Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Update on book, goats, and weather

 Timpani, one of the Viola triplets
I'm sorry to dropped off the face of the blog world the last couple weeks, but I turned in my Ecofrugal book manuscript to the publisher yesterday, so I have more time now to devote to everything else in my life -- like my goats and blogging! And it's a good thing because yesterday we moved seven goats into the kidding barn. Life is going to get crazy around here in a couple weeks!

The gross necropsy results on Viola showed that she also had pneumonia, which the vet said is actually not uncommon in a goat that has milk fever, especially because I didn't realize her shivering in labor was a symptom of milk fever and didn't begin treatment until 24 hours after she started showing symptoms. So, if you ever see a goat in labor shivering, and it's only 45 degrees -- suspect milk fever. I've only seen goats shiver twice in the last ten years, and in both cases, the temperature was below zero, but it never occurred to me that something as simple as shivering could be a symptom of a life-threatening illness!

I am happy to report that Viola's triplets are doing great. Who would have ever thought Jo's tragedy could turn out to be such a blessing, but she's a very heavy milker and has only one kid to feed, so she has plenty of milk for the mini mancha kids. We're milking her twice a day without even separating her from her baby, and we're getting about 3 pounds of milk from her, which is about a quart and a half. Then Caboose freshened with a single kid, and she normally has multiples, so we have her milk, as well. Even though we had a dreadful start to kidding this year, things seem to be working out quite well.

Over the next couple days I'll be telling you about Lizzie's and Caboose's births, as well as my only remaining la mancha Clare.

The temperature outside today is in the mid-50s, which is crazy for this time of year, but we have had almost no days at all where the temperatures were freezing. Some nights it doesn't even freeze, which is even weirder. Since early January, I've been saying, "It's perfect maple syrup weather, except that it's not mid-February!" I have no idea what this will mean for the maple syrup season this year, but I don't think it's good. Luckily we had a month-long season last year and were able to put up five gallons, so we should have enough to last us until next year.

I spent an hour out in the barn playing with baby goats this afternoon. In spite of the fact that I know it's bad news for trees and parasites on the pasture, I am enjoying this unseasonably warm weather.


The Weekend Homesteader said...

Losing an animal is always so tough, but I'm glad the kids are doing well. Your last two posts illustrated how tough farm life can be and even the most experienced farmers get hit with the unexpected on occasion. We also have unseasonably warm weather. It's supposed to be 71 degrees today in GA. Crazy!

LindaG said...

It's too bad the other moms wouldn't accept the kids, but it's great that you have so much extra milk when you really need it.

Good luck with the rest of the deliveries!

Anonymous said...

How did people manage before they could learn from each other on the internet? Assuming there was no one close by to help them, of course. They probably lost more animals.

It's been unusually warm here in Saskatchewan, Canada too. A local orchard has had some of their sapling cherry trees that are still in pots start to bloom. That's actually verging on kind of creepy.

SalayView Farm (I can't comment from my wordpress account for some reason).

SkippyMom said...

Congrats on the babies doing so well and having surrogate Mommas to feed off of. Yippee!

We are having the weirdest weather here too - it has been 66 the last two days. I am afraid February and March are going to come along and smack us upside our proverbial heads. We have yet to have any snow.

Take care and good luck!

Donna OShaughnessy said...

Love reading your blog as we no longer have goats, the pigs and cows have consumed us...glad all is working out for the babies.

Do you sell your goat milk to others ? From time to time folks call us for it and since we sell only raw cows milk would be great to know who I can refer them to since we live near each other...relatively speaking.


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