Since my last post, things on the farm got CRAZY.
We had two does give birth on the same day...at the same time...like...at the exact same time...during a storm...on my birthday. Both had healthy triplets, and 12 hours later, another doe gave birth to triplets...during a surprise birthday lunch for me. While everyone was enjoying my birthday dinner I was helping deliver a breech kid. (I had never had to "go in" before, nor have I ever had to reposition a kid before) That experience is a great reason why I do all I can, no matter how much sleep lost, to be present during labor. You just never know when someone may need help.
So, we went from no kids, to 9 in 12 hours. 6 of them were taken to be sold as bottle kids. About 2 days after giving birth, Lola seemed off during evening chores. At first I thought she had maybe mastitis or edema on one half of her udder (edema is fairly common right after birth), as I watched her I realized her breathing was shallow and quick. A temperature check indicated fever, and she was given a dose of antibiotics. Unfortunately, by the next morning she was gone, leaving behind a precious doeling. Thankfully, the doeling took to a bottle (taking a dam raised kid and getting it to take a bottle can be impossible), and she became our 7th bottle baby. It took everything in my power to not keep her!
About 4 days later I got to the goat barn to do chores...and found Juniper with triplets, born, nearly dry, and thriving, and the next day Marni kidded with twins. Both Juniper and Marni kidded perfectly, without me, and without any issues.
Two days later, Berta went into labor. Her labor was VERY slow, much slower than her previous labors, and much slower than seemed normal. I hung around all day as it made me think of Lucy's labor in which she had a breech kid. Finally a kid started to present, but only one front foot. The foot wasn't back too far, but immediately I realized this was a big kid. I called my husband to have him come down as a precaution, because it was a very intense labor. If the kid had been any larger, or if Berta wasn't such a big gal, it would have been a very bad situation. The kid was bigger, and stockier than the kids born a week before. It was very rough on Berta (I don't blame her!), and she then kidded two more kids with little trouble.
We took the large kid, and his brother to be bottle kids, and were astounded at their size difference. Unfortunately the next morning, I realized the largest kid was born with atresia ani, or in layman terms, the kid did not have an anus. Sometimes this means there is just a layer of skin, sometimes it means the intestines are malformed. We got him into the vet, got xrays, and found that he did not have intestines headed towards his anus, they were just coiled up. We had him euthanized as there is nothing that can be done to correct it when the intestines aren't where they should be.
In 8 days, we had 14 kids born. Each doe had triplets, except for Marni who had twins (it was her first kidding). Altogether it was a really great kidding season, albeit the most hectic, crazy, busy few weeks of my life! The kids that were taken to be sold as bottle babies needed bottles 4 times a day, and as I don't live on the farm that equated a lot of driving (thankfully we are only 4 miles away). Kidding season means we start all new routines, and does get locked up separately, and its just a crazy time. Thinking back it is a blur in my mind and I barely remember it. The last two kids went to their forever home about 3 weeks ago, and I am almost back into a new rhythm.
We have one doe left to kid in about a month, and I am VERY excited for it. They will be our first purebred, registered goats born here, and I pray it is twin doelings (hopefully with spots but I'm happy for just girls!)
We sold 4 wethers, and made a little room in the herd. I may sell a doe or two, but those are harder decisions to make. Other than that, all the goats are doing great, and the kids with their moms are happy, healthy, and....wild...but we will work on that.
At the end of March we got our feeder pigs for the year. We got a few different breeds, and a few crossbreeds, and I am very interested to see how they grow. Right now, we have 4 larger ones, and 5 that are a bit younger and slower growing. We will be taking reservations on them in May if you are interested in filling your freezer with pastured pork in the fall!
I have been waiting for about a month for spring to show up. We have had 3 snows now in April. THREE. That's more than we had in December. I usually have the garden planted, or all but tomatoes planted by now. We finally got a garden bed tilled last Thursday, but then I decided not to plant as large rains were headed our way. The forecast looks better for the next 10 days, so I hope, and pray, we can get the gardens tilled and planted asap. I have bought WAY too many seeds, and I am going to hate myself in 2 months when I have to live in the garden. I'm trying a lot of new things, so stay tuned!
I apologize for this being lengthy. Starting in May I will do a monthly, or maybe biweekly update on what's going on. However, I knew if I didn't write all this out now, I would probably forget it all.