[thankful]

I am thankful for a hubs who is ‘happy’ [hee hee..for the most part] to oblige my almost every sheep and goat whimsies!!!

This weekend, we moved the kids from the nursery into their new ‘temporary’ loafing pen! Happy goats love to hop, skip and play!!

loafing pen

They have an in-and-out protected stall/pen area in addition to this little romp area. Don’t ‘ya just love Tractor Supply Company (TSC), T-posts, hog panels and zip ties?!? eeeeeee!

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They provide endless hours of entertainment for Katie’s horses (Neo and Nash)!

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Look, green grass!

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My sweet goat kids! The tallest head [second from the left] is Cassie’s daughter. She left a little bit of herself behind [sniff], so you know I’ll be keeping her!!!

…take five

Take five… as in give me a desperately needed break! It’s been a busy last couple of weeks. Our two dairy does have both kidded and I’m pleased to say all are doing well! The goat milk is flowing [I love the tranquility of hand-milking — a very happy place for me]… and my bottle-babies are drinking every last drop!

Cassiopeia’s, our OberhasliXAlpine doe, produced twins: a doe [Meriadoc Brandybuck a.k.a. ‘Merry’] and buckling [Peregrin Took a.k.a. ‘Pippin’]. This was Cassie’s second ‘freshening‘ [last year she produced a single buck kid] and is a very heavy milker, producing an excess of 8-pounds per day!! Her kids are now 16-days old and growing by leaps and bounds! BTW, my daughter Katie, decided on Lord of the Ring name theme for her goat kids this year!

Coriander, our Oberhasli dairy doe, produced triplets: two doelings [possibly ‘Arwen’ and ‘Eowyn’… too similar sounding for me???]  and a buckling [Gimli] last Thursday!  This was Corey’s third ‘freshening’ and her very first doelings! YAY! We were monitoring Corey’s progress hourly through the night when the ‘goo’ first appeared. At 1 a.m., we found the first doeling wet and in the straw, apparently missing the birth by minutes!

A peak of the second kid’s hind legs were already visible, slightly extending from Corey’s vagina, heel-up/toe-down! A quick pelvic exam also revealed a blockage… a large head… to the third kid… with no legs in view[by touch/feel, that is]… a malpresentation! Everything went blurry from there as I worked quickly [ no-time for hysterics if you want to save the kid/doe] to push the breech back into the womb in order to manipulate the large head of the fetus and identify corresponding legs. Thank God, we manage to deliver the buckling [aka Gimli] and shortly thereafter, retrieve the ‘breech’ doeling…all alive and well! Phew! TOO MUCH DRAMA!!! I NEED A VACATION!!! That’s why I never the the barnyard when babies are due…cuz you never know when mama may need a little help!

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Corey’s triplets about 12-hours old, Gimli in the middle.

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Goat kids on parade!

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Exploring the great outdoors!

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Happy goat family.

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Looking for a good home soon!!!

Mayday Mayday Mayday

May 1st, often called ‘May Day’, may have more holidays than any other day of the year. It’s a celebration of Spring, a day of political protests, a saint’s feast day, a neopagan festival and a day for organized labor. In many countries, it is a national holiday!

photo courtesy University of Missouri

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photo courtesy apartment therapy

Mayday is ALSO an emergency procedure word used internationally as a distress signal in voice procedure radio communications. It is derived from the French venez m’aider, meaning “come help me”.

photo courtesy Millers Field

It is used to signal a life-threatening emergency primarily by mariners and aviators, but in some countries local organizations such as police forces, firefighters and transportation organizations also use the term. The call is always given three times in a row (“Mayday Mayday Mayday”) to prevent mistaking it for some similar-sounding phrase under noisy conditions, and to distinguish an actual Mayday call from a message about a Mayday call.

A mayday situation is one in which a vessel, aircraft, vehicle, or person is in grave and imminent danger and requires immediate assistance. Examples of “grave and imminent danger” in which a mayday call would be appropriate include fire, explosion or sinking.

My MAY DAY was a little of all of the above! Let me begin with a lambing update: three of my prego Shetland ewes have lambed (from a week ago Tuesday, last Friday and most recently, this past Tuesday). First and foremost, all mom’s and lambs are doing well!

First to lamb, Bella and her triplets!

Next, Dove and her twin ram lambs!

This past Monday, my prego ewe Serendipity, showed the familiar tell-tale ‘signs’ of impending birth… ALL.DAY.LONG. Before nightfall, I decided to put her in the barn (in a small make-do stall called a lambing ‘jug’). I believed she would be ‘safe’ without being disturbed by the other girls and I could more easily monitor her progress. By 10 p.m. and still anxious that she had not yet lambed, I decided to sleep/spend the night in the barn with her – just in case she required any assistance (pleeeeeze don’t require any assistance!!)!

My woman’s intuition did not disappoint. At approx 11:20 p.m. and 11:45 p.m., Sara gave birth to twin ewe lambs (a totally textbook perfect lambing!). YAY! Just short of MAYDAY arrivals! HAHAHA

Serendipity (Sara) and her day-old lambs!

As I own a very small spinner’s flock of Shetlands, I have one more ewe, Reese, yet to lamb. So, stay tuned… for further updates.

In the meantime, the milking ‘girls’ are doing well and their bucklings are growing by leaps and bounds. The boyz are as sweet and mischievous as little boys tend to be!! Anyone looking for a loving buckling/pet wether?

Oberhasli buckling at two weeks.

HEY! This stuff isn’t as good as mama’s milk!

Goats on parade…

Between playing (ahem) and checking-up on new mamas and babies, I’ve been cleaning more stalls than I care to…AND milking goats, making cheese again, working in the garden – STILL planting – and stealing a few minutes here and there to work on a growing backlog of fiber projects!

