Ruffled Feathers and Spilled Milk

Farming with ducks and dairy goats, chickens and children.

Devil Spawn.

Posted on | April 29, 2013 | 8 Comments

We’ve all been very worried about Tina.

She is due to kid the first week of May.  And as that date approaches, she spends more time down on her knees.

I assume it’s the extra weight of her kids and her udder.  Also, the production of relaxin loosening her intrauterine ligaments, stimulating mammary development, and causing her wobbly front legs to be even more wobbly.

We’re also worried because it’s her first pregnancy.  We don’t know how she’ll handle kidding.  And we’re wondering if her kids may have leg deformities or defects, too, that make it difficult to deliver on her own.

So we check her constantly.  We check her for discharge before we run errands.  We put her in the kidding barn if we’re going to be gone for long periods during the day.  She always gets put in the kidding barn at night.  And I usually check her again before I go to bed.

Last week we gave her a  CD&T shot, Vitamin B shot, and selenium gel as we do for all goats due to kid within a few weeks.  Unfortunately, that resulted in a short run of diarrhea.  Causing us to clean her up with warm water and dry her gently, give her some homeopathic phosphorus, and ensure she was eating and drinking.  Every 3 or 4 hours.  For 3 days.

It was a bit time consuming.  Good thing Angel and her pregnancy was going along fine.  As far as we knew.

Angel.

Last doe out of the retiring uber-udder herd queen.

Angel.  The kid who squeezed through holes into the feed room so she could have choice of feed.

Climbed over cattle panels to romp in the clean hay.

Broke into the milk room every morning and harassed every milker on the milk stand, fighting to eat grain out of the milker trough.

Angel.  The devil in all but name.

Angel.  Whose gate climbing and squeezing through holes eventually meant that she ended up pregnant by an unknown buck (luckily her sire does not live here) and with an unknown kidding date.  And although the size of her udder let us know she was due soon….maybe….probably….we were too busy worrying about Tina to worry about Angel.

At one point while I was gently swabbing Tina’s udder and drying it with a clean towel, I realized we had failed to give Angel her shots and selenium gel.  I meant to do it next time I was out in the barn, but then I forgot.  Because Tina seemed so uncomfortable that I decided I should make her a dosage of arnica.

For a couple nights I tried to put Angel in the kidding barn with Tina, just in case Angel kidded overnight.  But Tina really didn’t care for that and I thought it was stressful for her to have to butt Angel around the barn so much.  After all, she was having to move around on her knees.

Then this weekend and the annual farm tour arrived.  Which started out with beautiful weather on Saturday.  And although Sunday’s forecast was calling for spotty showers, it was clear and bright when we left for the afternoon to wander through herb gardens, check out the neighbor’s new herd of Kiko goats, and go bass fishing.  So we checked Tina for discharge (none), forgot we even owned a goat named Angel, and left everyone loose.  And returned several hours later after downpours of chilly, drenching rain.

We rushed out to the barn to feed and water the animals and put Tina up for the night.  Which is when we found Angel, standing in the feed room, nursing her kid.  And the first thing I thought was,

“Oh no!  Where is Tina?  Did she kid, too?”

Really? REALLY???

I carried Angel and Pretty grabbed the kid and we quickly deposited them in the kidding barn.  Then we located Tina, dry and content, chewing cud next to the hay roll.  She didn’t have any discharge or appear to be in distress but we  knew she’d have to go in the kidding barn to be on the safe side.  Moving her was more of a production.  I can’t lift her and I didn’t want her kneeling in the mud so Pretty and I had to heave and carry her together and then we wiped off any raindrops that fell on her during the transport.

Are you freaking kidding me?

We set up the spare stall for Tina.  With an extra heat lamp, hanging trough, fresh water, and clean straw.  We figured Angel was fine with the heat lamp, feed, water, and straw that had been used for the past few days for the kids we had been separating from their dams at night.

Please. Don't go to any extra trouble on my account.

With Tina safely put up, we checked the rest of the critters.  We brought the Cornish Cross in from the pasture and gave them fresh bedding and turned their heat lamp back on, too.  Just so they could dry out a bit.

By all means, make sure the chickens that you are GOING TO EAT are properly cared for.

Since last month’s kids were on weaning, I let them have some extra time to forage in the feed room.

Oh, the poor dears.

While I waited for them, I freshened the water trough because Carmen only likes the freshest water after her grain portion.

I believe my water has 2 dead spiders and a piece of straw in it.

Then I went back to check on Tina.  Make sure she was settled OK.

Yep. Still the gimpy, one-horned freak that she was 5 minutes ago.

I thought it was ironic and amusing that Tina figured out how to stick her head through the hole in the fence to reach into Angel’s trough for extra grain.  After all those times Angel squeezed into someone else’s feed, now Tina was returning the favor.

Hardy. Har. Har.

Satisifed that Tina was OK  for the night (oh, and Angel, too), we got ready to go inside. 

“Wait,”  said Pretty.  “Do you want me to check and see what gender the baby is?”

Oh, yeah.

It’s a buckling.

He’s pretty cute.  For an unplanned buckling.  With an unknown daddy.  Born to a devilsh momma.

As soon as The Other Half got home we told him about Angel giving birth.

“Oh, yeah,” he said.  “What about Tina?  is Tina OK?”

I would like to file a grievance.

I’ll keep you updated on Tina.

Comments

8 Responses to “Devil Spawn.”

  1. Practical Parsimony
    April 29th, 2013 @ 7:22 pm

    Good writing. I am waiting on Tina.

  2. Lin
    April 29th, 2013 @ 7:35 pm

    OH NO! I didn’t know I had to worry about Tina….I had NO idea she is “with kid.” YIKES! Now I’m gonna worry about her too.

    Poor Angel. All that work and no glory. 🙁 That is a lovely kid though–and with little to no fuss! WOW! Go Angel!

  3. P Flooers
    April 30th, 2013 @ 3:17 am

    lol!

  4. P Flooers
    April 30th, 2013 @ 3:19 am

    Also, poor Tina! I hope she delivers early. All kidding aside, (wait, can we say that?) y’all are doing such a good job with her.

  5. Tina
    April 30th, 2013 @ 4:15 am

    Love her name!

  6. Terry Golson
    April 30th, 2013 @ 4:51 am

    Every farm has one of those. I’m about to write a post called “Don’t feel sorry for Siouxsie.” You can read it to Angel. She’ll be the only one sympathetic to that hen. Better yet, I’ll ship you Siouxsie. Then the two can complain together about the lack of attention.

  7. Cheryl
    April 30th, 2013 @ 9:11 am

    Hilarious! You had me laughing out loud at every picture. Wonderful. Hope Tina kids soon with no problems.

  8. Karis
    April 30th, 2013 @ 1:09 pm

    CUTE BUCKLING!!!!

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