Welcome to my side of the fence. . .

Welcome to my side of the fence. . . Here you will
enjoy some good laughs, maybe some frustrations,
and hopefully (if I'm a good enough writer), a few tears.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Half Pint Farm.

 So. I applied for our farm name through ADGA (American Dairy Goat Association) and although we wanted our first choice as Half Pint Acre, it was already chosen by another farm, so we got our second choice: Half Pint Farm. So we are officially a farm, lol! By the way, Alice (above) says hi!
 We "celebrated" our official-ness by buying 32 tons of structural fill (a type of gravel) with some of our tax money. The objective is to get it smoothed out over the goat & chicken area because we are having some issues. One, is drainage. The rain has swamped this area and it doesn't drain. Instead it pools and the goats are walking through it. Wet hooves mean foot rot. And currently, my girls have what's called thrush, a type of foot rot. They are on the mend, but I want to avoid it for the future. Also, having rock gravel will naturally trim their hooves so they aren't overgrown--another issue I faced this winter.Getting structural fill kinda solves a multitude of problems. 
 I caught Frankie stealing a break from her kids. When we got her, she came to me with a cough. I thought the cough was a result of having a big belly from her pregnancy and that she was having difficulty coughing up her cud from the belly pressure. It's not gone away since her kidding, tho. I fear it's lungworm. In fact, I'm more than sure it's lungworm. I responded with putting her (and all the goats) on a herbal wormer regime. But there's only a small chance that it will get the lungworm. So I am going to have to use chemicals. And the only chemical I know of that works on lungworm is Ivermectin Plus. It's expensive. Like a two ounce bottle for almost $50! But I will treat all the girls, just in case the lungworm has spread.
For the longest time after I began feeding alfalfa pellets (which I did that because they are so wasteful on the alfalfa hay), the girls wouldn't touch what alfalfa I did put out for them. But since the kids are eating it, so are the big girls! Lol! It's important for all the goats to get roughage. Even tho they are getting the nutritional value from the alfalfa pellets, they still need "texture" to make good poops. (That's the best way I can explain it, lol.) Alfalfa pellets are so ground up, there's no roughage to it. I've tried like three different kinds of hay to give them their roughage (the cheaper route), but they won't eat anything but alfalfa! My girls are SPOILED! 
After the dump truck came and dumped the fill, the goats had a blast climbing the "mountains". Then they got tuckered out and napped. This is a picture of Capella and Gemma.
Then they woke up again. Lol! Sorry for the haze. . . we burned.
Nina's favorite is Hercules. She can put him to sleep in like thirty seconds. He is incredibly soft! It's going to be hard to say goodbye to them. You never forget your "firsts". 
Nina did the five o'clock feeding last night. We are teaching Gemma and Tally to feed standing up, instead of us holding them. Problem is, the big girls think it's time to bottle feed them

So that's the haps. I hope all is well on your end!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

They are growin' up!

Be still.

I am sitting here, sipping my sugary sweet coffee, in the quiet of the morning. I am the only one up and it is quite peaceful. I look out the window and God has gifted me a few moments of sunshine. In this moment, right now, I am still and all is well. Right now, I know that He is God. In the craziness of the last couple of weeks, it is suddenly all okay. Until the panic, worry, stress, and uncertainty return, I'm gonna enjoy this moment.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Unconditional love.

I have so many goat pictures I want to share, but my computer has not worked for several days. In fact, I am typing this up via my new phone.
I gotta say, I love my goats. Everybody who knows me knows this. I'm crazy about them. When I was doing the noon feeding today, it dawned on me why I love my goats. In a world full of conditions and judgement, I find escape and peace in these animals. For a few moments, I am completely loved for just being there. I am not judged by my appearance, or for how I think, or for the decisions I make. I am accepted as I am. I am completely trusted.
In the human world, it's not that perfect. I get judged and loved conditionally. Trust is earned and nothing is without a price. It's a cruel world. But I have realized that I dish out just as much as I receive. I have done my fair share of judging and putting conditions on those around me. In fact, I dare say (ahem), I am the queen of high expectations. I guess this behavior comes with being a sinner by nature? My own selfishness and agenda is my demise.
I can't take back what wrong I have caused those around me. I can't even promise to make it better. I can only learn and hope that in the future I think before I judge or put expectations too high. To those affected by me: please be patient. I'm just as human as you are.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Summing It Up Tonight.

