A Happy Start , A Not So Happy Middle, A Happy Ending
Life at Gullringstorp is truly magical is so many ways. I will try to share those magic moments, of which there are many. But sometimes,. just sometimes, there are some not so magical moments. In fact there are so really awful and sand moments to.
I have really been dreading this post, but I know I have to share this part of life with you. It’s not fair to skip over this episode at Gullringstorp and act as if nothing unpleasant ever happens here. Like I said , this is not an easy story to write about , so please bear with me:
All was going so well with my little herd. Frida and her babies Keriana and Flynn were growing very well together as a little family. Pumpkin assumed the role of aunt to Keriana and Flynn, while maintaining her position as 2nd from the top in the herd. Hilda was enjoying her role as Alika’s adoptive mother and seemed to accept her position as 3rd adult in the herd. Frida was keeping strict order and everyone knew their places. once everyone settled in and the bucks were now gone, I had a peaceful herd.
One of the things that happens to you when you start to have goats is, you never seem to be satisfied and you want MORE! I was one who was not satisfied and indeed I wanted more. I wanted both doelings and we had decided that we could handle a couple of bucklings. I know we gave Jalle and Julius to a new home, but remember I said you can never say never. Here I was rationalizing that if we got our bucks as babies, then they wold grow up with us and be as tame as they could be and hopefully, we would be able to have a couple of bucks as nice and gentle as our rent – a -buck Emil.
So the search started. We found several babies that would be available within a couple of months. So we planed and arranged the boxes for our new babies and were so excited. We were adding to our herd and with babies ! We were over the moon.
The first of babies were available for pick up toward the end of February, this year. I was particularly excited because these were to be our very first Pygmy goats. they are also a West African breed of miniature dairy goat. We had a little gray buckling and a gray and black doeling reserved. I could not be still that entire morning before we drove to get our new babies. My heart was just jumping with excitement.
Please meet Balder and Nanna: ( both names from Norse mythology)
Our new additions didn’t take very long to become accustomed to their new home, with new sounds, new smells and us, new “parents”. They were very happy and healthy. We were so happy watching them daily and watching how they became more and more at home. They even met Max and were not afraid of him at all.
Soon March came and the other babies we had on reserve were now ready to come home with us. From the same farm we had reserved two sisters from one doe and a brother and sister from another doe. These were Nigerian Dwarf goats. Once again the excitement rose in my chest and I could hardly sleep the night before. We drove out early that morning and spent a good deal of time with the owners of the babies. We had lunch, and got to know each other . It was a lovely morning and afternoon. We drove home with 4 new babies to add to our herd.
I had chosen Norse names out of respect for my husband and this new culture that I am living in, for the first two babies, Nanna and Balder. These would have Native American names to honor my ancestors and a Japanese name also for my ancestors and to remember those lost in the earthquake.
Please meet Koko(Blackfeet means “night”for the doeling because she is so dark) and Dakota (Blackfeet means “friendly one” for the little buckling) Twin sisters named Nakoa( Blackfeet means “full moon rising”) and Chiyoko ( Japanese means “child of a thousand generations”)
Now we had 6 wonderful bouncing baby goats. They were tiny enough to be able to share a large box. They had things to climb on, lots of places to snuggle down for a rest, straw, hay, grain and water. Everyone seemed to get along, and as usual the larger babies picked on the smaller ones. They seemed to be doing well. Everyone was eating, drinking and going to the bathroom.
Two weeks later we were to loose both Koko and her brother Dakota. I walked into the stable and looked into the “nursery” box to discover Dakota in the corner making awful sounds. Usually I carry a walkie talkie to be able to speak with my husband. Not that day. I ran back to the house to get my husband and when returned, little Dakota was dead. We were just beside ourselves. We were in a state of shock. Dakota seemed as fine as all the others. We had no idea what had happened. It was an awful night we could not sleep and were up all night wondering if we had done something wrong. the next morning I went out, and with great trepidation opened the stable door only to find Koko in the same situation! On my God, what was going on??? I was just inconsolable but brought her to the house and placed her in a pet carrier and put it in the dinning room inn the sun. We drove her directly to a vet 2 hrs away and they could not say what was wrong, but gave her some antibiotics and steroids. She seemed to recover and was even walking around the dinning room. We felt as though she may pull through but the morning told a different story. Our little brave girl Koko was dead.
We were determined for our sanity , to know what had caused these two deaths. I contacted the farm where we bought them just to let them know and to hear if maybe this had happened before. We were also given a time period that we had to work within if we considered an autopsy. I was against it at first. I just couldn’t see this happening to little Koko. But soon my grief gave way to determination and i wanted to know and had to know not just for myself but for Koko and her brother and the other babies I had in the stable. I had no idea if it was something inn my environment that caused thus or something genetic.
This happened in March and my husband got the report finally in May while I was away visiting my daughter in Glasgow. Apparently there were many genetic issues which led to them not being able to process any of the food they were eating. This was not our fault and I am happy to say that all the other babies are growing and are happy and healthy, including the twin sisters that came from the same farm as Koko and Dakota.
Here are my happy babies:
In May just before my trip to Glasgow, we added a little Pygmy buckling to our herd. He was purchased from the same farm as Balder and Nanna. We have on reserve 2 doelings that will be born in July, from the same farm. This way Nanna will have little Pygmy buddies and we will have 2 Pygmy buck for the future.
This little fellow is so tiny and cute, I just keep calling him “Baby Boy ” and he responds. I think this is his name now.
We have since moved all our boys to their own box. Little Balder is ready to breed at 4 months, but the doelings are not. So Balder, Little Flynn and Baby Boy share a box and are quite happy together. Flynn goes out with the adults so he can be near his mother, sister and aunt. When I take him out of the box, boy do I hear it from Balder and Baby Boy. They are like the 3 musketeers.
I am still nervous when I enter the stable and now Baby Boy is my only concern as the others have grown quite a bit since loosing Koko and Dakota. I guess this is farm life.
We must take the downs and hope for the ups to come. They always do, thank God!
Now we are up to date with all the goats at Gullringstorp. But don’t think there is nothing more coming. Not true!
Check back from time to time. There is so much more happening at Gullringstorp!