Monday – December 20, 2010
Just feeding the goats today like usual so I will take this opportunity to tell you about the Zoo. Last spring we got a call from the Cincinnati zoo. They wanted to talk about purchasing some goats. Well, my first thought was “they want them to feed to the lions” but that was not what they wanted – thankfully. They had expanded their petting zoo and were looking for some friendly little goats to add to their zoo family. They came and inspected our farm, we filled out a lot of paperwork and we were allowed to take the goats to their new home so I could see where they would be staying. It’s a really nice facility and I can’t imagine a better life for a farm animal. They have a nutritionist on staff, vets 24 hours a day and they get to be brushed and petted by little kids all day. The petting zoo has sheep and cows and gives children who live in the city a chance for hands on experience with farm animals. After a quick trip to the bank I spent most of the day resting, was not feeling well. I think the headache may be from the snow storm moving in tonight. I can’t remember a December with this much snow. It’s pretty and I like it better than rain and ice. One of the baby bucks, Abraham, had a swollen eye this evening. I am not sure what is going on but if it is not better in the morning I will have to call the veterinarian. I made a pot of chili for dinner and wrapped some Christmas gifts before bedtime.
Tuesday – December 21, 2010
Abraham had developed a white spot on his eye by morning. I don’t think he has “pink eye” but I am not taking any chances with his eye. The veterinarian saw him in her office around noon time and he is now having ointment applied to his eye every six hours and she gave him an injection of antibiotic. He will have the ointment applied four times a day for two days and then twice a day for four days. I also have one more injection to give him. If he is not improved by Thursday, he has to revisit the doctor. She thinks he may have poked something into his eye. He may have done that while enjoying the new hay! Today I had to clean out some of the milking doe pens. Moms with babies have to eat a lot to make the milk for the babies and that leads to….. A lot of waste! It amazes me how much they produce but a little pitch fork action keeps me young. I tell myself that anyway. A clean pen and everyone is happy. I keep Rubbermaid recycling bins in each pen. I turn them upside down and it makes a little place for the babies to climb on, to hide in and to stay warm in and the moms really like that. In the wild, the goats teach their young to hide during the day from predators. I worry about predators too. Hawks and owls could swoop down and grab a baby kid; they are about the size of a little rabbit. I don’t let the babies outside of the barn without my supervision until they are bigger. We can hear coyotes in the woods behind our farm and I keep a radio playing in the barn, lights on all the time and we have dogs that bark to try and keep them away. We have never had a problem with coyotes but we know some breeders have.
Wednesday – December 22, 2010
After the morning chores, Dewey and I had to drive to Harrison and do some serious grocery shopping. I am going to make cookies and candy to give to Dewey’s brother’s families’ for Christmas. Dewey has four brothers so I have to make a massive amount. I made four different kinds of cookie dough and it is chilling in the refrigerator. Tomorrow will be a big baking day. I would love to be able to bake the cookies earlier in the month and not have to do it all at the last minute but I find, historically, that if I do that – the cookies get eaten!
Thursday – December 23, 2010
Baking all day today. The kitchen was a flurry of activity and Dewey helped me out by “staying out of my way”. Dinner was one of Dewey’s favorites and a pretty simple preparation for me. Fried Salmon Patties with fried potatoes. I don’t fix that much anymore because we have to watch the cholesterol but at his last visit, Dewey’s doctor told him he is doing well in that area and he could enjoy the holidays. He is really taking advantage of that. Abraham’s eye looks much better today. He still has a small white spot on it so I have to keep adding the ointment to his eye and hope it goes away. He seems like a really nice buckling and I would like to show him at the goat shows in the spring. Today we had to fill the large water tank in the barn. I finally finished the cookies and candy at 2am.
Friday – December 24, 2010
Christmas Eve! Abraham’s eye is looking better every day. He seems to be getting used to me putting the cream in his eye – I am thinking that it must make his eye feel better. Chores done really early today, we have a full day of activities planned today. We traveled to Dewey’s parents’ house so he and his brothers could install the flat screen television they had purchased for them as a Christmas present. I baked chocolate chip scones and took them over to Dewey’s mom – she really likes them with her tea. We went to Dewey’s brother Kimroys house for brunch with his family and then to a pitch in dinner and Christmas eve party with Dewey’s moms large, crazy family. Later in the evening our son Joe and his fiancé Cristen came over to our house for our gift exchange and we all watched a Christmas movie then we were more than ready for bed.
Saturday – December 25, 2010
Christmas Day! We had a quiet, peaceful Christmas day. Dewey was not feeling well, I think he over did it yesterday. Our daughter Kim and her family live in Northern Ohio. Kim had to work this weekend so they are spending Christmas with Rick’s family and we will not see them until next weekend. We are really looking forward to their visit, Kim and her husband Rick and our two granddaughters Teagen who is four and Sadie who is six months old will really liven this place up. Today we had to settle for a phone call and some pictures posted on the internet of them opening their gifts from Santa. My parents are back in Wisconsin and my brother is working a double shift at the Butler County Juvenile Detention Center but everyone got holiday phone calls.
Sunday – December 26, 2010
Today I really had to make up for so many days of holiday reveling! Back to work on the farm. The work really never stops because the animals must be fed and cared for on holidays just like every other day. Some of the little bucks really needed to have their horns disbudded. Pygmy goats get really large, spike horns that are just the right height to poke a child’s eye out so we always disbud them. There is really not a precise age that you disbud them it is more about the size of their horn buds. Some get them when they are a few days old and some it take a few weeks but when it is time – it must be done before they get too big. We use a hot iron to burn a ring around the bud and that stops the growth. Several of the babies had to have microchips implanted today because they will be picked up by their new owners next week and I like to make sure the implant site heals and the chip is going to stay in the goat.This evening I could just barely see the white spot on Abraham’s eye – I am starting to think it will be gone completely real soon and I am very happy about that.