I’m Tired I’m worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes
To keep on breathing

I’ve made mistakes
I’ve let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this world

And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn

I know I need to lift my eyes up
But I'm too weak
Life just won’t let up

And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life

And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn

My prayers are wearing thin
Yeah, I’m worn
Even before the day begins
Yeah, I’m worn
I’ve lost my will to fight
I’m worn

So, heaven come and flood my eyes

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause all that’s dead inside will be reborn

~"Worn" by Tenth Avenue North

Friday, February 8, 2013

I can't get enough!

My Babies!

 Talitha (her new name) checkin' out Weeble.
 Lol! Talitha looking for a teat on Angel!
 Angel has done pretty good with the girls. She likes to bump them with her nose to get them to play back. 
 This is what the cats look like while they observe the baby mayhem in the house.
 Caught the kittens playing on the "toys" I put out for the goats.
 This one is the fluffiest and cutest, but she's the scaredy-cat of the four!
 So far, these two have a home that they will be going to together on Valentines Day. 
 Back to pictures of my girls. . . 
I love mothering my four-legged babies!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Pictures of my outdoor sweetums.

 We had a sun break in today's forecasted rainy day. I walked up to the barn finding Frankie and Star playing. At least I think they are playing! Frankie, I think, is just so relieved to finally be out of the stall. I let momma and babies out today, without locking them back up after chores. I'll be heading out there every hour, I'm sure, to check up on them. 
 I walked in the barn and found all three cutie pies sleeping in the sun! 
 Isn't he handsome? The other two woke up, but he stayed asleep. Guess he's a hard sleeper!
 Beautiful here got caught with her tongue sticking out, lol!
 Hercules is such a social baby. He loves to be pet. And I love to oblige! Isn't his coloring awesome? He's a strawberry blonde like me!
 A close up of my boy.
 I had to take another pic. It just cracks me up how he just kept on sleeping!
*sigh* They make me happy. 

More news.

So my littlest girl seems to be doing okay. She weighed in at 2lb. 12.6 oz. this mornin'. She's almost a pound heavier than her birth weight!!! She's also taking to the bottle better. I don't always have to pry her mouth open to get the nipple in. I have noticed, tho, that she seems to be developmentally behind one day than the rest of the kids. Also, when I took the indoor girls outside with me to the barn this mornin', she stays to herself and doesn't engage too much. She would think about it, then draw back. I had to bring the girls in when Aquila started looking at Frankie's teats. It broke my heart to have to pull her away, but Frankie just can't support that many kids and I have to teach the indoor girls to depend on me for food. I don't wanna confuse them more than they probably already are.
I forgot the camera again when I went out this a.m., so I will go out in a few minutes to get some pics of my outdoor cutie pies.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Kid pictures!

