This probably sounds like a broken record. We worry ourselves to death over the pregnancy and lambing and kidding times, hoping to have everything in optimal shape for the best outcomes. But the thing I always forget about is that we have just as much worrying to do after all those babies are born. They are so fast and so inquisitive that lambs and kids get themselves into some really crazy spots.
This year’s goat kids are quite the riot and very good entertainment value. The two with long ears (who have more Saanen in them than the other two) we have nicknamed the Flying Walenda Girls. They are the craziest kids we have ever had around here. If it is vertical, they are on top of it. They walk on top of the greenhouses and jump from the big rock to the greenhouse, hop along the ridge pole and then fly on down. So yesterday I was running late for our Salt Bay Treadler’s monthly meeting and I noticed that none of the goatie girls were on a tear. I didn’t think too much about it, they were all in the feeders playing and noshing, so I went on my way.
This morning I realized part of why the girls are not on the roof. One of the big ear girls has a leg injury. A few inches above her left hind hoof it looks like a bad sprain or a break. She is getting around fine, so we splinted it, gave her Banamine (an anti-inflammatory), and put her back into the paddock. And we immediately took her out again to cover the vet-wrap with some heavy-duty tape. Her mother and her sister had the vet-wrap half undone before we could even look at each other twice! They definitely are the little dickens.
On the farming front we have been wondering which of the doelings we would be holding back to be our yearly meat goat. I guess one of them just got nominated. I hate to see a beautiful doeling going for meat, but unfortunately, that is the way with farming.
The weather has continued to be hot and humid and disgusting. Typical of July, so I shouldn’t complain too much. Last night it broke for a very brief moment and then we got some much needed rain overnight and the humidity came right back today. I am trying to take it easy because of my asthma, but there were still things that needed doing.
Yesterday afternoon Sawyer and I went out and we moved some panels around (he dug in the dirt and played with buckets of water) so I could move the market group of lambs into the paddock that the field ewes had been in. I really need to just get them fed up and ready for the late August butcher date. I also included Esther and her lambs (the ones who were born almost a month later than all the other lambs) as well as Beezus, the ewe with the pre-pubic ligament rupture. Esther is the only one in that group not going to the butcher, but she is in poorer shape than the other ewes that we ferried down to the field. She will get down there in another few weeks.
In the meantime, the goats and a few of the ewe lambs that are either going to stay or who are going to be sold are together in the upper paddock. It’s much easier to have the goats in the upper paddock as it is closer to the milking greenhouse, so that is what decided the move. And the goats who are feeding kids are getting fed separately on the milk stand and everyone else is just eating hay. Much easier to manage this way, and we don’t have to feed everyone grain (that even though the oil prices have gone down it has not “trickled” down to the price of feed!).
The longest couple of days in the year are upon us. I have to say that I feel positively pagan about the daylight. It’s such a blessing to have so many hours of it that I can’t get enough.
It’s still been a crazy week trying to get some end of year things tied up, and then the hot and humid weather hit us yesterday. I know that the whole east coast of the U.S. is getting hit with it, and most are getting it worse than we are, but after weeks of the 60 degree daytime temps, it really struck us like a freight train. John was down in the neighboring field making hay while I was at work trying to get caught up. We even relented and put our small air conditioner in the bedroom window yesterday. It was a definite relief to get a good night’s sleep last night.
This afternoon I moved our Pippi the goat over into the other side of the paddock. She has not been eating as much as usual and keeps herself to herself, and I did not want the other goats to pick on her and keep her from her food. So I got her over with Bonbel and the ewes this afternoon and she still is not eating much. She is technically due on the 25th, but you never know! It could be tonight.
And so it goes. At least we are going to get a little bit of a break from the heat tomorrow.
We have been recuperating and trying to get a little more sleep this past week after the lambing and kidding extravaganza. Every afternoon as I am finishing chores I stay up with the sheep and goats and watch the babies and their antics. While the moms are very focused on their dinner, the babies take the opportunity – while mom isn’t watching – to play on the big rock and run the “wave” back and forth across the top of the paddock (which is relatively mud-free). It is very entertaining. Better than cable tv! These are some photos from the afternoon antics. Thank goodness we are having more moderate temperatures.
Coopworth Fiber, LaMancha Dairy Goats and Cheese on the Coast of Maine!