This has not been a very good week for me. Last Sunday, I went out to do chores before church and saw something strange lying on the ground by the boys hay bails. I thought at first it was Joe Joe and one of they hay bails had collapsed on her. Well, that wasnt it. I jumped off four wheeler and saw three babies lying in the hay….dead. Someone had given birth too early. I ran to barn and found Joe Joe with the messy bottom. She still had two and a half weeks to go. Something triggered her to go into labor early. She had them outside by the hay bails in the cold wet drizzling rain. URGH! This is so unlike my girls to go early. Im always on top of things. I count down the days and know when to start looking and watching for signs. I also get things ready and the day I know they are going to deliver, I put them in the kidding pens to be safe warm and alone so no one will bother them. This was a complete off guard experience and I dont like it. I took care of babies and got to her. I got the pen ready and put her in it, got her warm water and something to eat by herself. She had gotten wet and cold herself so I got to drying her off and getting her warm. This is the part of farming that is heart breaking. I kept a check on her all day when we got back home from church. After church that night, i went back down and she had gotten bad bloated and down in her back legs. This is symptoms of Hypocalcemia (farmers call it Milk Fever) after kidding. She had also starting rattling in her chest. I was dealing with milk fever and pneumonia. This was not good. I administered antibiotics to ward off pneumonia and started working on the bloat. I drenched her with baking soda and gas x. After a few burps and poots..she could sit up a little each time til eventually she got completely up on her own and I just kept her walking around. After a couple of hours she was doing good. I had to put her back in the stall though so no one would hurt her. I put her daughter in with her for warmth and comfort. Went down next morning and she was sitting up but shaking and still cold and had no appetite and she was having trouble swallowing. She took a turn for the worse on me. I kept working with her. Said alot of prayers. I lost her the next morning. This is so heart breaking. She was an excellent mom, herd queen, protector (nobody came in that barn with intentions of hurting anyone with her around), and milker. Everyone is lost right now without her. I dont think anyone has established whose going to step up and take her place.
Ginger is due next. Im watching everyone more closely but I know things can happen unexpectedly now. Got the kidding pen ready, my dr. bag ready and etc. I do know that next year there will be no more winter babies. This weather is too hard on moms and deathly dangerous for babies. Im not in a position to where I can just scoop up babies or a full grown goat and bring them in the house. Next year it will be closer to spring when they kid. Every weekend between next weekend on til March, I will have a girl due. One is a first time mom. Im so nervous and getting scared. I was talking to a woman that works at the vets office and she said so many freaky things have happened this season with cows having trouble calving. Just this week they had 5 cows to have trouble. I am in a few goat groups and people from all over the states have reported things happening out of the blue, unexplained deaths, kidding problems, stillborns and such. Sometimes I have to quit reading cause I get depressed and more nervous. All I can do is take care of my herd as best as to my ability and do alot of praying. It is all in Gods hands. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.
Well, we took off Friday for Valentines Day. School was out this time for a staff developement meeting.
Saturday I started noticing Ginger was going through periods of wanting to be alone, so thats a good sign. But nothing that day. Sunday morning I went to feed and do chores before church and I noticed her ligaments were gone and her udder had bagged up. Today was going to be the day. I let her stay out with the herd until we got home from church. I came in from church and started changing clothes and looked out my bathroom window and I saw Ginger pawing the ground. RUHROH! I knew it was time. I hoofed down something to eat and got down there as fast as I could. She was in labor. Got her in the kidding pen and sat with her. It wasnt long til she started pushing. Ginger doesnt really like alot of human intervention so I was trying to stay back but she knew I was there. Ginger does not play around, she gets down to business. Easy birth and a beautiful day. It was not cold at all.
I stayed with her til I knew she passed afterbirth, babies were dry and up and nursing. That is three very important things. She did great. I left the barn that evening with Momma talking to them.
while i was attending Ginger and her babies my sweetheart was burning off the garden and getting it ready for me and the boys before he leaves. Me and the boys will get the garden in and all planted before he returns home. My boys really step up to the plate when daddy is not here. They may not always like it but we do it together. These are the things they will remember when they get older.
Went to bed exhausted that night. I forgot giving birth could be so tiring. LOL
Got up next morning and went to do chores and mom and babies are still fine. Praise the Lord.
Oh I forgot they are two bucks. Yaz was their daddy and they look exactly like him. I so hope they have his personality and disposition and gentleness. I named them Taz and Jaz. yep I made the mistake of naming. At bedtime I went out to check and tuck everyone in for the night. Its amazing how smart mommas (animals) are with their young. Ginger calls her babies to eat. They can be sleeping peacefully and momma calls and paws the floor and all the sudden they jump up and race to the udder and fight over whose gonna get what side. Then when they get a full belly they get sleepy and lie down again. Sweet.
In a few weeks I have another due. I hope she is as easy as her mom.
Well, gotta go for now. My mood has been lifted. So great to see and be a part of life coming into the world today when here lately so many lives have slipped away. Just came up from barn and momma and babies are fine snuggling down. Momma is talking to them. She will probably sing them a lullaby. They have been nursing. All you can hear is them smacking and licking their lips from mommas good milk. Blessed.