Happy goat family!

Hope you have a great weekend and enjoy family! BTW, Saturday I’ll be dyeing in the kitchen at Metroparks Wolcott Farm’s Sheep Shearing Saturday! Come and have some farm fun!

A Day to Catch-Up!

Lots of catching-up going on today, here on the farm!

Just wanted to share a quick post…you know I rarely leave home! I spent a great day Thursday at the ADGA Convention hosted by the Michigan Dairy Goat Society right here in Grand Rapids, MI (a week-long event). In spite of all the blustery wind and rain, juggling chores and schedules (add missing Katie’s induction into the National Honor Society), I was fortunate to attend! Who knows when I’d have another opportunity to participate? Info overload!

Also, just a quick note to share with all my dairy goat peeps! A must-have T-Shirt my friend Crystal & I purchased…available in every size and color of the rainbow…

…and the T-Shirt front.

Perfect to wear to ALL your dairy goat events!

Also, another purchase I made to support my sweet Oberhaslis dairy breed, a 2012 Obe kid calendar:

If you can’t make it to the final days of the ADGA convention, you can find the T-Shirts and more goat-y items on-line at  Rachelsie Farm Dairy Goats.

Have a great weekend!

Dually + Delilah

I love when my ‘adoptive families’ drop me a line on how their new goat or sheep is doing!? 

Delilah is a lovely Saanen doe who needed a playmate…Dually to the rescue! Now, you know this family adores their goats when they drag boulders around to make a ‘play’ rock ledge! We all know how our goats love to climb…

They said: “Delilah has a brand new lease on life – she is seriously a new goat with this new friend – they play all the time.”

Makes my heart sing! ♥

 

 

 

Surprise, surprise…more bucklings!

Yup! Coriander held off kidding ’til this morning chores…I was think’n about spending the nite in the barn ~ last nite~ but, found her in early labor at 4 a.m.

Welcome two MORE bucklings…Oberhasli bucklings! We have six bucklings all-together!

Only a couple of hours old…

Chow hound…taking a break for a quick pic!

Mom and kids are doing well! That’s a wrap for kidding around here. Katie said she’s running out of ‘car’ names for the bucklings! I can think of a few more…

I think I’ll put a pot of coffee on, pull out the knitting needles…cuz it’s SNOWING again!!! ARG!

Stay tuned…three Shetland ewes will be lambing in May. Hopefully it’s warmer, actually spring-like??

Drama Drama Drama

Lots of DRAMA going on at the farm the past few days! I’ll start with the newest barnyard additions.

Welcome to Nelly’s (my dairy Oberhasli goat) twin doelings (Oberhasli X Alpine) who were born Wednesday around 6 p.m. They weighed in at 7 and 8 pounds. I’ve decided to pull the kids from mom and bottle feed/raise the doelings. They’re given a bottle every 4-hours to start for a few days…so everything’s gone a bit fuzzy.

   

The doelings have ‘typical’ Oberhasli markings…but the doeling on the right has more black and a splash of white on the forehead and abdomen. The doeling on the left has a very light tan/saffron abdomen extending to her rear flank – definite Alpine (their sire’s) markings. 

Normally, after kidding you watch for the baby goat to nurse the dam’s colostrum and to pass the meconium, baby’s first black tarry sticky poop. Baby goats need to poop within hours or less after birth. When, if for what ever reason they are not being stimulated by their mom’s licking baby’s butt to stimulate it, passing the meconium and then the normal yellow poop they poop for the first few days thereafter, the kid’s belly can get too full of milk and make the baby sick enough to die.

One doeling was pooping fine…but, I began to worry about the other doeling after no sign of pooping 24-hours later. So, I ‘googled’ baby kid goats pooping and found that it wouldn’t hurt to give my baby goat an enema? In fact, may even help to save her life?!!!! Yikes! To give a baby goat enema, use whatever you have (I used a hair color bottle dispenser) that has a tip on it and hold some warm soapy water. Insert the tip gently and only just into the rectum (with Vasoline on it for easy insertion) and hold baby across your lap (I was sitting on an over-turned bucket) and baby feet hanging in a large tub (for mucking out stalls). Squirt a small amount of the warm soapy water into the rectum – wait. Water will shoot out followed by poop. If no poop do it again. It may take 5-10-15 times.. allowing the water to shoot out and hopefully poop too before adding more warm soapy water. This may take 30 minutes to an hour or more. I did it in the tub so I can see the amount of poop and what it looks like… tubs clean out easily.

Well, it only took a few squirts of warm soapy water before everything came squirting out…meconium, yellow baby poop. On-lookers should keep out of firing range! This experience gave a whole new meaning to ‘FULL OF CRAP’!

As you know, my goaties enjoy competing with my sheepies. Dahlia also HAD to lamb the same time as Nelly, just in opposite barns. Welcome Dahlia’s ewe lamb and ram lamb weighing in at 6-pounds. Ya did real good Dahlia – lambing completely unassisted.

This is Dahlia’s little ewe (girl) Shetland lamb… 

…and Dahlia’s ram (boy) lamb. Very cool markings; they’ll be up for adoption soon!

One last bit of drama to share with you regarding my 6-week old Shetland HST ram lamb, Porthos. He got into a bit of trouble (???) and injured – basically tore off his right horn at the base. His blood-covered face almost gave me a heart attack when I discovered him last night. Hubby stayed home from work and we took him to the vet. Doc snipped the horn off (kind of like a fingernail – but it was hollow inside). The horn bud is still in tact; hopefully it will heal nicely and grow back. Don’t worry Porthos, girls love scars!

 

Well, that’s enough DRAMA for me for a while, ‘ya think? I gotta feed the kids a bottle. One more ewe to lamb in June…if she settled…and we’re done with the babies.

Have a great weekend!