Sunday, December 16, 2012

A kiddley divey too, wooden shoe?

Our Facebook followers know that things are hoppin' at el Rancho,. some good, some bad.

On Saturday the 8th, we arrived at el Rancho thinking we might have kids. Sadly, we found Red, a young doe bought at Navasota Auction, dead. No apparent trauma, illness or injuries. She was the loudest goat, always looking for attention. On Friday, she had been particularly clingy and, looking back, unloud. We did not do a necropsy, but sent Red to Valhalla on a pyre of yaupon and mesquite. Best I can figure is she ate something, ate too much of something, or just died. With the sale of Stupid, we were now at 16 goats.

On Sunday, the Dans began building a large shelter for the critters, one tall enough for the donkeys. While they drilled and bolted and nailed, I took the goats to the round pen and trimmed feet. It sure is a long row when many of them had feet that had never been trimmed, so I am doing them in stages. In the afternoon, I made a supply run to Bryan and when I returned, the rain was fierce. We left for the house, driving 25 mph most of the way.

On Monday, Danny and I finished roofing the shelter. I noticed Big Momma was aloof and showing some signs of kidding. I went to work for the afternoon and returned closer to dark. I found Big Momma deep in the brush with one kid! They looked fine, so I left her alone for a while. When I returned with towels and feedsacks, a second kid was born and I helped get the goo off his face. It was really getting cold and the ground was saturated from four inches of rain on Sunday. Finally, kid number three slid out and Big Momma and I worked to get them dried off. I finally had to leave and go home, but Big Momma seemed like she was doing a good job.

Tuesday morning about 4:30, I went to check on the kids (it's 30 miles to el rancho). On the way, I spotted Jupiter in the sky, near a sickle moon. When I found the little family in the brush, I noticed that the big buckling had a circle and sickle on his shoulders and back, and, well, he got a name-- Jupiter. The doeling was noticeably smaller and had weak back legs, apparently not uncommon in a multi-birth. She didn't have a strong sucking reflex. I went to work for a while and came back, to find Danny trying to get the doeling to take some colostrum from a bottle. She didn't like the nipples either one of us had, so I tube fed her about 60 ml of warm colostrum and this seemed to perk her right up. We moved the mom and kids to the round pen and prepared the dog house for the kids to lay in .

Magic Goat Hut and goat babies in dog house
On Wednesday morning, I again made the early morning jaunt and found all three kids doing well. Doeling was still shaky on the back legs, but I helped her get up and nurse a couple of times and was thankful I did not have to tube her. I also gave each kid a shot of CD antitoxin and one of Bovi-Sera since I did not know Big Momma's vaccination status and we didn't get hers complete until the 8th. Danny checked later in the day and I also went out at lunch. I weighed the kids by putting them in a cloth grocery sack and a hanging scale. Jupiter came in at 7#, 1 oz; buckling #2 weighed 6#, 2 oz.; and the little doeling barely hit 5# even.

Thursday and Friday, things were much warmer and the kids were starting to hop around. On Saturday after work, Dan built two Magic Goat huts. Each took two sheets of plywood and four 2x4s. They have a slightly sloped roof and about 16 square feet of floor space. Last night we put one in the round pen for Big Momma and one in the Middle Pasture for the goats.

Apparently someone there was miffed and kicked out part of the wall in the larger goat/donkey shelter. Hmmmm. Wonder who?

We ended the week on a high note. The kids each gained two pounds! In five and a half days!

Good Momma.

All the adult goats got their final pneumonia vaccine booster shot today as well.

Fancy got a new toy.

Billy BA's latest love, Fea

And Billy BA is making sure there will be many more baby goats this spring.

Nineteen goats and counting.

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