 So here are some not-so-good pics of the kids. It was hard to take a picture because they don't sit still! Above is a girl and I think I am going to name her Aquila. What's unique about purebred goats is their names have to tie in with their mother's names. Well, Frankie's real name is Frankly a Star (off from her momma who was Moonlight Starrynite, I think--if I remember right.) So I decided I might go with Aquila because it is the name of a star constellation. I'm not 100% sure yet. 
 This one is a boy. He is so soft and beautiful. I am thinking of playing around with his name and calling him Burst of Fun, Mr. B for short. (So the way it would tie in with Frankie's name is: Frankly a Star Burst of Fun). If I don't name him that, I am thinking maybe Hercules because he is the biggest, strongest of the five and it's another star constellation.
 This one's a girl. I have no idea what to name her yet. 
 This is my other boy. I am thinking Virgo, Leo, Lupus, Crater, or Bootes (Boo for short). Again, star constellations.
 I think this is a picture of my last girl and the runt. Her name will probably be Gemma, maybe Gem for short. 
 Okay. So here's my story time. Frankie is not making enough milk to feed all five kids. I struggled with the idea, but I decided to bring in two girls to bottle feed--Aquila and Gemma. I am concerned about Gemma. She is the runt, who weighed in at 1lb. 15 oz. I brought her in because she cried and cried, which is a sign she was hungry. And when it would finally be her turn to eat (because she would have to wait til last when the other kids pushed her off the teat) Frankie would be outta milk and/or pushing her away cause she thought she was done feeding. All that combined forced me to bring her in. And no goat, under any circumstances, can be alone. So I brought in her sister, Aquila. She has no problem taking to the bottle! Gemma, I have to pry her mouth open and shove the nipple in. Even then, she doesn't eat much. She'll push away and I just keep re-feeding her. Consequently, she makes a mess! Thankfully, tho, she has gained a couple ounces since her weigh-in. That's promising. Since I am bottle feeding, I feed every three hours, round the clock. It's work. Especially when one doesn't wanna eat. But it's also rewarding. 
 Gemma has met her match with a kitten. Oh, by the way, I forgot to mention: we are also in the process of weaning and litter training kittens!
After every feeding, they need play time. So I plop them in the living room and let them go at it! They jump, run, tumble, and paw at each other constantly. They are so much fun to watch. Today, I took them outside to play. Took them a few minutes to adjust, but they played hard out there. Everyday, I am going to take them outside because, after all, they are goats. When they start depending on me to feed them and the idea isn't foreign to them, AND they are gaining weight enough to impress me, then I will put them back in the barn. That could take awhile. I am not sure. Even then, I will have to go out there every few hours and still feed. It's a commitment! 
I went out to the barn and cleaned it out--again (it's becoming the story of my life). When I did, I let Frankie's other three out of the stall and into the big world. They loved it! They were romping around everywhere! I forgot the camera, but when I go back out there later today, I will try to remember the camera and take pictures. I only let them out right now while I am there because Alice is still adjusting to the newest additions and has tried to head butt them a couple times. She did a lot better today and only did it once. But until she's totally compliant, they can only come out when I'm present.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Birth Pics--A little Graphic!

 Okay, so when I walked into thebarn, this is the goo I saw. . . 
 Frankie became very lovey and wanted my attention. 
 The you-know-what hadn't hit the fan yet, so Frankie was able to poise for a glamour shot! The bump on her jaw is another side issue poor momma had--a salivary gland abscess. It got lanced and drained the day after kidding.
 Dominic was watching intently. Poor guy kept asking what's wrong with her "butthole". I must have corrected him a thousand times that it was her vagina. He kept saying "oh". I don't think the whole sex thing has clicked with him yet. It may be time to have The Talk.
 Frankie starts pushing, but not hard or bearing down yet.
 So we stopped for a quick bite. Nothing says family like picnic-ing in the barn with a birthing goat!
 The first of several sacs coming out. 
 Baby #1! Soon as I wiped away the goo, she was a kicker and a screamer! She may be the tiniest of the lot, but she is a firecracker!
 Cleaning her off and aspirating her.
 This is where I was figuring out what to do with that dang umbilical cord. I had read about a trick that if you dry it off with paper towels it will just break away. Frankie didn't give me a chance to try that theory, since she jumped up right after this picture and tore it. 
 Momma doing her job. So the work begins!
 She's only five minutes old and she's getting her sea legs to movin'.
 Anticipating arrival #2. . . 
 There he is! Notice I clamped that umbilical cord before I did anything else, lol!
 Frankie is such an awesome momma.
 Thinking two was all we'd have, we start showing them the teat. Which they refused and balked at.
 After some trial and error, we realized there was a kid #3! Notice there's another sac coming out right behind the just delievered kid.
 Kid #4! He was a biggin'! At this point I was scramblin' and just trying to keep babies mouths clear and passed off to momma as soon as I could.
 At this point, all organization and neatness flew out the window.
 See the big one? He had no problem finding his food!
 Poor Alice and Star were besides themselves. On the other side of the pen, they wanted to know, what the heck is going on in there???
 There are five kids at this point. All doing their own thing. Looking for milk in the wrong spots. So we settled down to showing them again. To get them fed, it took hours. Melinda said this was common when there are so many kids. . . they come out kinda disorganized and stupid. Frankie was such a champ. I was so proud of her. I never seen an animal just keep calm and do her thing as well as this girl. 
 Adorable, yes???
 The smallest one, shown here lying down, was our biggest concern. She was first born and refusing to eat. She was also the runt.
More pictures coming later today!