Tuesday, January 22, 2008
What the heck is going on in this picture?? This is a nice way to brighten up winter for the girls. Our local organic coop puts all their veggie scraps from the produce department in a giant trash bag behind the store every day, and about once a month or so (although I need to get into the habit of going more often), I go and grab it and bring it back as a great treat and diet-booster for the goats and the chickens (and for us in their milk and eggs). Yum. Yum.
Ok, Hazelnut, cont. When I left off, we were hand-feeding our little cold, limp goat kid with her mother's colostrum with a syringe. The more we forced into her, the perkier she became. When I went out to feed and milk the goats that evening, I "wore" Hazelnut in the sling. When I put her mother up on the milking stand, she started sniffing me until she found her baby tucked into my sweatshirt . . . and proceeded to "talk" to her, and nuzzle her--! Isn't motherhood amazing? Needless to say, this was heartbreaking, and I promised Mama Taza that her baby would be returned to her as soon as she was able.
That night, Hazelnut slept in a padded laundry basket, heated with a hot water bottle, by the side of my bed. I admit she started out on my belly, under the covers, but I really didn't want to be woken up by goat-kid-pee in my bed in the middle of the night (I remember that warm wet feeling from my babies. . . don't really want to re-live it). Now, goats are diurnal, just like us--they sleep through the night. So she got all quiet and settled in her nest until about 10pm, when she started to make very cute little sounds. I woke up, gave her some more heated colostrum, and actually took her out of her basket to pee. Turns out, like human babies, just after they eat, or after they have been sleeping for some time, they are ready to pee. (My son was "diaper free" as a baby--email me if you want more info about this.) By this time, she was kind of shakily standing up, and I watched her closely (as did our two freaked-out cats), until she squatted (shakily), and I quickly thrust a Tupperware container under her bum and "caught" her pee. ! Too much cuteness. Back she went to sleep. Just before the sun came up I woke up from a bad dream that she was splayed out dead in the laundry basket. I reached down from the bed to touch her, and met her warm little head; she was sitting up, very healthy-goat-like. Wow, I felt like super-goat-woman for saving this kid’s life!
The final chapter of Hazelnut's first week of life next time . . .
Monday, January 7, 2008
Dear friends out in cyberspace,
As I’m writing this, I am out at the barn, with goats jumping at my back and standing on the fence. My dear husband is snapping away pics to put on this site—isn’t this so cute?? Ok, so I’m not really planning to write my blog out at the barn every week, but it sure is a good way to start off, don’t you think?
Why are the goats all around me and going a little nuts at the fence? Well, for one thing, it’s dinner time, and they are eagerly/desperately wondering what I am doing and when is the alfalfa going to get deposited in their feeder. . .
Out comes Hazelnut as our model. She was born this past April to our “best goat,” Taza (the black and white smiling goat on my website). Hazelnut had a great first day, then after a freeze that night, I went out to feed in the morning and she was splayed out on the barn floor looking completely dead. Turned out she was still very much alive, but was severely hypothermic. We brought her in the house, put her on a hot water bottle, and started rubbing her down and talking to her. It was a school morning, and although she was responding a little, I was not feeling very hopeful. As we were getting ready to rush out the door to take kids to school, we said our last good-byes to our poor little newborn kid, and she lifted her head, looked at us, and let out a big “baaaaaaah!!” Oh! I called the vet right away, took a big detour out to Pecos (the opposite direction from Santa Fe, where the kids go to school), and took her in for some emergency care. After a day on a heating pad, receiving fluids, and I’m not sure what else (well, and $200), we picked her up in the late afternoon. Her temperature still wasn’t reading on the thermometer, but she had made it through the day. I was given a syringe to feed her with, and told to keep her warm and get some colostrum (the first, highly nutritious and protective milk from Mama) into her. I knew what I had to do. I went home, sewed up a little make-shift sling, and put the little goat in, right on my chest (ok, not skin-to-skin as I did with my babies). I put a sweatshirt on over that and zipped her in. Oooo, was that cozy! Over the course of the evening, with the help of the kids, we put her up on the kitchen counter and got some milk into her. She started to perk up more and more, like a little flower. More about Hazelnut’s story next week . . .