Tag Archives: Beezus the goat

Today

Our little orphan

Was quite the day.  We have been doing round-the-clock checks on a few of our does, and no one appeared to be doing anything yesterday or last night.  Getting bigger, but nothing else going on.

Peanut on her feet a few hours later

Last night we thought Beezus might be in the beginning stages of labor, so we were checking her every few hours.  Nothing.  But this morning when I went out there, I found a wee little babe covered in the straw near where Beezus sleeps.  There was no wet spot, no placenta, no nothing.  Just a little baby, apparently dead, lying in the straw bedding.  I grabbed her up, and even though I presumed she was dead, I wrapped her in my jacket and grabbed a towel, and ran her down to the house.  Beezus was just sitting there cudding.  Oy!

Anyhow, she mewled once, and as I was rubbing her belly, I felt her breathing.  And so it began.  After I took her temperature and it didn’t even register on the electronic thermometer, I knew we were in trouble.  And so I had to go to the trusty internet to read the instructions for giving an intra-peritoneal glucose and water shot.  I have never done this before, but luckily I had the glucose, and I did it, following the instructions from one of the big universities.  It was clearly A Miracle.  I watched her come to life in the minutes after that shot, and I still can hardly believe it.  When we got her temp up to 91.4, we celebrated, although when I spoke to the vet, she didn’t sound very optimistic about that milestone.  But we are keeping on, and hopefully it will be a positive outcome.  (Lots of hot water bottles, a heating pad, and body heat to help her get to a temp of 101+.  We did it around midday!).

Peanut having none of this bottle stuff!

Little Peanut Butter should not be alive, but as of tonight, she still is.  We worked long and hard this morning getting her warmed up, so that we could begin to give her some colostrum and milk.  I don’t have a lot of frozen colostrum, and her mama wasn’t making any.  She was dry as a bone.  So I defrosted some from another doe, and broke out my powdered colostrum.  I am milking one of my does, so I can mix that with the powdered stuff.

I don’t know where this will go, or whether or not this little one will survive.  She is truly a Peanut.  About as big as our chihuahua, who is 3 lbs soaking wet.  I want her to thrive, but the odds are against her.  We shall see.  We are having to tube feed her, even though since midday she has been able to hold her head up and get up on her feet and lurch around.  She is not interested in the bottle yet, but I am hoping against hope that we can coax her to it.  (I really hate tube feeding).

And so it goes.  Dorcas and Pippi are still ‘wide loads coming through,’ and very pregnant.  Don’t have a date on Dorcas, but Pippi’s due date is today, which means that tomorrow is a good bet for her.  She will be watched closely.  I can only hope that she decides to go during the day.  Beezus has actually been our only doe to do something at night so far.

Adventures in farming.  Always something new.  All positive thoughts are welcome!

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Blustery day

Finally got the garlic in
Finally got the garlic in

It was a quiet Armistice/Veteran’s Day yesterday, but by noontime the wind had tuned itself up out of the NW and I thought we might be having a windy power outage at some point.  The lights flickered many times, and a big piece exploded out of our elderly birch tree at the top of the driveway, but nothing serious came down near the house.  Last night the King Moon shone brightly and, very uncharacteristically, I went to bed close to midnight so I had a few hours to enjoy it.

They took a break from fighting to see if I had anything good for them
They took a break from fighting to see if I had anything good for them

Animal-wise, things have been quiet on the farm.  (With the exception of the day that we went out to do afternoon chores and found that Oreo the Buck had done a Houdini from the buck pen and was trying to bash his way into the breeding group’s area.  He wasn’t hard to catch and he went back in with Jingle the Donkey, pouting all the way, with a bleeding headbone).

The tentative news is that all 4 does have been bred!  At least I believe that all 4 girls came into heat, and each one was courted in her turn by Reddog the Stinky Boy.  (The Guernsey girls do not show their heats as clearly as the Lamanchas, don’t know if it is a breed characteristic or not.  I know they are 100 times more laid back than the Lamanchas, who are pretty laid back to begin with).

Beezus is shy, but she always has an opinion!
Beezus is shy, but she always has an opinion!

So now we just have to sit back and count the days until each doe should come back into heat if Reddog is not fertile.  But if he has done his job, we will have a nice little cluster of kids at the end of March/beginning of April.  (March 27th to April 3 or so).  It would be perfect.  Just hope that the predicted Polar Vortex isn’t howling then!

Pippi’s big day

Pippi leaving in the back of my Forester
Pippi leaving in the back of my Forester

Or rather, date!  Yes, our breeding woes have gotten us so far that we really have no other option than to get the girls we want bred to a buck off the farm, one we know and trust,  for breeding.  And of course, yesterday late in the afternoon when I was just (finally!) getting my garlic planted, I looked over to see Pippi behaving rather peculiarly.  Jumping on all the smaller girls, and just generally being a loud nuisance.  And her tail was flagging madly, so I knew right away that we had a live one in heat.

