Max joined us as we visited the farm of Maria. Maria is a charming young woman that I met at the seasons first craft market. We had so many things in common that we chatted as if we were long lost sisters or friends. This is not something that happens everyday, so when life brings you a special friend like Maria, you recognize it and enjoy the experience.
We had such a joyful time at her farm viewing and getting to know her many animals. She has beautiful Swedish goats that at this moment have the cutest little curly white babies. She breeds and sells some of Sweden’s endangered species of chickens, ducks and rabbits. She also breeds turkeys and has the most beautiful, colorful and majestic male turkey named King.
We had a lovely time chatting over cup of coffee, tea and a Finnish cake that she baked for our arrival to her farm. It was a delightful visit. We will be back often as we enjoy each other’s company and animals. Maria has seen much of Gullringstorp on my blog and Facebook but has not yet visited us. She will us very visit soon.
Of all her animals, the ones of most interest to me above all the others, were her beautiful rescue greyhounds. We are planning to adopt a rescue greyhound from Ireland and meeting Maria was just such a wonderful ting to have happen. Her dogs have come from a wonderful rescue center in Ireland and I will use the same company when we are ready to adopt.
We spent a splendid day with Maria and her animals. It was a great opportunity for myself to enjoy and become reacquainted with greyhounds and for my husband to meet them for the first time and understand the yearning I have had to adopt one. It was very important to see if our little dog Max could be around these large animals. He was just fine! They enjoyed them and he enjoyed them. No we know that ill not be an issue. We must make sure that the one that we adopt is ok with small dogs and cats. Maria’s dogs love her small Jack Russell terrier and are just fine with her two cats. With our small Brussels Griffon and 4 indoor cats, we will have to wait to find a greyhound that has been seen to be well with both for our home.
We spent such a lovley time at Maria’s farm and are very much looking forward to returning.
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.
Yesterday, I decided it was time for the new mothers to join the rest of the herd, with their new babies. To be honest, I thought it might do Pumpkin good to be out and about and I hoped it would take her mind off her recent loss.
We had the boys out in their enclosure and then we brought out the young girls with our two yearlings. My plan was to make sure they were busy with new buckets of hay and straw and I hoped they would too busy to notice the babies. That of course didn’t really work as expected.
Pumpkin loves to be on the leash. When she first came to us we used to take daily walks around Gullringstorp. Her leash is blue and we dare not use the red one or any other color. She knows which one is hers.
We were both afraid to have the power on while the babies were out. I have since learned from a much more experienced goat keeper, Deborah, that we should never turn off the power. The babies need to learn from the start. She is right. But today the power was off until the babies returned to the stable.
Frida and her babies really had a fine time out . It took awhile for the entire group to settle down. When they did, Frida’s babies stayed close and were safe and were really enjoying themselves.
I had to put Pumpkin on a leash while in the enclosure because every time Poppy or Pansy cried, she thought it was little Miracle and would just run in the direction of the cry and leave poor little Rose. while on the leash she could settle down and enjoy the day out with Rose and eat grass.
It was a good first day out for 2 of our new little families. Hilda will come out soon with Little Man and Peanut.
After Pumpkin and Frida had their time out, we acted on the advice of my now goat mentor, Deborah. Pumpkin needed to grieve over her lost baby and we had not allowed her to. We had not buried little Miracle yet so we brought him in and laid him on the straw in he box. Pumpkin needed to know what had happened to him. She went to him immediately and sniffed at him. She stayed with him and so did Rose. I could not stay there any longer, it was just too sad. It was her time to mourn her loss and I could not stay. We took him out after what we thought was a decent amount of time. We will give her the time she needs to get over her loss.
This is something one never thinks of when you live in a city, but as a city girl turned country gal, I have to consider these kinds of situations.
Pumpkin will be just fine.
Today my plan was to bring out just the new mothers and babies into the enclosure. I thought they need to have time together to get all the head-butting done, hopefully once and for all. My plans changed with the arrival of our straw delivery. I could not handle all the babies by myself and my husband was busy. So change of plans. The straw was being unloaded while I put everyone went out, except the new families. The babies were all put into the “baby yard” for the first time.
We had sounds galore today, from our little herd. In the enclosure, Chiyoko is in heat and yelling her little head off, the babies screamed when I left them to check the straw unloading progress and the mothers in their boxes inside were not happy with their babies outside. They were reunited after about 1/2 an hour. Then all was quiet in the stable with happy mothers and sleepy babies. I closed the doors to keep the cool in because it was a warm day outside.
Hopefully tomorrow my original plans to take out little new families will take place. We will see.
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!