monday snow day! 2nd day of Spring, gotta love it. Our new little doeling is doing very well, and has found her name, Betsy. She is a corker, and yesterday evening Sam caught her on the wrong side of the paddocks, and had to get her back to her mama. None of the girls were hysterical (yet), and apparently SnowPea and Pippi had her corralled and were keeping her away from the others, so she was not in any danger at that point (SnowPea and Pippi are awesome mothers, and I think they had already acquainted themselves through the green panels). Betsy seemed very unabashed, but was happy to be back on the other side, with Battie. We plugged what we think are the two areas she may have gotten through, and everyone was where they are supposed to be this morning. It’s always a work in progress!
On the other hand, things had not been going too well for the past few days with another goat. We knew that Saffron was a little depressed at being separated from Battie for 5 days, but there was something else going on as well. I had begun to treat her for pregnancy toxemia, and she was showing no signs of perking up. Friday she ate, but with no great enthusiasm, and Saturday was not much better. We were dosing her with caprine Nutridrench, which has all kinds of good things in it, and giving her vitamin B shots as well. I was getting ready to get out the straight Propylene Glycol, because Sunday morning she was standing in the corner with her ears down, not paying attention to anything. We got some Nutridrench into her, and when I came back a few minutes later, I could see that she was having labor contractions, and that explained it all. This is about 6 weeks too early for her to have kids from her breeding with Oreo (she came to us already bred, and then lost her pregnancy after she got here, so then was bred by our buck).
Well, it wasn’t pretty. A very beautifully formed little buck who had absolutely not a speck of hair on him was stillborn. He was breach, and it kind of freaked me out when it wasn’t coming, because all I could feel was a rat-like tail in there. And so she (and we) had quite a day. After the baby came, we were waiting and waiting for the placenta, and when it started to pass it was totally clear, as though she were having another kid. It was quite the process, and I am happy to say that this morning she looked almost like her old self. She is interested in what’s going on, and appeared to be interested in food again early today. This afternoon her temperature was down and I could not get her to eat. About an hour ago I was putting some fresh straw into the pen and she dove right in and began stuffing her face… all the wonderful 2nd cut hay that she has, and this is what she wants? I don’t get it! And after some of the straw I got her to drink quite a bit of warm water. The sun is just beginning to go down now, and the vet has just told me to put her back in with Battie and Betsy, which will definitely be a warmer option. I will have to keep checking on her as night falls. We may have to put a coat on her.
We will continue giving her antibiotics and vitamin B, and hopefully there is nothing inherently wrong with her plumbing that she can’t keep a fetus to full term. (I would like to believe that she lost her fist pregnancy back in the fall due to the stress of traveling here from Vermont, at a crucial time in her gestation). I guess we will see next year.
So I got the gift of a snow day and it was perfect timing. I needed to recuperate from the stress of the accumulated weekend events, continue getting over the pneumonia, and try and tend to Saffron as well.
The best thing about yesterday turned out to be the sun: while waiting on Saffron, in-between taking her temperature and checking to make sure things were progressing, we got to work around the farm during the middle of the day, and even caught some relaxed rays for awhile. The temperature and wind were cold, but the sun was spectacular! I’m glad she chose yesterday for the Big Deal. Thank you, Saffron. You are a sweet, gentle girlie, and you need to get all better for us :*)
It’s always the way. The first lambs or kids get all the attention. We have been spending a lot of time out in the greenhouse with our new little one. She is a sturdy little bugger! She’s getting to that hoppity stage and is even cuter than the day she was born and had a bent ear (the ear fixed itself).
Yesterday we made the jug twice the size it was, and now she has more room to hop. She is loving every new encounter, and is a delight. I have not been obsessive about weighing her, but when I did yesterday, she had gained a solid 2.5 lbs in 4 days. Her belly is always full when I check on them, and she most usually has milky-mouth, which is also a good sign!
I have been home for a few days with a three week old cold that turned into pneumonia. I thought the cold was just pushing my asthma to rebel, but that obviously wasn’t the case. I am feeling a little better today, but the antibiotics are harsh. Eating my yogurt is helping. It’s also given me some uninterrupted time for catching up on some reading. I just finished The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan. It’s a very detailed look at what life was like in the secrecy of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, while uranium was being enriched for the Manhattan Project and the town and enriching plants were being built as they went. I would have loved to have been present for many of the interviews that the author was able to do with so many of the women who went to work there in 1942/43, many of whom are still there, in their late 80s and early 90s now. Amazing. As much as I hate nuclear weapons, and don’t even support nuclear energy, their stories are amazing. I love reading about how women have coped and triumphed throughout history, even without being given much credit. I highly recommend it!
