As I walk through the stable and check each box, I am particularly interested in the nursery boxes. I look to see how the mothers are doing and if they need anything, then I check to see how the babies are doing. I really pay close attention to how they have made their sleeping arrangements.
Since two of my 3 mothers have two babies, I usually see the babies cuddled together, with or without mother. Sometimes Hilda or Frida will be sleeping in another area of the box or just up enjoying grain or fresh hay. Either way, the babies have a cuddle partner.
My little Rose is the only baby now without a cuddle partner since we lost Miracle. I had noticed too often that she would be all alone when Pumpkin had decided to sleep in the upper berth of her box or was up as the other mothers were eating. The sight of tiny Rose all alone in a bed of straw, as comfy as I tried to make it for her , was still sad.
So, I bought her a little friend to cuddle with when she sleeps.
My reason for giving Rose this stuffed dog is to give her someone to cuddle up with and play with. I watch the other babies and they have their built-in friend in their siblings. Rose does not have this so I just hope this helps her. I wouldn’t do this if she had been an only child, but she was not, she had a little friend to play with and to cuddle up against at nap time and bedtime. My husband has been in the stable and has seen Rose and her little friend cuddled up together, in her sleep corner. I have not been able to catch that on my camera, yet. I hope to.
Peanut and her brother Little Man are out of their box everyday. They run and play as I clean boxes refill straw, hay and grain. They follow me to the sink to clean out water bowls and they really love to play in the storage box.
I have taken all the babies out of their boxes together so they can play together in the stable. Tow things happen; first the mothers, at least Frida and Pumpkin go ballistic and want their babies returned, or after just a few minutes some of the babies cry to get back to mommy, which makes mommies cry even more.
Rose really enjoys coming out to play with Peanut and Little Man. She loves to run at the highest speed and suddenly , put on the brakes. She reminds me of a tiny colt. She has a ball until she realizes her mommy’s voice is among the loud voices. I do this for just a few minutes a day so they see that they can be away from mommy and have a bit of baby goat fun, and they will always be returned to mommy. Rose comes to the door of her box when she hears my voice, so I feel she wants to come out and play , just a bit.
I have to say, I do worry a bit more about Rose than I do the others. Pumpkin is a wonderful mother, but I cannot ignore the fact that there was once another baby there and now her is not there. It has to have an impact on these two goats, mother and child. I just don’t want to make it any harder on either of them.
That’s the “human” in me. Maybe goats get over things faster and better than I realize.
Frida is doing well and so are her little doelings, Poppy and Pansy. They are very active and happy.
They celebrate one month of life today!
Hilda is doing much better with her two little ones, Peanut and Little Man.
Pumpkin is a very vocal and attentive mother. We have been keeping our eye on little Miracle. There is where the drama is. There was a close call on the evening he was born. He was very weak and slow coming out of his amniotic sac and very slow to respond to stimulus. It was touch and go through the night but with a bit of luck he was still with us the next morning. Little Miracle was born in the evening on August 22, and has been nursing just fine and moving around the box with his sister like a baby goat should. today our little boy is showing signs of difficulty breathing. At first I thought it was too warm in the stable so I took the entire little new family out to the “baby play yard”. I sat and watched him and something is not right with him. he just seems to stand and is breathing at a very rapid pace. This tells me there is something wrong with either his heart or his lungs. My gut feeling is it’s his heart.
He has an appointment with the vet tomorrow at 2 :30 and we trust that he will be soon sorted out .
I have heard so many sad stories of baby goats not living longer than one day, or really difficult deliveries with bad consequences for either mother or baby. We had 6 baby goats born at Gullringstorp in the same month. Out of 6 babies, we have only one baby with difficulties. Most would say, we were fortunate, but I say that’s one too many.
So tonight will not be a restful one for us.
There have been some developments and some solutions in our little Nursery. I am happy to report all mothers are doing the very best they can and these babies do not suffer from any of the shortcomings we are experiencing. When we see a problem, we just fix it. We find the right solution so that our babies never go without anything.
Hilda and her babies, Peanut and Little Man are doing well. Her babies are still getting supplemental feedings while they do have some nursing from Hilda. They are getting quite strong and bounce around the box like they gave springs in their legs. They also enjoy their time out in the play yard.