We are down to not many options, so I went in and called our friends at a farm in Friendship, and the date was made. But because we do not have a cap on our truck, my husband needed to take my car, and I was left hitching a ride to work from my son.  As complicated as the day felt, almost everything went to plan.

My one miscalculation was in the set up.  I had to get Pippi separated from the rest of the girls before I went to work.  (The goats aren’t stupid, they know when the two men are coming at them that something is up!).  I have a permanent “catch pen” where I feed them their grain everyday, so at a moment’s notice, I can grab any one of those crafty buggers.  But since it was going to be another few hours before John would load her up and take off, I didn’t want her in the pen alone, to get all worked up and crazy.  So I made sure to leave both of her daughters in with her.  Apparently Beezus, the sweet brown yearling goat, didn’t think much of that plan.  When the men went out to load Pippi up, they found that Beezus had tried to jump the high galvanized 4X4″ grid fence.  At least her front feet were on the ground, but both her back feet were caught in the fence, higher than her head.  They got her out and she was very shaken up.  No broken bones, but a giant loss of equilibrium for awhile and she still seems to have some aches and pains.  Sheesh.  It’s like we can’t get through a week without at least one goat disaster.  No, not true, it just feels like that recently.

I gave Beezus the Jumper an anti-inflammatory and she is fine tonight.  When my son went out to check on things a little while ago, she ran away from him and hid behind Big Zelda.  I hope she continues to do okay.

Pippi takes everything in stride!
Pippi takes everything in stride!

Pippi was totally herself tonight, in spite of the ride in the car and her meet up with Romeo.  Our friend’s bucks are both experienced and efficient, so it wasn’t even that big an outing.  I am sure that Pippi had a grand time, she always makes the best of her opportunities :*)

Goatie non grata

Banished from the main feeder, Beezus sits alone.  :*(
Banished from the main feeder, Beezus sits alone. :*(

Having learned the hard way many years ago, I always keep a goatie family member for every goat (among the girls).  No one in the paddock doesn’t have either a mother/daughter or a sister there at all times.  I don’t know if it’s documented, but in a herd as small as ours, the odd girl out gets picked-on mercilessly, and constantly.  It’s painful to watch, and dangerous. The recipient who is chased around the feeders and bounced off fences is not a happy goat, and we want happy goaties.

Beezus looking around before going into the grain feeding catch pen.
Beezus looking around before going into the grain feeding catch pen.

My little plan backfires, however, when one of the companions has new babies.  This is the situation right now for our girl Pippi.  Her yearling, Beezus, is now not even welcomed by Pippi herself (and Beezy wasn’t big enough to be bred last fall).  I know that this, too, shall pass, but it bothers me.  And the other goats all notice; no moss growing on them!  And they then pick on her as well.  I had to intervene the other afternoon when Zelda was pursuing Beezy around the pen.  Zelda would just not stop!

Pippi’s babies are not destined to hang around.  They will probably go to freezer camp late in the fall, or early winter.  But while she is nursing them, there will be no peace for Beezus.  Sad goatie girl.  She sits alone, and has to watch her back.  Sigh.

11 or 12 weeks until weaning isn’t the end of the world, but it definitely gives me one more thing to watch over.

Blustery Friday evening

Choretime this afternoon
Choretime this afternoon

Friday evening finally. The week has been a little bit of a challenge with the snow on the ground and the wind that has picked up. The temperatures are plummeting tonight and I am happy to be inside and out of it. I did chores around 3:30, and as the light was going, the wind was howling, and I came in feeling like I had been beaten up or run down by a truck.

Cousins Beezus and Marigold at the grain trough
Cousins Beezus and Marigold at the grain trough

The girls are staying close to each other and Zorro the Llama in their end of the greenhouse. Hunkering down tonight is the name of the game.

So the Martin Luther King weekend begins. Our wood stove is supposed to be installed either tomorrow or Tuesday. The sooner the better! I can hardly wait. Let’s just hope it goes smoothly.

July Pippi update

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Just general relaxation is ruling the morning so far. I had a chance to sit with the goats and enjoy the nibbling and requests for neck scratches and pats while doing chores, which is a nice way to start the weekend.

Thank you to everyone who has inquired about our Pippi’s health. She is doing very well these days and I believe she is up to her old self again. Pips is very aggressive at the feeder and does not walk away at all. Her babies are growing like weeds, which is also another good indication that she is doing well. I have made numerous attempts to get a video of her at the grain feeder because she grunts and talks to her food, which is very funny (she did not do this when she wasn’t feeling so great). But the shadows are not right, or the others get in the way, and I have not had any success yet. I did get a cute short video this morning of some of the kids at the feeder, and that is on my Instagram feed.

The weather has turned absolutely gorgeous and clear, and so cool last night that we had to close all the windows downstairs this morning! My favorite kind of summer weather. And the big excitement that’s brewing now that I have finished my professional development in Augusta: the 4 day annual spinner’s retreat next week :*) Vinalhaven Island, here we come!

*(I made a mistake in one of the photo captions: Henry is the black and white buck, but the brown buck checking Beezus out at the feeder is not named! He hopefully will be finding a new home in the near future)