Friday, February 12, 2016

The frozen tundra

It is hard to believe that we got Bowie just last Sunday and it was sunny and 40° or so. All of the photos of him on here were taken that day.

We've had several snow showers since then, including some serious lake-effect snow squalls yesterday, and the temperatures have dropped. It's only going to get worse this weekend. This is for all of us who were complaining about the warm muddy winter we have had thus far.

Bowie boy is in the garage with a heat lamp. Since he was kept in a heated barn with other kids before we got him, he doesn't have the fuzzy warm coat that our kids have. I am certain he misses their company, but according to the forecast, we should be able to bring him back on Monday. As I see it, lonely is better than frostbite.

Even the dogs were not thrilled about walking out there. Woody lasted only a few minutes this morning and wanted back in. The Hub and Cyrus made it a bit farther, but even Cyrus's part-husky coat wasn't enough to allow him a good walk. Those are Cyrus and The Hub's footprints in the snow by the apple trees. Looks like they got that far and did an about-face to come home.

That panoramic view is from the bedroom windows upstairs at about 7:30 am. That was about as close to the outside as I wanted to be.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Letter to Lucille

Dearest Lucille:

What is it exactly that you do not like about this little boy? We think he is very adorable, and very close in age to what your baby would have been if it had lived. Except for those big white floppy ears, and maybe his big Nubian head, and maybe the fact that he did not smell familiar to you, except for all that, he is black, just like you. We drove an hour and a half on Sunday to pick him up just for you. You seemed so sad, so lost without your baby.

You have all that milk that would be perfect for little Bowie, and yet you prefer that we take it from you to drink, or make cheese. Why? He is not an alien, not an enemy. He is a perfectly well behaved little man who needs a mom.

So now we have to take your milk, store it in the fridge, heat it up and put it in a bottle and feed him 3 times a day. Is that fair to those of us who have cared for you these past 3 years? Is that fair to Bowie who left his nice warm barn with 8 or 9 other little kids in there to play and snuggle with? And what message are you sending to your 3 little grandkids who were perfectly happy to play with him when we brought him home on Sunday? Now they snub him just like you.

I had hopes that your great motherly instincts would kick in sometime soon, Lucille. I am rapidly losing faith in you. If I begged, would that change your mind?

With love and disappointment,
We who care

Sunday, February 7, 2016

David Bowie in the house!

Lucille is still not happy. Still standing at the fence and whining. But we brought you a new baby, Lucille! The bouncy David Bowie is here to answer all your prayers!

We might have to bottle-feed him until she figures out that we brought him home for her to feed...

These are just a few photos to hold you over until I can make a real post, Tara!

Last photo is Blossom in the hay manger. Her sister and cousin are underneath.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Sad Lucille

We thought that Lucille was pregnant with at least 2 kids. Goats can easily have 4, sometimes even 5. She is the oldest of the goats we have, and mother to the 2 other recent moms.

Yesterday Lucille gave birth to one dead kid. This happened very early in the morning before The Husband went out to feed them. We are not sure if it was born dead or died because of some issue during the birth. Because we were pretty sure she had more than 1 kid in there, we spent the rest of the morning waiting to see what would happen.

I called our friend the Goat Lady, who gave us Lucille a few years ago now, but she didn't call me back until later in the day. I also called the vet, and they had me come down to pick up a shot of oxytosin, which would induce labor if there was another kid in there.

Nothing happened other than Lucille took me in the barn and showed me the spot where her dead kid had been. She nosed around in the hay and looked back at me as if to say "he was right here, what happened?" Broke my heart.

Both Hub and I had to work yesterday, and it was difficult to leave her. The Hub milked her a bit when he got home. When I got home around 10 pm, she was outside, bleating, complaining, crying—not sure what she was saying other than she was sad. Not much we can do. She didn't settle down until around midnight. The Hub milked her a bit more this morning and said that Beatrice's kid was milking off Lucille. I am sure that gave her some comfort, but not sure that Beatrice will be happy with that.

Beatrice is the brown mama in these 2 photos from yesterday. While all of this was going on with her mama, Lucille, she found some time to sit in the sun with her boy kid. They look so peaceful together, and amazingly identical.

And the last pic is of the 2 boys in the house who also found a moment of peace together. Normally they are wrestling, or barking, or Cyrus is worrying about the ducks or the deer and telling me all about it—but for this short bit, they took a rest together on the dog bed. Unusual that they are that close together, even more unusual that they actually use the dog bed instead of the couch, chair, futon, or nice warm radiant heat on the floors.

Peaceful moments of any kind are welcome here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

2 more babies—probably 2 more coming!

The Husband said he wanted a whole herd of goats, so I guess this will be his birthday present this year. We had 2 more kids born yesterday afternoon while we were both in work. Our ladies seem very capable of giving birth without any assistance from the humans.

And the really good news is that I think they are both doelings! A white one carrying her Saanen heritage from mama Rosie, and a brown one with 2 white feet who is looking a lot more like her daddy, Charlie.

The 2 kids and Beatrice in the last photo are all looking like their daddy, the Oberhasli/Alpine cross. Little boy on the left, new girl in the front, Beatrice behind, still looking a bit stunned that she produced that little buckling. 

