On the farm, it seems that there is always something unexpected happening. Often things break down at inconvenient times. Or an animal does something it shouldn’t. Or the weather goes crazy. It’s always something.
These days we’re spending a lot of time dealing with Kelly and her kids. Kelly is 4 years old, one of our second generation nannies. She’s a good goat and a good mama.
A couple of weeks ago her milk bag filled out, indicating she’d be kidding soon. But day after day passed with no kids. Meanwhile, her milk bag continued to swell. By the time she finally kidded, a few days ago, her bag was so large it was nearly dragging the ground and the kids were unable to nurse. Well, they could nurse if they could figure out where the milk comes from, but while baby goats are born with the knowledge that food will come from beneath their mothers, their instincts are to look up for the source and they just can’t find it when it’s so low to the ground. And her teats were swollen so large that they couldn’t even get their mouths around them.
Sigh. So we began bottle-feeding the twins, a male and female named Heeza and Sheeza. Meanwhile poor Kelly seemed about to burst and was terribly uncomfortable, as well as being at risk for mastitis. We got her off the pasture and put her on a low energy diet to try to dry her off fast, milking her down as best we could.
Meanwhile, Cherie was persistent in trying to teach the kids to nurse. Heeza is a big energetic kid who fights any attempt to push him toward what he needs. He’s never caught on and probably never will. But Sheeza, thanks to Cherie’s efforts, has figured it out now and is nursing. So as of now it appears we’ll be able to put Kelly back on pasture, even though we’ll still have to bottle-feed Heeza.
And I wonder what today will bring.