Sunday, April 30, 2006

More lambs ... and waiting for more kids

A storm woke me at 2 a.m. I thought about all the new lambs in the pasture, hoping their mothers had led them to shelter, hoping they weren't getting soaked and chilled, which would kill them quickly. After the sun rose, Mike went out to the pasture to find all the lambs doing well, and two new ewe lambs! They had been born recently, as the mother had not yet passed her placenta. I'm excited to finally have a little panda-bear-looking ewe! So far, we've always had rams born with the black body and white head, socks and tail. You can tell the little white and black spotted ewe isn't completely dry yet in this photo.

Today we had two families pick up four goats. The first couple picked up two. They are from Iowa and are starting a show herd. The second customer was a widow from Indiana who just wants some pet goats. I wish all my goats could go to a home like hers. She talked about how she's been showing everyone Eve's picture for the past three weeks as she waited to pick her up.

This afternoon, Margaret informed me that Scandal the goat was in labor. She sat with her for about an hour, then I took over while she and Jonathan went to town to see a movie. I took a new novel with me out there, and 179 pages later, we still don't have any new kids. Scandal has clearly been enjoying the company. She untied my shoe laces, sniffed at my book, and spent most of her time just lieing next to me. She is wanting more of the red raspberry leaves, which are supposed to help strengthen the uterus.

Last year, Scandal's birth happened so quickly, I think we're all a little paranoid. Katherine came inside during morning chores to tell me she was in labor, so I went out there and told Katherine to come inside for breakfast. "There's no reason for both of us to be hungry," I said. Only a few minutes after Katherine left, Scandal started giving birth, and I was stuck out there without any clean towels to dry the babies. She effortlessly (seemed that way) pushed four baby goats into the world so quickly! Of course, now I look back and think that we really have no idea how long she was in labor when Katherine spotted her pushing during morning chores. She could have been laboring all night.

I'm not sure what we'll be doing when morning comes if Scandal hasn't given birth yet, because we have to take our little buck to the vet to have the cast removed from his leg. At the moment, Margaret is with Scandal again. When I went to leave shortly after 10 p.m., Scandal -- huge, pregnant Scandal tried to jump out of the stall and follow me! Oh my, did that scare me! So, I called to Margaret over the baby monitor, and she came outside to labor watch. If we didn't have that appointment at 10:20 tomorrow morning, I'd be hoping that she'd just hold out until morning; however, since we do have that appointment, I'm thinking that a middle-of-the-night birth might not be such a bad thing. Unless I hear Margaret calling me over the baby monitor fairly quickly, I'll be sleeping with it next to my bed, so I'll wake up when I hear her bleating. She's such a stoic goat though, I know I won't have a lot of time to get out there from when she makes the first noises, so I also need to have my farm clothes sitting on the chair in my bedroom, ready to be pulled on as soon as I'm awakened. This is the most fun time of year, but also the most difficult.

1 comment:

june in florida said...

What a great time for you, but tiring too.Please let us know about Scandal tomorrow.How old does a babe have to be before you can safely take it away from the mother lamb or goat? How are your injuries, all better i hope...June


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