Monday – December 13, 2010
Out to the barn every four hours to make sure Little Lazarus is eating and staying warm. So far so good…. The farm has a coating of snow on it today. As cold as it is, I don’t think it will melt any time soon. Had to take Dewey to his doctor today and we went to El Mariachi for lunch – I love that place, the restaurant, not the doctor’s office. Stopped at the drug store to pick up Dewey’s medication and then back home to check the goats.My Dad installed two large lights in the doe barn. It gets dark so early in the evening now I really needed more light in there. It has made a huge difference! Now I can see what I am doing when I go in there to trim hooves or give medication to the goats. It has been really nice having Mom and Dad around for the past few weeks. Mom is recovering from knee replacement surgery so she is not her usual feisty self but Dad is always good to fix things around the farm for me when he visits. He will probably be happy to get back to Wisconsin and get some rest.
Tuesday- December 14, 2010
It’s really COLD outside. I know, I whine about that all the time, arthritis makes my tolerance for wet cold weather very low. I really should go into work today but it’s just too cold to leave Dewey and the animal’s home.I am still checking Aspen and her baby every 4 hours around the clock. Dad went out to the barn at 10am to check on Little Lazarus, the weak baby goat, to make sure he was warm and make sure he was nursing. He came back in the house with the sad news that the little goat had passed away. I told them that sometimes the weak ones don’t make it – if they make it three days they are usually home free. Dad said someone needed to go out and take the baby out of the pen because the mom was laying with her head on it. Dewey went out and came back in a few minutes later and said “Lazarus has risen from the dead again—he was just asleep!” We all had a good laugh at Dad’s expense, never a dull moment on the farm. I baked him a big homemade apple pie. Evening chores were done early today, Mom and I had an Order of the Eastern Star meeting in Oxford this evening. After the meeting, while driving home, I received a phone from another pygmy goat breeder who had a doe who had been in labor quite a while but making no progress. I went over and we checked her out. We called the veterinarian and she came out at 10:30 pm and pulled the baby goat out successfully. The little baby buckling did not make it but his momma is doing just fine. The baby was presenting back first – not a position that is going to work. They are supposed to come out both front feet and head first. Back feet first are doable but back first will not work. The baby needed to be turned in the womb. If you are going to raise animals you have to have a good veterinarian and we are blessed with a vet that really knows what she is doing and is willing to work with you to keep your herd healthy and successful. Priceless….
Wednesday – December 15, 2010
Today I am doing paper work – yes, there is paper work. I have to keep track of each animal’s health care, breeding information, kidding information and I have to register each new baby with the National Pygmy goat Association. There is an application for registration that must be filled out and a picture of each baby must be attached to its paper work. I get to pick a name for each baby and that goes on the form, along with its unique tattoo number and microchip number.Naming the new babies is a lot of fun. I keep a list of names that I might like to use in the future and sometimes I name them after people I know. Our herd name is Dry Run Acres, so each babies name is Dry Run Acres……and then the name. I can only use 32 letters and that includes the spaces. I can only use each name one time. The buck that I used for the late fall breeding is Our Oak Haven’s Enoch. Both of his parents have biblical names so I have been trying to carry on that tradition with his kids. This fall I have used Rachel, Naomi, Sampson, Delilah, Matthew, Luke, Adam, Eve, Lilith, Magdalene, Abraham, and little Lazarus.
Thursday – December 16, 2010
Up early today to get the chores done and then do a little baking. The Christmas luncheon at the Board of Elections building is today. I am bringing homemade yeast rolls. The county building that houses the OSU Extension office, Soil and Water Conservation District Office and the County Board of Elections has an annual Christmas lunch. The employees chip in a few dollars each for the ham and then bring in dishes to share. It was a feast and it was nice to see everyone one last time before Christmas.It was snowing, and had been snowing all night, so my mom and dad drove me into town and dropped me off. The office is near the nursing home where my mom’s aunt Loretta is staying so they went and had a nice visit with her.Dinner at the Texas Road House and then home to do the chores. I thought one of Jenna’s twins looked like he might not be getting enough to eat so I made a bottle and offered it to him. If he was not getting enough to eat he would have grabbed that bottle as soon as he tasted the milk. He didn’t want it so I will be keeping an eye on little Matthew.
Friday – December 17, 2010
Today after the morning chores we trimmed up some of the does that are ready to wean their kids. I like to trim their hooves, give them a tetanus booster shot and their vitamin shots before they return to the herd. This is a good time to worm them and check them over to see if they have any issues with their skin or teeth that might need to be treated. We discovered two does that needed to have their teeth treated when we weaned the September babies. We felt a bump on the jaw so we took them to our vet and she had to pull two teeth. Goats really don’t like to have their teeth messed with so we had to give them medicine to make them drowsy so we could see the teeth and not get bitten. After the trip to the vet I had to give them antibiotics for a few days and make sure they were eating well before they could return to the herd. Luckily there were no bad teeth today – it’s rare that there are but we always check for it.This evening, my sister-in-law, Irene, and I inserted chips in a few of the young goats. We use the AVID microchip system to permanently identify our goats. I had ordered a bulk pack of 25 last week and it arrived today. The microchip is a little transmitter that I implant just under the skin on the underside of the tail. I have a microchip reader and so do most breeders, veterinarians and humane associations. The reader is just waved over the goat tail and the number shows on the reader. The number is recorded on the goats’ registration papers and is the permanent identification. Each goat is also assigned a tattoo number when it is born and that can be put in the animal’s ear if someone does not have a reader.
Saturday – December 18, 2010
A family from Fairborn Ohio came to the farm today to pick up a doe and a wether that they had purchased last weekend. We had given them a book on basic goat care and they do have other animals on their farm but today we answered a few more questions. I always tell anyone who buys an animal from us to take the animals temperature when they get home and write it down so they have a base temperature and can tell if it is getting sick. I tell everyone to call me anytime if they have a question or if they think their goat may be sick. If they stop eating, that is a sign they are not well and may need medical attention. I send some of the feed that we use, home with the new goat owners so they can mix our food with whatever they are going to feed the goats at their house and gradually switch them to the new food. Goats don’t do well with a sudden change of feed. Saturday afternoon I went to the Lakes farm on Darrtown Road and purchased 10 bales of really nice alfalpha hay. The does with babies need the richer hay to produce milk. They really love that stuff and it increases the volume and quality of the milk!Did some Christmas shopping today – I do most of my shopping on line but today I braved the crowds.
Sunday – December 19, 2010
Up really early to see my parents off today – they are headed back to their home in Northern Wisconsin, about a 12 hour drive from here. It was really nice to have them for the visit even though they were here due to the passing of mom’s father, my grandfather. They had to get back and couldn’t stay through the holidays but Dewey and I are planning a trip up to see them in February. Housework and laundry this afternoon then I made a trip up to Seven mile, Ohio to visit my goat herding buddy Lori. We took some pictures of her junior does to update her webpage. The goats really didn’t want to pose for pictures today. We chased them all over the pen. I think I finally got a few shots I can use. I maintain a webpage for each of us so we can showcase our animals and let people know when we have goats for sale. Our website is WWW.Dryrunacres.com Wrapped presents after the evening chores, shopping almost done. Dewey and I were alone at the farmhouse for the first time in weeks. Boy it’s quiet!