Thursday, January 15, 2009

14 below zero and still waiting

I spent another night in the barn, and Sherri is still pregnant. I think her ligaments are gone, but Margaret doesn't completely agree with me. When people talk about tail ligaments, they make it sound so easy. I don't even bother to try to explain it to new people any longer, because Margaret can often feel ligaments when I can't. If I haven't perfected it after six years, and it took Margaret about three years to get it figured out, most newbies don't have much of a chance.

Yesterday she told me that I need to learn how to do it myself because she won't be here next year. So, I was really sure last night that I couldn't feel anything, and she came out there and said she thought she could still feel a little bit. I used to think that when they said "tail ligaments," they meant there was one on each side of the spine near the tail, because on one breeder's website, he said they feel like rubber bands. So we pronounced several goats' ligaments gone a week or two before they'd kid. We even asked on Internet goat lists about this, and several people would say that they had goats who'd lose their ligaments a couple weeks before kidding also. Well, Margaret insists that we just didn't know what we were looking for back then, and apparently a lot of people think it's just feeling for a rubber band on each side of the spine. After my most recent tutoring, I think tail ligaments actually cover quite a large area, so you feel softening of ligaments near the tail (the rubber bands) earlier than the ligaments higher up. And until ALL the ligaments are soft, they don't kid.

The temperature is 14 below zero, and the water buckets were frozen solid this morning, even though I'd refilled them with warm water at midnight last night. I know I have quite a few readers from Canada and Alaska, and I have no idea how you deal with this kind of weather on a regular basis. Our normal high this time of year is 29; today's high is predicted to be 1 below zero. At least Sherri is laying under the heat lamp, but I imagine her babies would turn into little kid-sicles within a couple minutes if no one is there to dry them off. I'm thinking I need a blow dryer in addition to my towels!

7 comments:

Nancy K. said...

Oh, Deborah ~ you poor thing! I hope that sweet Sherri has those babies soon so that you can relax and enjoy them.

MaskedMan said...

Have a lot more straw in stand-by for once the kids arrive... but keep a slose eye on that heat lamp, too.

Hope your lengthy vigil comes to a happy conclusion, and soon!

Gizmo said...

I sure hope they arrive real soon too! I hate playing the waiting game. Sometimes I wonder if the girls do it on purpose. ;)

Claire said...

I'm rooting for her! This is my first real goat pregnancy experience, so if you can't figure out the ligaments, I don't feel so bad for being so clueless on it. I hope I can learn. I hate being at work now and thinking about Stuffin at home in these temperatures. Crossing my fingers she waits until the weekend when the weather warms up a bit here. Not a lot, but a bit.

Deborah said...

Thanks everyone! I'm pooped and ready for a nap. Margaret celebrated by making brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and apple crisp. Tonight I'm going to celebrate by opening my last bottle of Vignoles wine from the local winery that closed.

dogbait said...

It must be tough keeping a farm going in the weather. I was going to say I can't imagine living in those extreme weather conditions except we had 38c last Tuesday. That's 100f plus.

Deborah said...

Hi Dogbait! That kind of heat is not good for goats either. We were at a goat show one time when it was that hot, and my goats were panting so badly, I was afraid they were going to drop dead on me.

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