Tag Archives: spring

Saffron has her day!

Saffron thinking deep thoughts

Saffron is our very sweet girl that came from Ardelia Farm a year and a half ago.  She was the one that had issues kidding last year and had a stillborn preemie.  Two vets told me that there must be something wrong with her plumbing and that she would most likely not be able to carry babies to full term in the future.  But the post-mortem on the preemie baby indicated that she died of an infection, not that she just couldn’t be full term for some physical reason.

The new girls

So we gave Saffron another chance.  I think when we brought her home over a year ago she had a lot of stress, and things just didn’t work out for her (she aborted the fetus she had been carrying, having gotten bred at Ardelia, and then got re-bred here).  And I think that I am glad we gave her another chance, because she just had two beautiful doelings this afternoon!

Saffron’s larger doeling

I wasn’t home today, and I got a text from Sam saying that he had fed everyone this afternoon, a little before 3.  He couldn’t find Saffron, and when he went into the recesses of the other greenhouse, there she stood with two clean and nearly dry babies, delivering her placenta.  Easy-peasy, I guess!  He said she never made a sound, and he was just in the next greenhouse, which is only 6 feet or so away.

Saffron’s smaller doe

She is a fantastic mama, and stands forever to encourage her babies to nurse.  I think the larger of the two is in a milk coma this evening as I couldn’t get her interested in getting back on the teat when I went out to check them a little while ago.  They both feel fine, and have warm mouths.  (I get obsessive and look for the first dark meconium poops and then later the yellow poops that show milk consumption, but some of the moms get rid of the evidence, and I couldn’t find any signs of the baby’s fecal matter, so I just have to trust that things are going to plan).  It’s my turn to do the late bottle feed tonight, so I will double check on them again.

10 babies on the ground so far, 8 of them are does.  I hope there are a lot of people out there who want Guernsey goats this year!  I certainly can’t handle all the added mouths to feed, at least not for long!  These girls are just doing too good a job :*)

 

Celebrating Spring

Our bottle babies, Captain and Tenille

This morning was really special, and not just because it is the first day of Spring.  Our Betsy did not spend most of the night with her babies, they actually were camped in two different greenhouses, but when we fed the mamas their morning grain, Betsy ate her whole portion, like a champ!  I can’t believe it!  She has finally earned the step away from being drenched with that awful propylene glycol, thank goodness.  She is off her antibiotics, her banamine (analgesic), and now the drench.  We continue to give her vitamin B every day, though.  We just have our fingers crossed that she can keep eating well.

Betsy’s babies ate like like champs as well this morning, drinking a little over 12 ounces, each.  We are slowly beginning to make the transition from kid milk replacer to cow’s milk, but it’s going to take at least another couple of weeks for that.  Most folks who have been raising goats for years do not use replacer as there is a much higher incidence of diarrhea that comes with it.  Our little ones are doing well, and I would use goat’s milk, but all of my current mamas have regulated their supply to meet their babies’ demand, so they are not letting me have a dependable supply yet.  And the next best thing is cow’s milk.

Jingle, up close and personal

Jingle the donkey was happy today as her good friend Fred the Farrier came by.  I know a lot of farriers don’t like visiting with donkeys, but our Jingle has always been good about her feet, and she and Fred love each other.  It’s such a relief that it isn’t a big deal for her!  Very nice.  Great start to Spring, even if we still do have a lot of snow sticking around.

Pickles picks the perfect day

New boy on the farm
New boy on the farm

Our yearling doe, Pickles, chose wisely.  She really didn’t look ready to kid today at all, but first-timers can fool just about all of us!  I did chores, checked her carefully, and her udder looked a little tiny bit bigger, but nothing serious.  We took our grandson to our favorite breakfast place, and then scooted up the hill to our pigeon racing friend’s house to watch his birds come in from a race.  He and his wife had driven and released the club’s birds in Massachusetts, and he wanted to make sure they all registered on the clock (we have no old birds flying this spring).  We saw the first 7 or 8 pigeons come in a little after 9:30, and then I got a call from my son that we had baby touchdown.  So I raced home to take care of seeing that the little guy got his Bo-Se shot (to prevent white muscle disease) and his little umbilical cord dipped in iodine, plus a weight.

Mama is taking good care of her boy
Mama is taking good care of her boy

Pickles is a medium-sized doe, but not the biggest, and she birthed a 7.75 lb buckling with no trouble.  She is definitely SnowPea’s daughter!  Our little buck definitely has the Guernsey genes (his father, Reddog, is almost pure Guernsey, his mother is 1/4 Alpine, 3/4 Lamancha).  Sigh.  This day has not disappointed!

Tired out from being the new boy in town
Tired out from being the new boy in town

I am really not sure if anyone else out there is bred, but this morning I just happened to be standing behind Pickles’ sister Sassafrass, and one side of her udder is round and full.  I don’t know if this is just a copycat of what Pickles had last fall, an udder that was filling without any pregnancy, or if Sassafras is really bred and might be cooking a baby in there!  I guess only time will tell, or I can draw blood and do a pregnancy check.  If I still don’t know by mid to late June, I may just do that.  The one thing I am pretty sure of is that none of the goats are likely to be kidding before then, if they are bred, so I will be out of school if things should look promising!  All of us can get a good night’s sleep for awhile now :*)

Sunday, fun day

Jingle and the boys
Jingle and the boys

Another absolutely fantastic day on the coast of Maine!  It was definitely a good one.  The weather was perfect, even to the point of not much wind.  I was beginning to prep for a big cleanup day (today), but I also had some eggplant that needed to be turned into parmigiana.

