So much has been going on I haven’t had time to sit down and do much on my computer. Between getting ready with Brother at his farm for the cold and finishing up projects, and getting ready here for the cold, school concerts, 4-H meetings, I have been leaving the house early and getting home late. I have so many pictures I need to share and write about, one of these evenings I will get caught up. In the meantime, you will have to do with a quick update.
For starters, there are Diamond and Gemstone, who are now 10 days old and really doing well!
Mommy Janet must have some pretty healthy milk! They are growing and bouncing all around.
They are starting to look into maybe having a little feed for a snack and nibbling hay with mom.
They barely stand still long enough to get a good picture of them. They are all bedded down in the kidding pen with their mom and Diana.
Then there was our surprise rescue of Wednesday the Kitten.
She is getting tons of snuggles and really warming up to us and loving being out of the laundry room. She is doing really well using the litterbox.
I believe tormenting the guinea pigs is her favorite activity. They moved into the house last week when it finally got cold. I think they are fairly happy to be in the warm house, except for maybe having to deal with Wednesday.
She is absolutely queen of the house already, making herself right at home.
Then last Wednesday, the 7th, Diana presented us with a gorgeous big doe. I found her early in the morning, got her all dried off and left her in the newly bedded pen under the heat lap and went to work. Brother let me come home at noon to check her. Thank goodness I did! All the straw was pulled away from her and she was out away from the heat lamp, laying on the concrete! She was freezing cold and very lethargic. I grabbed her and put her on the floor board of the truck with the heat on high while I rushed back in to the barn and milked out Diana quickly. We then raced to the vet.
I will be honest, I wasn’t very hopeful. I thought I had waited to long. But when I got her to the Vets, they grabbed her while they rewarmed the milk and gave her a chance to try sucking and then tubed her. For those of you that haven’t spent a lot of time around baby animals, tubing is simple slipping a (for goats) very small tube down their throat straight to the tummy and basically pouring fluid directly into the stomach. I have tubed a calf, but not a goat. They are so much smaller and I worry about getting it into the wind pipe. I am going to get brave and try to learn one day. Anyway, Vet put about 3 ounces of Diana’s milk (which is almost straight colostrum) which she desperately needed straight into he tummy. If anything is going to perk her up, that and warmth will do it.
I then headed back to work and took the baby with me. She went into Mom’s house (Mom never has had pets in her house, but baby livestock get a special pass) in front of the heater on a heating pad. There she rested the afternoon away. By the time I came back to check her…
BIG time improvement! She wasn’t standing alone, and she had a little help from her box. But this was much better and gave me hope! That night she spent the night in my house and ate pretty good. The next day she went back to work with me after a quick visit to her mommy.
Of course Niece#5 spoiled her and played with her getting her to walk around the shop. Since we are now hopeful she will make it, the kids decided that her name would be Pearl since she was born on the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Oh how wonderful baby goats are for little kids!
That night when we got home, she went back to visit her Mommy. Diana still wanted to try to be a mom, so I let her lick and nuzzle Pearl while I did chores. She then came back inside for the night and night feedings.
It was obviously a very tiring day. After a long nap, she was up and very active.
While not the best picture, Wednesday and Pearl were playing for about an hour. Her strength is definitely improving. The next day she spent almost 6 hours in the barn with her Mommy. Although Diana at this point will not let her nurse, she is very concerned with where she is and laying by her. I am now hopeful I can pull something off I have never accomplished before. Because Diana is a first time mom, I would really like her to raise Pearl. While having a little pet bottle baby is always fun, I would always prefer moms raise the kids. If I can’t get her to nurse at least if Diana accepts her and cares for her she won’t be beat up and left out. The next day, Pearl spent from 7 am to night in the barn and really seemed to be adjusting to the cold and the barn.
I made the decision to let her sleep in the barn. She is still eating bottles from her mommy’s milk.
And she is still completely spoiled and sleeping in her box. Then yesterday I was talking to Brother about how he gets cows who won’t allow nursing and has to sometimes tie their leg back until they get used to the sensation of nursing. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that, I had to tie Diana’s leg to milk her the first few times. So I started thinking. Since I have been milking her twice a day for almost a week she is standing better now and I don’t have to tie her anymore is the stantion. Perhaps if I put Diana in the stantion like I am going to milk her and bring baby Pearl to the stantion? Well, good news!! Diana let her nurse for about 10 minutes! I am going to continue to try to get them bonded and nursing even if I have to help 5 times a day. I have never even come close to getting a baby back on mom after taking it away and bottling for 4 days, but I am sure feeling good about this pair! Wish me luck!
So that is what is going on with our baby animals. I will let you know soon how everyone else is doing with the cold snap.