Battie update

Battie finally seems to be turning the corner toward feeling better.  I was really worried about her, she had so much trauma.  But the meds and the rest are catching up with her and she is seriously eating hay now.  I came out this morning to find her standing in her pen, cudding away nicely.  She is still a little depressed, and when I empty her udder, she nickers to her babies :*(

Eleganza and Edna

I think goats are worse in confinement even than sheep.  They are such herd animals that it is difficult for them to function without all that herd pressure, and without their friends and frenemies.  Battie has steadfastly refused to eat anything from the hay feeders in her pen, but instead chooses only to eat from the feeder she can reach right on the other side of the pen divider, particularly if another goat is eating from that very feeder.  So today we went out and while Sam was taking care of some other things, I let Battie out to stretch her legs and get the cobwebs out.  I would never have let her out of the pen without hanging there with her, because you just never know, and I wasn’t sure if she was going to be a little shaky.  She had a few tussles with Eleganza and Saffron, but other than that things went well (Battie is the Queen in Training.  Pippi, the Lamancha doe, is still definitely The Herd Queen).  It was hysterical, though, because when Eleganza got pretty stroppy with Battie, Pippi inserted herself between the two and grunt first at one, and then the other.  She gave them both the what-for!  I wish I could have gotten video of her doing that.  She is a tough task mistress and does not like misbehavior!  (Unless she is the one misbehaving).

And so we wait for whatever the weather will bring tonight… more damn snow, I guess.  I hope we are firmly in the lower amount zone, for once.  I am sorry to hear that other areas are getting slammed yet again.  Happy Spring!


And so it begins

And unfortunately, does not end well.  (If you are at all squeamish, probably best not to read this post.  I am going to be honest about what transpired, and it’s more than a little gross).

Sweet Battie

None of our goats were ready to have their kids this weekend, even though we have begun checking on them at night.  The earliest are really due this coming Friday and Saturday, Pippi and Saffron.  We noticed yesterday that Battie was bagging up, but that can happen even up to a few weeks before the due date, so I was not worried (Pippi has been bagged up for a couple of weeks already).  Battie did seem a little uncomfortable yesterday, but all seemed fine last night.

Battie in her jug

Early this morning was a different story.  She had a dead and decomposing breech buckling halfway delivered, and things were not going well.  Needless to say we tried our best to get the rest of the baby out, but with little success.  It was obvious that things had been wrong for awhile, but our main goal was to save our Battie.

I ended up calling the vet, and I am very glad that I did.  None of us here have the skills that were needed to get the second large buck out of there.  In the end, after trying a few different approaches, the vet had to take the baby out in pieces (it was so bloated with gases that she could not pull it as usual).  But it saved Battie’s life, and even though she is pretty knocked out right now, with some luck and the antibiotics, Banamine, and a few other goodies, she will recover.

I hate it when a kidding or lambing season starts like this, but maybe it’s better that it happened now.  We weren’t busy with anything else, and we could focus all our attention on her.  Sweet Battie!  Your girl Betsy will have to keep you company this year.

Snowmaggedon #2

Fergus is always glad to see us

The snow looks like it’s just about stopping now, after about 30 hours.  It began with a bang, but the snow was light.  That was yesterday, and it got warm enough over night and today (upper 30s) to turn it all into a heavy, wet mess.  We are half way through March now and most of us are just ready for it to end!  (I know, how many times can I say it…)

So much snow coming off the greenhouses, we all look tall!

Our biggest problem is the area around the greenhouses.  We can barely get a wheelbarrow through, and the greenhouse pens need a good cleanout before the babies come.  Sam has been working hard on opening up the lanes, but this last snow put us back in a big way.  I think we got better than 18″.  I am just hoping that we have a bit of melting before the 23rd!

Nothing to be done about the weather, so I am thinking we will have to put up  a heat lamp for the babies again this year… I just don’t think we are warming up as quickly as I had hoped!  Maybe next year I need to keep the buck away from the does until early November, so we definitely have babies in mid-April!

March Snowmaggedon and Daylight Savings!

March madness

Another Nor’Easter has hit all of the east coast.  Not that it’s any surprise to have snow and messy storms in March, but I think we were all hoping it was over.  Not so fast, nature says!  Joke’s always on us.  And it looks as if another one is on the way for Tuesday.  We only lost our power for about 6 hours, but many people fared worse than we did.   I can hardly wait!

White greenhouse tarp and snow.

In the meantime we have been readying everything for the onslaught of the new kids.  Less than two weeks, I would say.  Have to make sure we stock up on molasses for the moms as well as all the things we need in our birthing box.  (Syringes, needles, Bo-Se the selenium/vitamin E injectable, nose siphon, lubricant, thermometer, iodine and snips for navels, etc.).  This year’s eartags have arrived along with a new feeding tube in case we have to tube feed anyone (last year’s tube got a real workout on Peanut).  I also have to check and see if I still have any fresh or powdered colostrum in the freezer.  It’s always a crap shoot for the first babies born, in case something goes wrong and we can’t get enough colostrum from a mama whose baby needs help with feeding (after the first mom gives birth we usually have plenty of colostrum put aside for the others, but it’s always the first one who has issues!  Not really, but that’s what it feels like sometimes).

Snow overhang coming off the second floor dormer end of the house (outside my studio windows)

Anyhow, took a break from housework and everything yesterday to catch up on some reading and a little knitting.  Made dinner and didn’t finish cleaning up, either, so that was the first job this morning.  Now I need to turn my attention to a weaving project I am starting.  What fun!  And Daylight Savings has come to our rescue.  I love more light at the end of the day, and in a week or two it won’t just be at the end of the day :*)

A new month, a new week

Pizza dough (and a little wine for the baker!). Dough recipe from David Lebovitz

I can’t believe that it is March already!  I had a great first week working with my weaving mentor, and had a great weekend with our grandson.  We did fun stuff like make pizza dough, (I made red sauce), we read some Harry Potter, and he played lots of games.

Pippi the Lamancha doe, looking very wide and very ready to milk, indeed!

I am needing to get more organized for kidding, which should begin late in the week of the 19th.  A friend of ours had lambs two days ago and it has gotten me very excited about our impending babies.  It is the perfect time to give the pregnant does their Bo-Se shots (Selenium and Vitamin E), and I will be giving CD&T shots to each of them according to their due dates (3 weeks ahead, to make sure their babies have some immunities, particularly the Tetanus piece).  Since we live in a selenium-poor area of the country, the Bo-Se is very important and a few years ago I had begun boostering this twice a year in the moms.  I hope it’s making a difference.  We have not had any problems that I can ascribe to a lack of selenium, so hopefully it has.

Tesser sleeps very soundly in her little cat bed.

And so it goes.  Our little Tesser the Chihuahua is chugging along, getting very close to her 16th birthday.  She is doing well for her age and her size, and loves her little cat bed tunnel and her heating pad in front of the wood stove.

I can hardly wait for next weekend when we get Daylight Savings time back :*)