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The End of Summer

19 Sep

I think I do a post every year complaining about the end of summer.  It’s the time when pasture quality is low (although that’s been an all summer issue), worms are a real threat, my moms are run down from raising babies,

Hilda feeding Frodo and Rosie

and I’m in a race to get kids grown up enough to sell without them getting wormy, and wondering if I should give copper or not.  It’s my least favorite time of year, every year.

Tansy with her daughter, Sunshine

This year is no exception.  Lemuel picked up worms.  He was wormed and given copper.  I think he’s doing a little better.  I’ll keep a close eye on him.

Lemuel

I have a couple of girls who are thin.  I have no idea why Reva looks so bad.

Reva

Gidget also had a bit of diarrhea and is thin.

Gidget

With the girls not doing as well, I decided I need to get them back on grain.

It took all of about two days for them to figure out to be up here waiting for me when I get home from work.

Cinnamon (right) and her daughter, Athena, searching for spilled corn

Smarty pantses.

Taking Inventory

11 Aug

With the goats going out on the back half of the Back Forty, I need to make sure I take inventory every evening (and pay attention all day) to make sure nobody is stuck in that back fence.  It’s not easy to keep track.

I have thirty  kids who were born over spring break.  But six of them are weaned up north with Maisie.

And Gilbert is with the bucks on the front pasture.

Gilbert

That  means I have twenty-three spring break kids to keep track of.

Sonny

I also have eleven June kids to count.

Pretzel got separated and was looking for everyone else

But it’s getting hard.  Some of the spring break kids are tiny Xerxes babies who are almost as small as the June babies. And some of the June kids are getting big.

Glover by Coral and Trace

Some are also big.  They are as big as my yearling girls.

Tippy (also a Xerxes baby)

Then they don’t always hang out with their maa or siblings.

Zinnia and Ivy but Jack is nowhere to be seen

And Cutie is always off by herself with her two girls, so I tend not to find them to count.

Cutie with Sylvia and Simone

I swear to you, from a distance I can never tell if I’m seeing Rajah or 2TC.

Rajah (in front of Pretzel)

2TC has another patch on the back end.

It is definitely a challenge.

24 Hours

22 Jun

The twenty-four hours between milking on Sunday and Monday evenings were rather eventful.  It started, really, just before 6:00 pm on Sunday.  I had looked out the window and saw the goats were still in the barnyard, but just a few minutes later when I went out to get Astra to milk, they had left for pasture.

6:00 PM, Sunday, June 20, 2021

I yelled quite loudly for her to come up, and I heard her (and Cinnamon) answer me from the Back Forty.

Astra in the milk room

I also heard some buck on the front pasture.  When I looked, I could see Tiger on the bottom trying to get his head out of the fence.  Seriously?

Tiger and Xerxes

By that time, Astra was up to get milked, so I told Tiger that I’d be there soon.  I milked her and then went on the quarter mile hike down the hill, removed his head from the fence and did the quarter mile back up the hill.

8:30 PM Sunday

I shut the birds in for the night.

10:00 PM Sunday

When I went out for my before bed check on goats everyone was in the barn because of our rainy day.  I had my flashlight and went in to find Moira and Sidney.  They weren’t doing anything, but I did notice Reva was snuggled up with Mia, but not Micah.  I decided I better count kids.  I came up with 27 kids plus Perdita up north made 28.  I recounted and found one sleeping in a feed box, so that made 29.  Where was Micah?  Seriously, where was Micah? I went to the house and grabbed another flashlight because I kind of had a fear of my flashlight dying while I was walking along the coyote woods on a dark night.  Then I went out to pasture to search for him.

Micah

I did notice that Maybeline and Odie were in the barn, but Aurora was at the end of the lane.  That should have been a clue to me, but I was too frantic with worry to figure that out.

Aurora

I set off on the path below.  Once I got to the south fence, I’d call his name every few feet.  He was one of the kids I had given bottles, so I figured he would answer me if he could.

my path follows the yellow arrows

I nearly stepped in the hole of the coyote den.  I had to leave the fence once and couldn’t find the dike to walk across the ditch, but I finally got around it.  I stepped in holes; I walked through grass that was taller than me; I kept calling to him; I blindly hopped over another ditch with water running through it.  No Micah.  I finally made it all around the back half of the Back Forty and started back across the bottom.  Even though I had shone my light along the fence between the front and back pastures, I decided I’d walk it too.  I kept calling his name and when I was just a little ways from that fence, he answered.

I rushed to him and saw he put his head through a hole right next to a post.  It was so tiny I don’t know how he got it through there to start with.  It was hard to get it back out, but I did.  Then we went back to the barn.  I did have a conversation with Reva about letting me know if her kid needed help, but she just stood up for him to nurse and kept chewing her cud.