Frida and her babies are doing fine. We have run into a bit of a snag, however. Before Frida came to us, she had a serious infection in her udder that apparently went untreated. With her first babies her at Gullringstorp, we had to call in a vet to treat her because it became clear that there was a problem. Her babies were unable to nurse. They were bottle fed, almost from the beginning. She was given an antibiotic injection and something to treat the inflammation plus a pain-killer. She was such a good mother , we too a chance and bred her. To our amazement, she nursed her babies with no problem until a couple of days ago. We were prepared to call in the vet again until we spoke with a woman who sells us our grain supplies, among other farm needs. She let us know that the mastitis may have flared up again, or she may be low on protein since she was not out in the large enclosure eating grass all day. there is also the possibility that one of her young ones had bitten her. We now offer her , in addition to her hay and straw and cut fresh grasses, a product known as Lucerne which is a vitamin and protein packed grass. this is to be added a fistful at a time to her regular hay. So we have started all mothers on this new addition to their diet and have begun some supplemental feedings for Poppy and Pansy. These two babies are nearly one month old and are eating some hay, straw and chopped greens and veggies.
Because of the situation with the milk, we attached a lambs milker to the wall of their box. We tried to attach each baby to the nipple, but they were not too happy. The first night we left it up and hoped the babies would get the idea. The next morning, it was half empty. We were so happy, but that didn’t last very long. We discovered that it was Frida who had emptied the milk. So the babies get a hand-held bottle feeding, only when needed. Frida has allowed them to nurse. I still give a couple of feedings a day, just in case.
Pumpkin has been a really good mother so far! We hold our breath that she stays that way. Her babies seem happy and she stays very close to them.
We are hoping that our three mothers remain as attentive to their little ones as they have been so far. Even with the milk issues of Hilda and Frida, they are still wonderful and loving mothers. I just love to walk through the stable and feel the love coming from those three boxes. It is just so lovely to peak in and see these tiny new lives snuggled up close to the mother goats who brought them into this world. They lay close to their mothers with the knowledge that she is there to care for them and to protect them. I am sure they feel this. They look so happy and safe.
Our once empty stable is full of life now!
It has been 4 days since Frida gave birth to twins. They are doing very well and seem happy, healthy and certainly bouncy! Frida gets breakfast and dinner in “bed”. I bring her a special container of chopped carrots, apples, greens and bananas for her to enjoy, and she does. She is still getting he molasses water which she finds delightful. First her tongue laps up the brown goodness then she put her mouth to the water and seems to syphon it up like an elephant and in an instant the bowl is empty.
The way her box is made, she has an “upper berth” for sleeping and now for a little peace and quiet from her babies. The babies are way to tiny to jump up and Frida is aware of this. She is also aware that this peaceful retreat will not last for long, soon these tiny, bouncing wonders will bounce their way up to Frida’s spot of solitude. In the meanwhile, Frida seems to really enjoy her short but sweet, time away from motherhood. But as soon as one of those little cuties makes a peep, she is down to make sure all is well and offer TLC and like all good mother, a good snack!
Here are developments from August 2 – 4
Sorry I have to interrupt this post. We have been invited to a “gran fest” neighbor party with nearby farmers. I have showered and did my makeup and was just trying to finish this post when it started to rain. It was light at first, but then the sky opened up on Gullringstorp and the goats. So only here would one be late for a party due to bringing goats in out of the rain. On top of that when I opened the boy’s enclosure, Baby Boy, only 4 months old decided to mount Keriana who was in heat a few days ago. Mind you he is tiny and a Pygmy so I had doubts that he could even reach; looked like he could. Once they were in and in their right boxes, it was time for the chickens. Oh yes I haven’t gotten to them yet. They are Brahma chickens and they like to be outside, day and night and refuse to go into their chicken house. So there they were a gaggle or whatever of chickens huddled together in the corner, wet! They have 2 doors to their house , a regular chicken sized door and a people sized door with steps and all. I opened the people sized door to get them in, one was in and the other came out. And it continued to pour! Finally all were inside with fresh hay and grains and chicken feed.
Only in the countryside could goats and chickens make one late to a party!
Well everyone is in , now to take off my farm togs and slip into something nice for the party. I will be back to finish this post, promise!