Right now I am working on my spreadsheet for the rest of the kidding season. We are all over the calendar with these girls, but I don’t really think anyone else is due until early May. (Although I don’t have a real date on Saffron, so she is going to be largely guesswork just like Battie.)
I still have not formulated what name our new girl is living up to. Hopefully she will make it clear soon!
When we bought Battie from Ardelia Farm last fall, she was bred. We didn’t have any hard and fast due date, but they thought that she might be due the end of February, or the very beginning of March. Well, needless to say, she did not have any kids at the end of February!
I was obsessive about checking her udder development, and in the last few days we did see some development. We checked her around the clock, losing quite a bit of sleep, but every day she went up to the feeder and kept at it, never exhibiting any behavior that would indicate she was in labor.
Last night I was at a friend’s house helping out with a sick lamb, and didn’t get home until the wee hours, which are way past my usual bedtime. And this morning everything looked fine, and i had to go to a meeting up in Searsport, an hour from here. My son was on the job, and almost at midday, I got the phone call. Battie is pushing and i can’t see anything outside of a water bag!
Everything turned out okay. Battie was a champ, and had her baby all by herself, and was only really in active labor for about a half hour. She is a first-timer, and had a single. A beautiful doe! She was up and about in a short time, and a friend of ours came by to see that everything was going correctly, as my son has never seen a birth before. It all worked out well. Our girl is a 7 pounder, and quite the independent spirit! She is a beauty.
I can smell Spring. It’s almost upon us. We had a bunch of nasty wet snow yesterday afternoon, and it froze up over night, but today it’s gone. This afternoon the goats were feeling extremely frisky at chore time, so after their grain feed, they went nuts!
Thanks, Big Zelda, for your nose shot at the end of the video!
This past two weeks have been busy, busy, busy, and in the middle of it all the cold I thought I was getting over, got worse. Such is life at the end of February and the beginning of March.
Last weekend was a wild one, however. I had a blast at the NETA Spa Knit and Spin in Freeport. I help out with the organizational side, so we were over there before the vendors got there to set up at the Hilton Garden, and left as they were leaving on Sunday morning. Quite a few of the ladies in my spinning group were there, and we all had a great time (knitting, swimming, hanging out, shopping, napping, reading, swimming. You get the idea!) The Fashion Show on Saturday evening was great, as always. People are so darn creative and get so much done from one year to the next that it blows my mind. It would have been much more enjoyable if I had not lost my voice by Saturday morning, but these things happen (emceeing the fashion show was a challenge!). Flickr feed photos of the weekend are here. (More photos will continue to be added).
Battie the Golden Guernsey goat is still not looking close to kidding yet. We have added in a late night check so they will be used to seeing us out there at all times of the day and night, but this is crazy-making. By the time the kids are born, we will be dragging with exhaustion! It’s always the way. A friend who breeds angora goats recommended that we get a baby monitor. Our setup is almost 300 feet from the house, but I may give it a try. It won’t replace the visual checks, but it sure would be a help in the wee hours if something gets going. We shall see. I can’t wait to welcome those little goaties (or goatie), but I do wish she might wait long enough for the much warmer weather that is forecast for the coming week. It’s bitter cold with a mind-numbing windchill right now and through tomorrow. She will do what she will do, but we can hope!
Then this past Tuesday afternoon my son and I drove up to get a load of hay in the new/used truck. Everything went well to begin with. It was the first time I had driven it and I enjoyed being able to get in much more easily than into the old truck . On the way home down Route 1, however, we had a blowout. Back tire was just rotted from sitting for a few years. The men had all examined them before we drove the truck home, but after a little bit of use, I think the tire just breathed its last. It was quite cold, and sitting in the truck waiting for the flatbed, I definitely got chilled. But we got home. The tow truck driver was a great guy, and all is well. Thank you, AAA! New tires on the list, maybe for this week. I hope.
The only other thing that has happened in the past week or so is that I finally got up to the Maine State Employees Retirement people and filled out all my pension paperwork. It’s official! As an already retired friend of mine said, it was a little anticlimactic; she felt as though she should have had to sign her name in a huge, leather-bound book with gilt-edged pages. Just some IRS forms and a few others, and that was that. The end of a career and the beginning of a new chapter in life.
Coopworth Fiber, LaMancha Dairy Goats and Cheese on the Coast of Maine!