Red sauce
Red sauce

While I was having my morning coffee, I began the red sauce.  (At this time of year that means that it’s 3 cans of Italian tomatoes, plus all the garlic, onions, carrots and celery – plus the little end of sauce pork I had stashed in the freezer).  I got that puppy going and then we went out to get some things done with the goats.

Bucks eating near each other
Bucks eating near each other

I have been wanting to separate Reddog the Guernsey buck from the large group of does.  I didn’t want to do it in the really cold weather in case Jingle doesn’t allow him into the shelter while she is getting to know him.  So yesterday we thought it would be just about time.  We got him in with Oreo and Jingle, and there was some jousting.  He got into Jingle’s face right off, and was paid back with a swift kick to the head (but Jingle made contact with Reddog’s horns).  Oreo confronted Reddog, and they got into it a little, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be.

eparmWe were watching them through the day today, and there was a little sparring by the two bucks, but so far it looks okay.  Today was a mudroom-clean-out-day.  And a dentist appointment.  Exhausting!  But we still have some eggplant parmigiana leftover.   It’s soft enough for me to eat tonight :*)

Happy Friday

IMG_1020Shabbat shalom to everyone out there!  It’s a beautiful Friday afternoon and the wind is blowing, but it’s sunny and amazingly beautiful (made more so by the fact that it’s the eve of April break!).

And so it goes.  I have my feet up and a good book in my hand (The Friendship Riddle by Megan Frazer Blakemore). Leftovers waiting for dinner.  And, let’s not forget, a glass of wine :*)

Can it be spring?

Pickles has opinions
Pickles has opinions

I don’t know!  I think it’s close.  I am dying to be outside and enjoying the sun.  One more day until April vacation begins.  I am  looking forward to it more than I can say.

I feel like I am starting to have a weekly blog instead of a roughly every-other-day-blog.  But it’s okay.

Reddog is enjoying the sun
Reddog is enjoying the sun

Things are chugging along as usual.  Nothing out of place.  Waiting for our next goat kids which are due in May.  Cleaning up around the farm, trying to get our pigeon pairs together.  Reading some new YA books and going to the chiropractor to see if I can get my hip up to par.  So far it’s really helping.  Walking is much improved and I am feeling better in general.  Just hanging in the paddocks in the sun with the goats in every spare moment.

30 some days left in the school year.  Yahoo!

Saturday again

Blue sky day
Blue sky day

And so it goes.  Weeks are flying by, and as we head into Spring we come to a screeching halt with some really frigid temperatures arriving on Sunday night.  These things happen, but after it warms up later on in the week, I really think I need to uncover my garlic!

Baby Betsy's favorite place
Baby Betsy’s favorite place

Saffron continues to improve, and she was even doing a little dance this morning.  Betsy the Bruiser will be 3 weeks old tomorrow, and she is romping and running up a storm.  Battie can’t keep up with her!

Battie and her girl
Battie and her girl

None of the other goats are due until early May, so we are watching carefully and making sure they are eating well and getting some good exercise.  Rain this afternoon and evening, so I started a batch of Ken Forkish’s bread recipe for a Biga starter last night (from the book Flour Water Salt Yeast).  It’s looking promising so far!

Spring is here, so is the snow

Betsy loves her mama's food!
Betsy loves her mama’s food!

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!

Snow day skies
Snow day skies

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).

Saffron is up
Saffron is up

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.

Battie and Betsy frolicking in the snow.
Battie and Betsy frolicking in the snow.

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.

Catching some rays
Catching some rays

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  :*)

Turtle time again

Time to lay some eggs!
Time to lay some eggs!

We have rain again, and this is a good thing.  It’s Friday night and I am lazing around, listening to an audiobook and making some veggie burgers (unfortunately, they are falling apart, but they taste amazing!).

Here we are in June, and it’s turtle egg-laying time again!  The painted turtle moms are everywhere: digging in the driveway, by the back door, up by the goats.  This afternoon I walked into the hay/feed greenhouse, and there was a beautiful paint, nestled in between two of the feed cans.  I presume she was laying eggs, but with all the scrap hay and chaff around, it was difficult to see.  I went about my chore business, and she stayed there the whole time.

So round about the end of August we should be seeing tiny little turtles hauling themselves all over the property.  They say it is about a 10-week gestation, but I guess the whole thing depends upon the temperatures.  It’s an amazing and prehistoric cycle, and I think they particularly love our property as it is very sandy soil.  Maine has a lot of clay, but the front of our piece of land is more sand than clay.  And we have a little stream that runs through out back to the beaver pond, so there is a very conducive habitat for the little shelled creatures.  We love them!

Mealtime with SnowPea and Pippi's boy!
Mealtime with SnowPea and Pippi’s boy!

Ah well.  It’s been a long week.  The weekend is upon us and I am feeling relaxed.  Good to be home after the busyness of the week (we had an evening at the middle school for incoming 6th graders – book fair and other activities –  and then high school graduation night on Wednesday.  I am still not fully recuperated!).

Tomorrow my plan is to sleep-in a bit and then enjoy the beautiful weather!