12 February 2018

Andre the bottle baby

Andre finally accepted the bottle yesterday afternoon!  We are both so relieved to see him slurping away on the bottle after almost two days of resisting and getting frighteningly thin.  Tiny Tim had no problem switching, and is busy growing in an effort to catch up with his larger brother.  Until they come when called (shouldn't be too much longer now) they are only out of the dog crate with supervision, but they got in some serious bounce-time this morning after putting down about 8 ounces between the two.  Hubby's mom has requested video of the bottle babies climbing all over us, so we'll try to get to that.  Right now, we are feeding every 2-1/2 to 3 hours during daytime, because their little stomachs can't hold too much yet.

10 February 2018

Orphan kids

Chocolate died yesterday afternoon.  Apparently she had been hiding how badly she felt, until she didn't have the strength to hide it any longer.  We checked on her in the morning, and hubby checked on her again at noon while I was at my appointment in Palatka.  When I got home and we got the truck unpacked (I bought stuff for a separation pen) we both went out to check on her again ... and the facade had dropped.  She was laying in an awkward position, with her tongue hanging out the side of her mouth and a lavender-grey color.  When an animal's tongue turns that color, then it's all over but the death rattle.  Hubby went to get the gorilla cart, then lifted her into it and we rolled her up while I carried the kids.  While I put up the kids, hubby got the .22 and ended her suffering.

I cried a bit while we skinned her, butchered the carcass, and fed the offal to the pigs.  Hubby is getting ready to filet as much meat off the bones as he can, and while I was up in Palatka doing errands before my appointment, I succumbed to the book temptation: "Home Sausage Making."  It has some interesting pork sausage recipes, along with recipes for beef, lamb, venison, poultry, and wild game sausages.  There's even a chapter on vegetarian sausages.  This was not how I intended to try a first recipe, but this happened and while it sucks, we're trying to make the best of the situation.

Tiny Tim is having no problem at all switching to a bottle, but Andre is still trying to resist.  I can get a little milk in him, maybe a swallow or two or three, then he remembers he doesn't like the bottle and hollers while struggling.  This is actually an improvement over last night's feedings, so I haven't given up hope yet.  I tell him he doesn't exactly have a choice now, because either he gets on the bottle or we'll lose him also.

This sucks.  No one is to blame - it wasn't Andre's fault he is so big, or was positioned wrong.  I did what I could, but apparently that wasn't enough.  Cross your fingers that I can get Andre on the bottle, as that is the next crisis-in-waiting.

09 February 2018

Andre the Giant and Tiny Tim

Chocolate kidded yesterday, pretty much on time by my estimate last week, and boy was this a rough kidding.  If she had tried to do it overnight while we were asleep, or waited for me to leave the property, we would have lost all three.  That's not hyperbole - Andre wasn't just double the size of a normal newborn, he was malpositioned in a bad way.  He was upside-down, with his head back and pointed towards Chocolate's udder, so every time she pushed he went nowhere.  I ended up reaching in, pushing his front legs back in (I felt bad for Chocolate during this) and then bringing his head forward to point the right direction.  I thought for sure I'd be pulling a dead kid, because I did need to pull him due to his size and mam's exhaustion, but as soon as his head was out he gave a cry.  I was so relieved to hear that.  Tiny Tim is actually about average size for a newborn Nigerian Dwarf kid, but next to his brother he looks small.  He came out breech (backwards, hind feet first) and I had to pull him as well because poor Chocolate was both exhausted and in pain (with good reason).
Tiny Tim
Andre the Giant, Chocolate, and Tiny Tim

a better shot of Tiny Tim

Andre looking for his first meal
Andre the Giant complaining
Andre the Giant

looking in the wrong area for the udder!

Chocolate nuzzling her babies,
trying to steer them in the right direction
After she nuzzled and made sure the new boys were dry and knew who mama is, Chocolate laid down to rest.  I tried bottling both, but Andre would have none of that.  Tiny Tim caught on to the bottle idea almost immediately.  I finally pointed Andre towards the one accessible teat while Chocolate was laying down, and heard definite suction when he connected.  I made the joke to hubby afterwards about how the only parts of Andre moving after he latched on to the teat were his tail and tongue ... then looked at the dog and remarked how familiar that is.

Chocolate is still resting and recovering today.  Brownie and Prim are bugging the everlovin' **** out of her, so those two are in dog crates until Chocolate feels up to standing up for herself and babies.  This really drives home the idea that I need a separation pen in the goat pasture.  I've been talking about wanting one, but hadn't bought what we need to put it together.  That will be fixed post-haste.

And a short video!

