What has been up

Haven’t posted in a while since I’ve been off work on maternity leave, but I am back, and have some down time as usual, so here is what has been going on.

1. I had a baby. Cora Mae was born at 2:15pm, on 9/29/2012 weighing  6lbs 9 oz. She now weighs about 9, the little porker. She started smiling at 3 weeks, and started laughing at 5. She is happy pretty much all the time, unless she REALLY wants something, or it is between 9:30pm and 10:00pm and she is so tired she doesn’t know what she wants.

The first pic is sleepy Cora in the hospital. The second pic is Cora wide awake and talking away.

She is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I couldn’t imagine life without her.

2. Fern went down. In october I noticed she was a little wobbly on her feet, which I stupidly attributed to her being later on in pregnancy. But she got worse and worse. She would avoid getting too close to the other goats in case they would bump her and knock her over. Well, about a week ago, I just stepped outside, looked over and witnessed her go down. She was down for about 45 minutes, so I went over and helped her up. SHe fell again. This time I waited till my husband got home, and we helped her up. She went into the goat shed, and fell one last time. She has been down since. So we moved her into a shed all her own. it has a window we can open for some ventilation, and its where we store all of our grain/straw too.

I went on the forum: http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/goats/, and they said calcium deficiency. So we got some CMPK (Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Potassium) and mixed that with some molasses water, and gaver her 3 Tums about 4 times a day. The more we read, and the more we did reseach, the more it didn’t seem like that was the entire problem. But the  more we read, the more things it could have been. So we tried more stuff. Thiamine deficiency. So we bought Vitamin B Complex and are giving that to her two times daily. Then she started getting some snot, so we started a precautionary regimen of Penicillin. Then, one of the geniuses on the forum suggested Toxemia/Ketosis, and voila! I think we have our answer. I called a vet and she suggested honey four times a day. This makes perfect sense. Fern, a normally fairly lean goat, is at the low end of the pecking order, so she wasn’t getting as much food as the other does, and therefore wasn’t getting enough food. Plus, it is more common in pregnancies with large and/or multiple fetuses. The body uses up all of its fat as nutrients for the kids, and eventually runs out, and starts eating away at muscle mass, causing ketones to be released into the blood. Hence Ketosis. Thats why we need to give her honey. To get her that sugar, carbs, and energy she needs to metabolize correctly to make it through this pregnancy. Good news is, she is trying to get better. She keeps trying to stand, but her backend doesn’t want to work. So every day, Brendon and I give her some of our time, and we do our best to get her to stand on her own or atleast bear weight for a few minutes. I am keeping everyone updated on the forum, and hoping against hope that Fern makes it.

3. Saturday we picked up our newest addition: Rocky, the Jersey steer. Yes we don’t really have the money for a cow right now, but Brendon’s mother is essentially paying for all associated costs. Rocky is on the right. Hank (on the left) belongs to my mother. Rocky thinks he is a goat. This morning, I went outside for a cigarette at 3am, and I heard Rocky mooing. Every time Rocky would moo, you would hear Fern’s low pitched answer shortly after. Sounded like she was telling him to shut up.

4. We butchered Jack (the alpine/saanen whether) a few weeks ago. He had discovered how to get out of the fence. So we fixed that spot. Then he did it again. So we fixed the next spot. We did this again and again, and the worst part was he would encourage Barley and Billy to get out. And then they all discovered they could fit in the chicken coop and eat out of the hanging feeders and break it all to shit. So Jack had to go. Well, a couple nights of goat quesadillas  and chili later, and that was that. That was the end of Billy getting out, but Barley didn’t care, no matter what we did, she would get out too. So …

5. we sold Barley last night. That atleast pays for some of the stuff we’ve been having to get for Fern.

6. We also sold Maddie and Minnie. I forgot that I had Maddie still posted on craigslist since I had decided to keep her, and somebody texted me looking for some does. Well, I really don’t need 4 does, and he was willing to pay 20 dollars for each and I could use. Plus Mama just had bunnies and between her and Misty they are due end of november and beginning of december again, so if I want new stock I can get it from myself.

5. Right before maternity leave, I got rid of Fiver, our old buck (rabbit). He didn’t seem to be doing the job. Somebody offered me a free Flemish Giant buck, and I jumped at the offer. His name is now Bigwig. It seemed to me he wasn’t interested in our does. I put him with Minnie for 3 weeks and never saw the slightest hump. I put him with Misty. She humped him and ripped out his fur. I put him  with Mama, and they cuddled. I was thinking, “great, I have a sissy buck.” Well, I waited a few days, and sure enough mama kindled, with Fiver’s kits. So I put Misty in his cage and she humped him again, but this time I just watched. She humped him, ran around in front of him, and lifted, and he did it! I was so proud of him for not earning stew pot rights. They did this back and forth thing for about 24 hours, and I separated them. What odd, kinky rabbits! I thought this was some sort of fluke and they were just being goofy. But I put Mama in with him on Sunday, and she did the same thing! This rabbit (Mama) has never been anything less than submissive to any other rabbit. But sure enough she humped him before she would even let him near.

Sorry I seem to jump around so much in my posts. I feel like because I don’t update often, that I have to fill you in on everything you missed.

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5 Responses to What has been up

  1. tripleefarms says:

    Willing to bet will love your Flemish buck. The ones I’ve had have been gentle giants and the kits grow out super nice.

  2. becky3086 says:

    Found your site through another blog. I think I’ll be spending a good bit of time here. The baby is beautiful. Congratulations!

  3. tripleefarms says:

    I usually butcher sometime after they are 12-16 weeks old. 20 or more weeks isn’t uncommon. I know that’s not efficient for feed but I do it for two reasons. First this time of year freezer space is at a premium. We just got a side of beef back and also have close to half a hog left and there just isn’t much room. Second I don’t have good luck with rabbit lasting very long in the freezer. Generally I figure after 3-4 months its probably freezer burnt. Vacuum sealing or another storage method may improve that but so far that’s not been an option for us.

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