That's a close-up of his cute little face in the photo below that I took while we were on our way to June's house to get him disbudded (horns removed). Now we will have to make another appointment to bring the girls. Not a pleasant thing for a week-old kid to go through (or for us to watch) but it truly takes about 1 minute, and it's better for them as a group that no one has horns to butt the others with.

I am very happy that this buckling-boy survived. He was born on one of the coldest, windiest days. He didn't seem to be able to (or want to) stand up the first day. If he doesn't stand, he can't eat. And mama Beatrice didn't seem to know what to do with him. But now it seems they both have it sorted out, and the other girls are interested enough in their own issues that they have stopped picking on Beatrice. Or maybe it's just that they are accepting her as a good mama now that she has stepped up her game. The little guy is getting to that cute bouncy stage that is so much fun to watch!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Little guy standing tall

We weren't sure this little guy was going to make it through the night. He wouldn't even stand up yesterday, probably because he just wanted to stay warm all snuggled up in the hay. It was really cold and windy both yesterday and today.

I left for work yesterday with him wrapped up in my down vest. The Husband came home early to keep an eye on him. Momma Beatrice did not seem to know what to do, other than to follow Lucille's lead and clean him up a bit. We are pretty sure he spent the night in the corner behind the hay bale, by himself, with only the vest to keep him warm.

Neither of us had seen any nursing going on, including up to the time The Hub left for work this morning. But just now I was out there checking on him, and there he was, the little tough guy, standing tall. I took some time to hug him and warm him up a bit. Lucille and Rosie took most of that time to beat up on Beatrice. I am not sure if they were telling her to go get her baby from me, or just being mean girls.

I was finally able to corner Beatrice and put the baby down beside her. I had to hold Lucille back, again not sure if she was helping or being difficult. Finally the little guy found his way to the milk. He had a good drink, and Beatrice seemed thankful that he found his way. Lucille and Rosie gave up their head-butting and went back to eating hay.

All is right with the world, in the goat barn at least, for now.

Monday, January 11, 2016

A pleasant surprise

We are always surprised by a new birth. As much as we think we know what is going on…well…we don't. We are pretty sure that Rosie (white girl) is going to kid in January. We are thinking it is going to be near the end of the month (on The Husband's birthday according to his calculations). Lucille (black girl) should be a few weeks later. Beatrice (brown girl) daughter of Lucille and Charlie, is 1 year old, and we never saw her go into heat. As she is Charlie's kid, we were hoping that she was not bred by him. She was.

Beatrice gave us a new kid this morning, about 10:15. I think it's a boy.

As usual, Grandma Lucille takes over the cleaning up part, although Beatrice was able to get in there and help out after a while.

So why did she wait till today? A Monday when we both have to work. A Monday that is very cold (high of 20°) and windy, after a warm and rainy weekend.

I guess Mother Nature knows best. Kid is snuggled in a bunch of hay. Mama and Grandma working together to keep him comfortable.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Update on Good Craig/Bad Craig

I posted awhile ago on having problems with people promising things on Craig's List and then falling through. Specifically, someone who wanted to buy 2 of our goats by trading for firewood and hay.

I had posted some pics of Charlie, our breeding male goat, for sale on Craig's List. He has been a good buck, but we cannot keep using him because of inbreeding issues. I did not hear anything for quite some time, and then heard from a guy in NJ. I gave him a hard time about why he would want a goat in upstate NY if he lives in southern NJ. Given past bad experiences with promises, I did not believe him.

Turns out he was a really good guy, with 2 young female alpines that he bought in Maine. He must have some family up here, near Binghamton. Exactly as promised, he showed up last night to take Charlie home.

Funny part (from my point of view) even though warned that Charlie was a big boy, he showed up in a normal sized sedan (like a Taurus) with a large dog crate in the back seat. Probably best that he and Charlie did the 5- or 6- hour trip at night. He says that Charlie was a good traveler all the way home. (Maybe he was sleepy?)

Here is Charlie with his 2 new women, home safe today.

He escaped just in time for the temperatures to drop dramatically. We got about 2" of snow shortly after they left last night at about 6:30 pm. The high was only 14° today.

Wishing you well, Charles, in your new much warmer home. Thank you for behaving yourself in the Taurus.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year from the boys!

You might be able to see in the background that we got that little bit of snow for New Year's day instead of Christmas...just a little. Still coming down.

We are headed to Sue and Jim's for lunch—2 friends from South Jersey who also recently moved here.

The boys are staying home and, with any luck, resting peacefully together while we are gone.


Friday, December 25, 2015

And a Merry Christmas from Woody and Cyrus!

I was worried about Cyrus leaving his "mark" on the Christmas tree and the presents underneath. So worried that I pulled up the good rug and hid it in the basement. Turns out Cyrus had no interest in the Christmas tree, but he celebrated his good tree etiquette by sneaking past the baby gate to go upstairs and leave his "mark" (both kinds) in at least 4 different spots, 1 of them my laundry basket full of clothes, another the good rug in the library. Oh well.

Woody on the other hand, found it to be quite a lot of fun to help us unwrap our gifts. Cyrus just sat and watched. Both were exhausted after all the excitement.

Hope you all are having a lovely Christmas with your well behaved family members, human and/or animal. We are happy that the weather has turned at least a tiny bit chillier than the 70° yesterday, but it sure would have been nice to have just a dusting of snow for Christmas!