Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Ok, so it was a bad joke

To those of you who believed my April fool's joke and were worried or mad, I'm sorry.   I seriously thought everyone would figure it out.   I received a few emails, FB messages, texts and a phone call from worried people.  Some saying they were praying for me or concerned.  Also, thank you for the virtual hugs.  I haven't had people this worried about me since I posted "Bad News From The Doctor's Office", as a headline 3 years ago.  Of course, several of you didn't take me seriously because you probably don't believe half what I say anyway, which is probably smart.

Last week I felt like quitting and I know I'll feel like that again but there are too many things I love about raising animals to let a few bad weeks make me give it up.

Lily's two wobbly boys didn't survive.  I'm certain they were premature.  They never did stand, had very soft hooves and had no teeth.  I've milked Lily every morning since her terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.  She seems to be doing amazingly well, though I watch her like a hawk, so sure she's going to come down with an infection.  She is a wonderful milker and so well behaved on the milk stand.  I'm so proud of her.  She's skinny as all get-out though and I can't wait to see more meat on her bones.

Sunday was another very bad day.  I think it was Friday night when I went out to feed the bottle babies in the middle of the night, I found I had left the extra lock off the feed stall latch.  Remember this?  Well, I'm still just as forgetful and this time it was more distastrous.  Not only did Luti open the stall but she removed the lid from the trash can and must have filled herself up until she was sick.  I'm sure everyone else helped themselves too but they didn't get sick.  On Sunday morning she was down in a very bad way.  She didn't even want to lift her head.  By late afternoon she was unresponsive and I could hear fluid in her lungs rattling.  I dosed her with Penicillin and Banamine and cried over her and begged her to live.  Luti's only 7 years old and I had hoped to have her around for at least another 3 years.  She's our herd queen and the other goats really rely on her.  I was so sure I'd find her dead the next morning.  I couldn't believe it when I saw her holding her head up.  She was still under the blanket I had covered her with the day before (it was chilly and windy).  She drank two swallows of water and I was never so happy to see a goat drink than I was then.  She couldn't walk because she was so weak but by afternoon she would walk 5 steps then fall.  By nighttime she could go 5 to 10 yards.  Today she's out grazing but she's still very weak and spends more time in the barn than I'd like.  She doesn't want to eat anything but grass and hay.  Well, she did eat a little garlic bread and crackers I offered her, but no grain.  She's also letting her kids nurse and I'm hoping they bring her back into milk because she dried up a lot while she was sick.  I had been bottle feeding her girls while she was down.  I felt very guilty about Luti getting sick because it was all my fault.  

Tila is due in a week.  She's our last girl to kid.  Oh, how I hope she has only one kid and all goes smoothly.  I'm tired of our kitchen table looking like this.  I don't want to see a syringe for a long time.
I questioned what kind of master I was to my goats this week and can't imagine how I could take care of them if I had to work outside the home and leave them every day.  I don't know why this year was so much harder.  A friend told me to expect a bad time of it every 3 years when farming.  I need to go back and look at my blog from 3 years ago and see what happened.

Happy April 2nd. 


  1. Oh Karen, this post hits so close to home for me (as you know). I'm so sorry for the rough past week. How's Luti now? Don't give up! (I know you won't!) Love Phyllis

  2. Oh boy . . . . it was a rough one. Tough it out, If anyone can, it would be you.

  3. Whew...really sorry you have had such a tough week, but I am very relieved you're, on balance, OK. Whad-up with the internship? Exciting? And, no, I don't think we can farm sit...

  4. I'm a newbie at following blogs so your April 1 post did get me. Luckily I work with an experienced blogger who told me about your blog in the first place. Her instant reaction was, "check the comments". She wasn't taken in.
    I can speak to what happened with Lily. I grew up on a farm very similar to yours, here in Nova Scotia. We raised rabbits, chickens, beef, and my mother's pride and joy...milking goats.
    Because I was young and had small hands my duties included all things to do with babies and birthing. I had many occasions to deal with death, and life, of kids. I even performed CPR on one little doe.
    Mum had mostly Saanen goats. She did enjoy the little Nubian does, though. She called them the Jersey's of the goat world. Not large producers but high quality milk.
    To my point: We had an experienced doe start early labour. Because of my young age and inexperience, at that time, we chose to call the vet for assistance. She didn't allow the doe to progress into natural labour but opted to pull the kids, three of them, into this world. In retrospect I would have started the first one and then let nature take its course.
    Unfortunately, the doe did not give birth normally and continued to push long after the kids had been delivered. As a result she, like Lily, prolapsed her uterus. Our veterinary services were not geared to goats, mostly horses and house pets, and the vet had to return to push everything back in and sew the vagina.
    The episode did not end well. We lost the doe, but all three kids survived. In hindsight I think it was due to stress, but I was just in my teens at the time and did not know the things I know now.
    I live in a small town and do not have the room for anything larger than a dog which is probably a good thing as I have days where the urge to shovel manure is very strong.
    I think I probably would end up very much like my mother with a few of everything running around the yard if I had the space.
    I lost both of my parents when I was 30 but as I have aged I have come to understand the peace and companionship you can feel in a barn or pasture with your herd of whatever milling about.
    I love to read your blog and see your photos and videos.
    Babies of any sort can steal your heart very quickly.
    Jane Smith

  5. Thanks everyone. Jane, thanks for the comment. I feel really lucky that Lily is doing so well after her prolapse. Nova Scotia is on my list of "places to visit".