It has been a very cold night here at Gullringstorp. The sun came up to a chilly -17C this morning.
We have a heater on one end if our stable to keep the pipes from freezing. We used to carry buckets of hot water to the stable during winter months. This tiny heater keeps everything from freezing so we have water on hand for the goats and the chickens.
With the body heat of our 25 strong herd, the temperature today is just above 0C. We are careful not to open any doors unnecessarily that would let the cold in. Everyone has, by now a nice warm bed of straw and hay built up over the recent months. This makes a nice warm bed for them.This also means that in addition to their warm thick winter coats, they are cozy, not crazy warm, but very comfortable.
Outside my dinning room window I can see our covered pond is buried under fluffy snow. I know our koi are in their hibernation state and we will see them in the spring.
I can also see our garden birds enjoying their meal here at Gullringstorp. There’s seed in the many containers as well as seed spilled to the ground. Soon it will be time to refill the seeds and lard balls that sustain them during the bleak cold winter months.
Just a tiny look into winter here at Gullringstorp.
I spoke about what he is used to. I made sure they understood that as an adult buck he can no longer have grain and that he needs to have hay. The spoke about ensilage but I let them know it was not good for goats and that he could die from bloat, too much gas in the stomach. Larger animals like horses and cows can eat ensilage with no problems, but goats are a bit different.
Well I had held up fairly well until I watched Phillip’s new daddy place the hay in the truck. I just had to walk away as the tears began to fall.
I am still sad that our Phillip has left us , but I am so happy that Phillip’s new parents will love him. they have lots of animals: 2 does, a mini pig, cats, a dog and hens. Now they have a buck.
I hope that Phillip doesn’t have a hard time settling in to his new environment. I hope he settles in real fast. I hope he doesn’t miss his pals too much. It will be all new for him but I am sure he will be happy and cared for with love.
Goodbye my sweet little Phillip!
On a previous post, we were trying to sell our little buckling Florian. We needed to sell him because we had enough bucks here at Gullringstorp. We had a potential buyer, but on the day of the planned sale, a rainy Sunday, she didn’t show up. My husband saw an email saying that they weren’t sure we wanted to sell Florian and that they bought another buckling.
I didn’t have a very good feeling about this buyer from the start. Goats are herd animals and need to be at the very least, two. They were only buying Florian and did not speak of buying a second. When we asked if she had another goat, the answer was no. When let her know that he needed another goat companion, she said she would consider it.
When that Sunday arrived, I felt very strange and felt like there was not going to be a sale that day. It was raining out and my gut feeling was that it would not happen. I was right. Our potential buyer bought a goat, one goat. I really hope that she takes our advice and purchases another goat for a companion. I hope she is happy with her little buck and he has a buddy or will get a buddy.
Florian will remain with his mother Iris, sister Blossom and us here at Gullringstorp. He will not be a working buck because we already have all we need. He will remain as a wether. This is a castrated buck. Because he would be mounted often in the buck’s enclosure because of his size and new gender, he will remain on the girl’s side with the ladies and Huckleberry, our other little wether.
Today was his castration. I was not too worried yesterday, but this morning, all the possibilities that could go wrong, came flooding into my head. My fears were unwarranted because we have such a wonderful and competent veterinarian to care for him.
Florian was placed back into the carrier and we made the 30 minute drive back to Gullringstorp. Florian was pretty much still out of it during that drive home but realized right away as we drove down the driveway to the stable that he was home. He could hear Iris calling for him and Blossom also. We placed a fresh layer of clean straw on top of the bedding in his box. I had originally wanted to take the first layer of bedding away and add the new straw and I’m glad I mentioned it to our vet. He explained why that was a bad idea. The bacteria built up in the bedding from al the urine and coffee bean sized poopies, was better left undisturbed until we were ready to empty the whole box. He recommended to place a clean layer on top, so we did just that.
I brought Iris and Blossom into the stable while Leif took care of letting Florian out of the transport carrier. Iris was so happy to see her baby buckling and the same for him.
Florian will be quite uncomfortable for the rest of today, because it actually hurts when he is lying down. He will move from spot to spot until he is better. We had the same with Huckleberry. He couldn’t really get comfortable lying down and seemed to feel better standing.
Huckleberry was feeling just fine within 2 days so I hope the same for Florian. I was sent home with 5 syringes filed with penicillin to protect from tetanus that is common with such procedures. He will receive an injection once a day for the next 5 days.
Wish us luck please and hope that Florian makes a full recovery.
I have several ladies who are due to deliver during the first week of April, by my calculations. Nature always has the upper hand in the situation, but I like to think I can pin point the tim frame of deliveries. What I do is watch and keep a very close eye on my ladies. I know them all intimately; how they sound, how they eat, how they drink, how they interact with others and even how they go down to rest. I look for any subtle changes to let me know that she may be getting close to labor.
The feelings came over me yesterday with our little Pygmy doe Iris. I knew she would be the first of my 4 does or maybe 5. She is quite wide and he baby bump is very pronounced. I watched her and how she was out in the enclosure. She was licking at her teats, and looking at her rear end. I said to myself, hummm, looks like she will be any day now. We checked her often out in the enclosure and during the night even when she and the others were back in the stable. She was resting easy. I had placed a large amount of fresh clean straw in one corner for her just in case. Nothing happened during the night and she was quite eager to hop up on that Milk Stand for her grain this morning. I massaged her as she ate and kissed he baby bump and had a bit of a chat with her babies. I love my goats and am always so excited when they are due to deliver. it’s a special time in our stable.
