Farming, even hobby farming, is filled with hiccups and heartbreak. This month has been full of it for me and our little farm.
It started with Jazzy. We couldn’t figure out why a two week old goat would suddenly bloat and stop eating. I tried all the things I could think of to help her. But in the end, whatever it was that caused her bloat won out and she passed away on my lap late one Saturday night.
That was hard, especially on Denton, who only really wants a doe to raise like his brother has in Scarlett. We lost his doe Ginger last year in the same way just days before the fair. I was becoming frustrated because something is happening to them and I can’t figure out what.
Then, on Friday, April 14th, exactly one week later, Buster bloated. I immediately called the vet, who didn’t think 2-3 week old goats should bloat. He came over right away. We treated him a couple different ways. He got Nuflur, banamine, and about 40 cc of Mineral Oil tubed into his stomach. It was basically a watch and wait. The next morning, he was no longer bloated, but now he was very gaunt with diarrhea. Ok, alive is good. Now to figure out what the heck? I got some Corid to treat for Coccidiosis. I continued the banamine for his slight fever and comfort, antibiotic in case it is a different type of infection and probiotic to get/keep his rumen working, along with Corid.
The first few days he was pretty lethargic and wouldn’t eat anything. We were getting fairly worried as his eyes were sunk in, he was so gaunt, and just barely doing anything. But I kept treating him and we kept trying to get him to eat. He finally about Wednesday ate about 4 ounces, which pleased us. I cleaned out the entire pen and treated it with Clorox bleach after letting it dry completely. New bedding, cleaned out feed pans and water pan with vinegar and got electrolytes for them. Finally Thursday, I noticed him drinking almost every time I walked by the pen they were in. Which was actually quite often since I was cleaning out the other pens in the barn and had to walk by them with the wheel barrow each load. I really was hopeful he was taking a turn for the better. Each day since then he has eaten a little more. His eyes are not sunk in anymore and he is no longer gaunt. I think we have made it with him.
In the mean time, Blaze went down hill very suddenly Sunday. Not the same kind of downhill, Just unable to get up and extremely weak and thin. I couldn’t believe it. I tried to treat him for both coccidiosis and possibly polio, but to no avail. My handsome bottle baby faded quickly and died peacefully Monday. I am thankful we have a number of his daughters that were born this year.
Meanwhile, the pony appears to be in heat. I shut her up in separate pen from the boys. Since Chevy has not been gelded yet, I thought it was best. Apparently across the fence wasn’t far enough.
This is what I found when I went to the barn Monday afternoon to feed babies. I couldn’t believe it. Why?! So back to the vet clinic, I think they might be my best friends now as I talk to them more than pretty much anyone else. Thankfully, although they don’t’ treat horses, one f the vet techs has horses and knows exactly what to do. So I am treating her while keeping the boys across the street in the other pasture until Chevy goes for his surgery.
I think everything will be fine eventually. But I sure could use a break.