03 February 2018

Goat kid pictures and video

I'm a bit slow at posting these, but I hope y'all think the wait is worth it.  Here are pictures of Hansel and Gretel, and a video of little Tyche (and Maggie).
Gretel napping in the feed tub

a slightly better pic of Gretel

Gretel, Tangie, and Hansel

Tangie and Hansel

Hansel and Gretel napping in the feed tub
It doesn't seem to matter whose kids they might be, pretty much every kid has napped in one of the feed tubs when small ... and Cocoa Puff was even napping in it last summer when she barely fit.  Good thing these feed tubs are flexible enough to not break.  Any time we can't spot some babies, especially siblings, we check the feed tubs.

Gretel seems indifferent to ear rubs, but if Hansel is in a mellow (read: napping or ready to nap) mood, he'll lean into the ear rub.  I asked him this morning if he gets that from his mom or his dad, as both will lean into an ear rub with a satisfied look.  Tyche comes up to me for attention.  I guess Maggie isn't nuzzling her enough, although Maggie still seems a bit bewildered and confused by this motherhood idea.  Y'all know me - I am happy to take up the slack in that department.

01 February 2018

Two days, two kiddings

I meant to post pictures this morning, but didn't get to it.  Tangie kidded twins yesterday morning, a boy and a girl.  This is her first son, and first set of twins.  I named them Hansel and Gretel.

About an hour ago, hubby went out with his flashlight to investigate a noise he heard, then came up on the back deck, tapped on the back door until I opened it, and said, "Grab your boots, a headlight, and a towel!"  I knew Maggie was close, as I noticed a discharge at feeding time ... I just didn't realize she was in early labor.  She kidded a daughter, but hadn't dried the baby off when I got out there.  Maggie is a bit young to be a mom at eleven months, but apparently Brownie (yes, her sire) got her right before the hurricane, while we were busy obtaining a generator and making preps.

So, Maggie's daughter is dried off, has nursed, and has a clue as to who her mom actually is (as opposed to trying to butt my boobs and suckle on my fingers).  As for Maggie, she had her wires crossed a bit, and was a little slow to realize this little crying tyke is her baby, but I think she's squared away now.  Oh, the name Tyche came to me while I was trying to bottle the little tot.  A quick look-up confirms that is indeed a female name ... the goddess of luck and fortune, daughter of Aphrodite.

Because Dad usually asks how many goats I have now whenever I talk to him: Tyche is number thirteen, Hansel and Gretel numbers eleven and twelve.  I think I have about a week before Chocolate kids again.

28 January 2018

Planting again

I guess I just can't help myself.  Along with picking up a couple of seed packets, yesterday I brought home rootstock for a peach tree (Florida King variety, a self-fertilizing and "old time" strain, according to Lynn), two American hazelnut shrubs, and five berry canes: two more raspberry varieties, a boysenberry, a dewberry, and a blackberry.  I also grabbed a 3 pound bag of Russet seed potatoes.

The hazelnuts and the peach tree are in pots next to the front porch, until I figure where they'll be safest and happiest - hazelnuts are apparently attractive to squirrels, turkeys, and deer.  If we need to, hubby can put the doors back on the old chicken coop and we can put them in there to protect from marauding wildlife.

26 January 2018

First cheese of 2018

I made the first cheese of 2018 now that Molly has (finally!*) switched to regular milk from colostrum.  It's a feta, and half of it was ordered by Larra the waitress up at Leo's.  Leo ordered yogurt and a bit of milk.  We're still working on the colby and cheddar cheeses from the latter half of last year - good stuff.  I shared a colby with Frank and Caroline, but told them hubby is not willing to allow a cheddar out of the house.  LOL  Frank said I need to make more cheddars this year, because he also loves a good sharp cheddar.

I have renamed Molly's second-born white son.  He is now Herbie the Love Bug.  It fits him, and sounds a lot better than "Whitey" so Herbie he is.  I also just got an email from Frank saying their kid and family want Herbie, and can I hold him until March.  He'll get attention (they have school-age children, just like the family I bought Brownie from) and he'll be mate to Harry (Prim's son) Houdini's daughters, making to offspring grandkids of both Molly and Prim.  Prim is still milking from when she kidded last February - just half a quart usually now, but over 11 months after kidding is impressive for a goat.  I am getting between a quart-and-half and two quarts in the morning from Molly, and that is with leaving her udder half-full for the twins!  She is likely producing over 3/4 gallon of milk in a 24 hour period.  Any wonder that I am trying to cross those two nannies' bloodlines?

It's warming up and clouding up to rain again (forecast to start tomorrow night and run until Tuesday morning) so pictures will need to wait until better weather.  I have the idea to see if hubby can get a video clip of me and the kids.  We'll see if goats cooperate.