Iris is out in the enclosure on this beautiful Spring day. I sat with them for some time, as always, but kept a particularly close eye on iris to see subtle changes in he behaviour. There were some changes:
- a bit of a discharge
- I could see she was a bit uncomfortable when she went down to rest
- Unable to decide where to lay down
- Other goats came to sniff her
- Her pals who share her large box came to stay by her side
With all these developments, my husband decided that today was the day to clean out her box and place all clean straw down for he delivery. We have been lucky and been able to change boxes for all our pregnant does. We have just come into Spring and our boxes have not been cleaned out for 6 months. Let me explain: we clean up poopies in every box everyday, but we do allow the hay and straw to build up during the winter months. This is very important in providing our goats with a really warm bed to sleep the night in. All the urine and poopies that fall through the straw will ferment and help keep them warm. Spring time is a busy time here at Gullringstorp with box cleaning.
Iris’s box is done and when she comes in she will have a clean house to deliver in, today or tomorrow.
While I am out with the goats, Leif has started on Iris’ box. There is much to remove, but he has the procedure down. It is a big job and I always ask if I may help him. The answer is always a flat NO and he means NO. I have asthma and not only this, but when I got my first goats several years ago, I was having trouble breathing and felt quite winded as I would walk back to the house. I eventually went in to have a check up and I wasn’t just winded, I was having real trouble but didn’t realize it. I was sent in for allergy testing. I felt like a kid! I was tested for so many things and I was so afraid that I would be told that I had an allergy to my beloved goats. Well time for celebration !!! I had allergies, but NOT to my goats. Boy was I relieved ! I did get some difficult news. I have allergies to both hay and straw! Lord, what kind of farmer could I be. Well I soon learned from my doctor at the Lung Clinic that I was required to wear masks when I am in the stable and handling hay or straw. No problem!! Nothing stops this country gal!
I wear 3M filter masks when I am dealing with hay and straw both indoors and outdoors. I have done so for nearly 5 years now and no more problems. When we have visitors to Gullringstorp to visit our goats, I don’t wear my mask because I am not handling straw or hay, just talking. My masks get quite expensive because they only come in boxes of 10, and they are not included in the national prescription plan. It is a bit of a problem, but a necessity. So now you can understand why my husband says NO to the cleaning up of boxes. I can however, lay down the calcium on the box floor and fresh straw, with my filter mask on.
I can’t help clear the box, but I can prepare a nice lunch for my husband for when he is finished.
It will be my pleasure to keep you updated on Iris and our other does who are in the Maternity Ward at Gullringstorp!
So don’t forget to check back for updates!
It’s cold outside but it’s nice and warm and cozy in the stable. This is what I was met with when we went in this morning:
We are expecting more snow here at Gullringstorp. Burrrr……..
We are now in the beginning of a real winter. We have had nothing but rain all Autumn long with mild temperatures. December has been rung in with not only low temperatures -14c but SNOW!
I love Gullringstorp in Spring and Summer but Gullringstorp really shines during the Winter!
This snow has caught us all a bit off guard. Like everyone in the countryside, we are now scrambling to get everything done that needs to be done before being buried in snow.
We have stocked up on hay and straw supplies in the stable, Leif has weather lined the stable doors that needed it and covered our pond the has many koi. Of course all the shovels have been activated and the chains have been placed on the tractor which is needed for moving large quantities of snow around Gullringstorp.
Max has worn last year’s winter suit and I realized that little Max, like all of us has put on a few pounds, so I have been in the market for a new winter suit for him. My husband laughs when Max gets “dressed” to go out but, he is not a big dog and he does get cold. Not now, because he has a new warm winter suit!
It is important to get all the supplies need for the goats, they need fresh hay and straw especially during winter. Any hay or straw that fall to the box floor, is added cushion and warmth during the cold winter months. Our goats, like all goats love to ear hay and straw and some of it will and always does hit the floor. We don’t mind.
I hope your winter is beautiful on your eyes and heart…
Yesterday Leif and I decided that today would be the day cleaned out Hilda’s box prior to her delivering her babies. Goat babies are just like human babies, they come when they are ready. For the last week I have been watching Hilda for early labor signs. She didn’t show anything for this past week.
We had so much rain yesterday , the ground was still sopping wet this morning. Everyone got fed in their boxes this morning as we hoped and waited for the sun to come out to dry up the enclosures.
As soon as all the goats were out, Leif started on Hilda’s box. It normally takes about 45 minutes to do one box, but not today. The goats were out no more than 10 minutes and as I stood in the enclosure watching everyone, I noticed Hilda. She was not a happy goat. She definitely wanted to be back in her box. Poor husband had to shift into overdrive to get that box done in time.
I wanted to both help with the box and stay and keep an eye on Hilda. I stayed with her as long as I could stand it before I left to help with the preparations of her box.
I got the new bales of straw as Leif brought out the old straw.
As soon as the last of the new straw had gone down, I went out to collect Hilda. I knew that she wouldn’t go without her daughter Peanut. That wouldn’t be a problem, but I worried that Pansy and Poppy would try to follow. They have started an attachment to Hilda as a new mommy. Thank goodness they were busy eating when I went to get Hilda. and Peanut. Hilda was so happy to get back in her box.
Hilda is in early labor. We may have new babies this evening or in the morning. Hilda is happy and she has her daughter with her in her new box. She can make her nest and comfortably deliver beautiful, healthy babies.
We will keep you posted on developments. Please check back later for updates.