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Archive for February, 2012

It feels like forever since I last posted. Partly, it’s because we’ve been so darned busy, but mostly its because I’ve developed carpal tunnel in both wrists and typing more than a line or two is uncomfortable and seems to make the problem worse.

I have all kinds of ideas for both this blog and my samburtononline blog, but I’m just too cowardly to write them.  Besides, I need my hands and wrists for carrying water buckets and such.  Hopefully, typing rest will bring some relief.  Time and patience is what’s required. I’m running out of both.

 

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Baby goats are everywhere.  You all know about Curry and Zorro, our two early bird Nigerians.  What you need caught up to date on, is the wild week we’ve had.  I use we, quite liberally.  Apart from my being around to do some bottle feeding and serve as a human hot water bottle, the lion(ess)’s share has fallen to Brittan.

On Monday night, we got to the farm later than normal to do evening chores and were met with a big, er, small, er, plentiful, surprise.  Nya, one of our Nigerian does, had delivered triplets. There were two bucklings and a stillborn doe.  The boys were quite cold, having been born in the pasture on a very chilly night, and one of them was quite feeble.  I put them inside my jacket to warm them up and went to dispose of the little girl’s body, while Brittan worked on milking Nya.  Since she is a first freshener, that was easier said than done and the stanchion was put away for the winter.  So when I got back, I used my knees to hold Nya’s head in place, while Brittan milked out some colostrum.

We raced the boys back to the house and got some of the colostrum down them, but the one little one was still too feeble to eat or stand.  We had real doubts about him making it.  Brittan slept on the couch to keep him warm and feed him a few drops now and then.  Fortunately, he has pulled through like a champion.  He’s still not as strong as his brother, but he improves a little every hour.

This morning, as I’m beginning a meeting here at the office, Brittan calls me. I answered and mostly all I could hear was a goat screaming.  Brittan said it was one of our Kikos in labor.  She gave birth in about one minute while I was still on the call.

I had to rush off of the call for my meeting and tried to call back as soon as I was done.  No answer. I left a message. For two hours I couldn’t get an answer to phone or email, so I high tailed it to the farm on my lunch break.  I found Brittan shivering in the barn with two mamma goats and 4 kids.  It seems that the Kiko had twins, a boy and a girl.  As soon as she was done, Zeta, on of our Nigerians, also went into labor.  She had twin  black and white girls.  Since Brittan had no towels or rags, she took off her shirts and used them for clean up.  She had on a thin jacket and a cold wind was blowing directly on her.  On top of everything, her phone had gone dead so she couldn’t call.  Not a good morning for the woman I love.

I rushed sped home (any excuse to break the speed limit) and got her a sweatshirt and a heavier jacket along with some cloths and her phone charger.  Unfortunately, I had to dash back to work for some mandatory afternoon meetings.  I got an email from her eventually, saying all was well with the new mothers, except Zeta wouldn’t let down her milk, so she had to feed the baby girls regular goat’s milk.  We’ll try again this evening. I suspect I will be on nursing duties tonight. Fair’s fair.

The Kiko babies (father is a Boer, so they’re really crosses) are feeding nicely and will stay with their mamma.  The Nigerians will come home for a couple days and be bottle fed.  Their mother will join the dairy herd.

Our living room now has 4 goats in residence.  Two boys and two girls.  We will wether the boys and probably offer all 4 for sale.  I’m thinking we will keep both of the meat goats since they have outside bloodlines.  We still have three Alpine does and one more Kiko still to kid.  It’s been quite a time.  Did I mention that we love it?

 

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