Reva

This was also when I recalled that Aurora had been sitting at the end of the lane staring down the fence line.  She was guarding Micah for me.  Bless my Aurora.

11:00 PM Sunday

I finally went to bed.

2:25 AM Monday

I went back out to check Sidney and Moira again.  They weren’t doing anything.

6:20 AM Monday

I went out and let the birds out for the day.

Mr. Peacock

Then I checked Moira and Sidney again.  I did notice that they were both out of the barn.  Moira was kind of off by herself, so I decided I really did need to get them shut in today.  Then I went to milk Astra.

9:30 AM Monday

I missed shutting Moira and Sidney in because the goats were early to go out to pasture.  I still decided it was time to move Tansy and Onyx back to the north paddock.  That was easy.  I just got a bit of feed, and they followed me.  Tansy is an awesome, doting mom, so she made sure Sunshine followed her.

Onyx, Tansy, and Sunshine

Onyx left her buck, so I had to go get Lem and take him up there afterwards.

Lemuel

10:00 AM Monday

I went out to pasture to check Sidney and Moira.  They were just hanging out and eating with the herd.

Myson and Moira

11:30 AM Monday

I went out to pasture to check Sidney and Moira.  They were just hanging out and eating with the herd.

Aladdin, Jasmine, Hera, Sidney, and Penelope

1:00 PM Monday

After well over a year, I put the harness on Sky.  He was crazy excited and immediately went to the door.

Sky

My mom arrived and we went out to the car.

We made it to the vet’s office without puking, and he got weighed (99.5 pounds) and had his toenails trimmed.  Then we came back home.

Mom and Sky

2:20 PM Monday

We arrived home, and I went out to pasture to check Sidney and Moira. Moira was obviously in labor.  I talked to the whole herd and got them all to come back up with me.  Then I shut Moira in the Love Shack.

The herd coming up from pasture

I decided I needed to reward the herd for coming up when I asked them to, so I got some corn and was putting it in the feed pans.  Well, Maybeline has this thing where she walks up to you and kinda hard rubs against you.  I was preoccupied and didn’t notice her coming, so we actually ended up colliding.  My head hit her teeth.  Seriously painful.  I have a scratch and a goose egg.

Maybeline

I ignored the pain and told Maybeline that I hoped it hurt her as much as it did me (I’m not proud of that, but it’s true).  Then I caught Sidney while she was eating corn.  I shut her in the Love Shack with Moira.

Sidney

3:00 PM Monday

Moira’s water broke and she was in active labor.  She was a champ and finally started pushing.  When she wasn’t making progress I checked her.  This is where her story gets weird (like the whole day hasn’t been weird).  When I reached in, I felt a mouth.  But it wasn’t quite right.  I felt around the face and realized the baby was upside down.  I could find one foot, but not the other.  On top of this, her position was really low.  It was like she was hanging off a cliff.

3:58 PM Monday

I called the vets.  They said Dr. Schmitz was heading my way.  Of course, I continued working because Moira was trying to push the baby out, and you can’t have a kid head first.  I felt a couple more times to try and get the other foot, but I never could find it. Then I felt again, and decided I was wrong in what I was feeling because the baby’s head was right side up, but there was a foot on top of it, so it was two kids trying to come at the same time, and the one was head first.  I tried feeling down the head, and found one leg folded under the body, it was so tight I couldn’t get it pulled out.  I was afraid I would break the leg.  I couldn’t find the other leg.  Moira was still having contractions and trying to push, but I needed the baby to move back so I could find feet.  I tried pushing it back; I pushed the foot on top back to try and move that baby back and give me more room.  Finally, I got the baby moved back a tiny bit and could unfold the leg.  Then I found the second foot.  Once I had both legs and the head was already there, it was a pretty easy pull.

I looked up; the vet was coming.  I called out, “Nice timing.”  I did tell him I’d let him get the second kid because the first one was pretty tough.  He came in and then reached in and told me that there wasn’t another kid in there.  I must have given him a strange look and asked how because there was a hoof over her head.  He checked again, and again said that there wasn’t another kid.  Then suggested the baby was doing calisthenics in there.

Seriously, the baby started upside down, turned over but had one foot over her head yet;  How?????

All I know is you were trying to kill me. -Moira

Anyhow, Moira and baby Pretzel are doing well.  And she is the baby I’ve been hoping for from Tiger.  This is the only girl he’s given me.

5:30 PM Monday

The goats went out to pasture.  I was doing some last chores and had just gotten eggs and taken them to the soap room when

6:00 PM Monday

I heard a goat. Astra came up to get milked.

Without me even calling.  That was quite the day.