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!