Friday, February 25, 2011

And Baby Makes 8

About 45 minutes old
Yummmmmmmmmmy in my tummy
This morning Heidi put an official end to the kidding season. Baby buck was born. He is a healthy, big boy. I am actually thankful that Heidi had only a single birth. When my husband and I first started out in the goat business we did not know a whole lot. How much could a girl born in the suburbs of Long Island know about goats? It seems Heidi had, what is known as a precocious udder. Which means that her udder developed without being pregnant. Before we new it, she was huge. It developed into a mastitis condition which ended up causing scar tissue to be formed in the udder. She has a beautiful udder from the outside but it will only hold about half the amount of milk she should be producing. It also makes milking her a little difficult. Needless to say, she had twins last season and could only feed 1 of her kids. The buck, who was the stronger of the two kids, pushed his sister (who I named Carmela) aside. Carmela became my bottle baby and to this day tries to crawl into my lap like a little baby. Except she now weighs about 60 lbs!
Maggie and Bo welcoming the newest addition to the farm
Thankfully all my goats are very tolerant of the dogs around their kids. And as a result all the kids are very fond of the dogs.
Poor Rocky - Not the baby anymore!
Well that makes 4 does and 4 bucks this time around. It takes a lot of jostling around everyone in the evening (I separate the kids from their moms at night) but it is well worth it. The moms need a break from their kids (they can still see and hear each other) and I get enough milk in the morning to make my soaps and cheese. Planting time is fast approaching. The Farmer's Market is only 3 months away!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Computers...The Cause and Solution to All the Worlds Problems

Don't get me wrong, in this day and age everyone needs a computer. But to make a long story short this blog started last week and since my computer (HAL) has a mind of his own it will get continued today. Somehow it decided that last weeks post was finished. It published it and that was that. No Editing, No Previewing and no Comments from anyone. Well today I take control. MAYBE!! Unfortunately we only have a dial-up connection out here in the boonies and that may be the problem. Apparently Honeycutt Road is (to quote from one of my favorite movies "Oh Brother Where Art Thou"............. 2 weeks from everywhere!

Maggie and Rocky sleeping SHHHHH!
Charlie and friend
Bo, Maggie and Rocky
This truly is the Funny Farm. Almost a Noah's Ark. Everyone must get along together or else there would be complete chaos here.
Dogs must get along with the goats and the chickens; Chickens must get along with goats and dogs; and the goats must get along with everyone.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Let Sleeping Dogs, I Mean Goats Lie

Charlie and Rocky Milagro
Do I have the word Sucker somewhere on my forehead. First we (actually it was our 3 other dogs) found Maggie (Our Blue Tick Hound Wannabe) on the side of out house in the middle of the night. She was a scared little pup, probably not more than 2 months old. But she turned into one of our most loving dogs. A real love sponge. Then Charlie showed up on Monday! My husband named him Charlie, for his close resembalence  to Charlie Chaplin, on account of his moustache. We cant quite figure out what he is yet. Some kind of terrier mix. Hopefully small, like a Jack Russell. He was skin and bones when I first saw him and still has his baby teeth. I started him on dry food and poached eggs. Boy was he hungry! Only 4 days later and you can hardly see his ribs anymore. Where did you come from Charlie? So far all of the other dogs tolerate him. He does need some disciplining. Bocephus will set him straight. Uncle Bo. Bo is a lover not a fighter. Bo loves everyone. Goats, chickens. cats and especially Mr. Percy. (He is our 90-plus year old neighbor, who takes his daily walk down the road in front of our house). Bo just loves him! And he loves Bo too. But don't even try to come on the property if you are dressed as a UPS driver!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Milagro Means Miracle

Mom and kids this past Spring
Mom came down from Northern Virginia for a visit this past week. Born and raised in Manhattan, NY, she likes the city life but is a country girl at heart. She and my dad gave in to all my animal obsessions when I was a young girl. We had lizards of every shape and size (including Tiggy, my 4 foot Tegu Lizard who liked to entertain family guests and an Iguana that my mom swears jumped out the back door to freedom for the summer), fish, gerbils, guinea pigs, cats, dogs, pigeons you name it, we had it. They drew the line at a horse... but I tried. Neighbors on Long Island tend to squash the idea of livestock in a suburban backyard.

My neighbors are few and far between now. The closest one's are the cows across the street. And they don't complain much.

Chiquita - (Little Girl)
Pippi Long Stockings
Pippi almost died this past winter. She lost so much weight I had to put a dog coat on her to keep her warm at night. I did some research online and came up with the diagnosis of Barber Pole worm. I don't routinely worm my goats. But I I had to take action if Pippi was to survive. So I put her through a round of wormers and said alot of prayers. Finally after about 1 month she improved and started to put on weight. Lots of weight! hmmmmmmm - She had been in with a buck with the rest of my does.

Pregnant... She couldn't be. Pippi wasn't supposed to kid and certainly not with twins. She didn't listen to me.

The morning of January 31 was COLD and goats get born during the worst of times. Pippi was showing some discomfort and I just knew it was time. First came 1 doe. I was soooooo happy. I named her Chiquita. She was small but seemed very healthy. Pippi was still restless.

And Rocky Milagro came into the world. He weighed about 3 lbs. Very small and very weak
Rocky Milagro - 5 hours old

Rocky Milagro - 5 days old
This was Pippi's second time at motherhood and she knew exactly what to do. Lead her new young ones back to her teats (the milk faucet). Only she wasn't interested in little Rocky Milagro. I tried to get him to stand and nurse but Pippi just wasn't going to accept him. I knew that it was very important to have the babies nurse soon after they were strong enough to stand. They needed colostrum from their mother. Colostrum is a type of milk that the mother produces that has a higher nutrient content and is full of antibodies. It it important that the kids get as much colostrum as they can. I could see that the Rocky just wasn't strong enough to be able to compete with his sister. I took Pippi to the milkstand and milked out some of her colostrum. Little Chiquita was acting like a normal baby, stumbling around looking for mama. She nursed like a little trooper. Rocky Milagro on the other hand needed a little help. I warmed him up in one of my homemade goat coats and filled a bottle with mama's milk. He drank very little but he did drink. Rocky didn't quit.

He is now 1 week old and looks and acts like a normal buckling spending his days and nights with his sister and the other kids.

His mama just looks like me and he gets his milk from a Coke bottle.