A family farm

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Well, Nanny isn't giving birth to anything lively. She is having what the vet calls a "mummy". In other words, the other kids she aborted a couple of months ago left one behind to rot in her uterus and it is being "birthed" right now. This is going to take awhile because I have to reach in with a gloved and lubricated hand and help it out. It is so disgustingly gross I can hardly stand it. But I do it because if I don't, she'll die. This all started Monday night when I realized she wasn't kidding for real, but what was coming out was shards of bone and bits of flesh. I called the vet's office and reached their emergency line and was called back by Dr. Anderson who told me what was going on. I believe it was the maggots in her rear that really had me going at first, but later, well, it was the dead baby goat bits that just keep coming ... well, sort of. The vet told me to get rid of the maggots to use dish soap, which I have been using on her bottom liberally. It has kept the flies away and thus, the maggots. He also told me I'd have to pull out the pieces, and to go to the office the next day to pick up some penicillin. I spent 3 hours pulling out pieces and parts. I took out rib bones, vertebrae, a hoof and part of a leg and an ear. The flesh remaining smells rather bad (you can't help but smell it), and really all looks like ground or pulled chicken. I have to look at chicken that I eat and tell myself that it is just chicken to not be sick. Anyway, it got to be around 10:15 pm, and I had spent nearly an hour and a half to pull out 3 vertebrae, so I called it a night and decided I'd go to the vet the next morning with Nanny. I was so scared she'd be dead by morning. She wasn't, however, so I loaded her up in my car and brought her in. The vet did pretty much what I had done, but only pulled out a leg and a hoof. He cut off the leg and hoof and gave her a couple of shots and gave me syringes and a bottle of penicillin and told me I'd have to keep going in and getting more stuff out over the next couple of days. It is gross, but it has to be done. Yesterday, I pulled out a what I think was a thigh bone and some flesh, but this morning all I was able to get was a couple lumps of flesh.

I left her pen open this morning as I took care of the other goats, my brother's dog and one of the barn cats and the chickens. She actually wandered out of the barn and ate some grass! I was so happy to see that! Hopefully she'll make it through all of this with no problems... We'll be praying! You pray, too!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ok, Here We Go Again

I think Nanny is in labor. If she is this would truly be a miracle baby! We bought her real cheap ($20) from a farm up in Grant about 2 months ago. She is older, about 4 or 5 years. The previous owners kept her as a free-range goat and had gotten pregnant by a boer billy goat that she went to visit. They said she aborted 3 babies. She was fat and has been struggling with mastitis in one of her teats since we got her. I hunted down a couple of remedies, but ended up calling the vet and getting their recommendation. Chris and I finally got the medication from TSC (it's the same stuff you use for cows, turns out), and inserted the piece into her teat. I can tell you it didn't go in far. The amount of milk I was able to squirt out was incredible! I thought her teat would have gone down in size more than it had, but it only reduced itself by about 1/2. The past couple of days she's been real sluggish. I had sort of attributed it to the penicillin in the Go-Dry, but Saturday, I noticed her backside had opened up a bit. And then she stopped when I had her on the leash leading her back to her pen and started to strain. I didn't check much on her yesterday, as we were busy with church and the Hume home service, but she did seem a little more animated. This morning, however, I saw her straining harder and it seemed as if she was constipated with a white discharge coming out her rear. I went inside to grab a plastic glove and reached down and felt something hard, like a small hoof. I had to get to work ... I was late! Chris looked in on her before and after his interview. The first time, she didn't respond much to him, but the second time she got up and walked toward him and he saw her left side just move around. We now have Kellie looking in on her every hour or so. Last time she checked on her, she was fine. She just grunted. So if she is preggers and about to give birth, and if the baby survives, then, well, I do believe it will be a miracle!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My weed-eaters

This morning - finally got a picture of the twins and their momma

My garden last night ...

I cannot believe how much this has grown in just a few days. Last night I pulled out all of the lacy (due to junebugs) spinach and the weeds that went along with it and planted 8 more cabbages and 3 more tomatoes (we picked up 12 cabbages and 8 more tomato plants free the other day). It looks rather neat right now. I have a few onions ready, and a few turnips, but I'm not picking them yet. I'll get the turnips in a couple of days. That will make room for others to grow bigger as well. We're looking forward to eating the turnip greens as well as the root vegetable.

This is my newer herb garden. It needs mulch to keep the weeds down.

And this is the older, established one. The shasta daisies and coneflower in there have grown waist high!

My garden as of last week

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Yesterday ...

Yesterday was very hot!!! But that's not all ... I slept in until 10:30am! I must have been tired. All weekend I worked at the Cans from Fans food truck at Muskegon Summer Celebration, but that's another story. So, after finally getting up and doing the chores of watering the chickens and opening their window and feeding and watering the goats, I decided that I really should have a shower, tho the rest of the day's activities would leave me sweaty, damp and dirty! I made a great breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast for Kellie and I. Chris had to work. Then, finally, at around noon, we set ourselves in front of the new herb garden and pulled weeds. I did start tarragon from seed, and found some growing there under all the grass and such that has grown up around my nice herbs. The lavender I seed started is greener than the lavender I bought. That is silvery green. The mints are doing well ... the chocolate mint is starting to send out runners. I didn't know it would do that. I had let the chickens in my garden. They did fine for the first hour or so, but then it seems they all got excited to chow down on the june beatles that are eating up my spinach, and the chickens trampled my onions. I hope the onions stand back up! They aren't quite ready yet. Other than that, they did well! After we planted the sweet potatoes out back and covered the yukons, we decided it was just way hot and went inside to have a bagel and watch Pride and Prejudice. Now that she understands it, Kellie actually likes it. After that I cleaned my garbage heap of a car looking for my debit card. I left it at Number 1 Chinese after all and had to go get it. Kellie cleaned up the interior of the house. When I returned, we watched a Little House episode as it was still VERY hot! Finally, at around 7:30pm we ventured back outdoors to rototill a new strawberry patch. I was able to till 2 shortish rows. I had hoped to till around 5, but the doggone thing is clogged with dirt again and won't start. I have to tear it apart. Kellie's job today is to finish pulling all the green out of what I tilled and to plant the 24 plants I recently bought. Last night, we found spaces for the free tomato plants I picked up (putting our total tomato plant count up around 20). She also planted 4 green cabbages. I don't know where I'm going to put the other 8 plants if I can't transplant my strawberries!