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.

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