Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lambing is finally over with new life and death yet again

(Warning dead animal photo below)

So lambing is finally done, and tonight we will get to sleep 8 hours for the first time in over one month.  Sheila, our shaela older ewe, delivered her final set of lambs at 1 AM.  She delivered twin black lambs with some white markings.  I am assuming that they will be modified like she and the sire (Jocko, our mioget ram).  But the ram lamb has a few white hairs in his ear and a spotted tongue.  His scrotum is dark though.  I am wanting to keep one of them, and I would prefer it be the ram if he is in fact modified.  And I need to decide quick for potential buyers too.  Anyways they are being called Shaun and Shirley- Shaun the Sheep cartoon characters.

We apparently also had bunnies born last night.  Ma Bell was supposed to deliver today, and I forgot to tell Tom to check the nest box yesterday while I was a t work.  So this morning I found 6 cold bunnies in the nest box.  Their tummies appear full so I am not sure what happened.  I warmed them, and one of them came to life but no such luck with the others.   So naturally once again I feel horribly guilty about screwing up and having a newborn die because of it.  It is hard to get used to this feeling and really is a downside to this farming thing.
Even though I got almost no sleep last night at work I had to bring the goat kids to the vet to be disbudded.  I have him do it with sedation and local anesthesia because I feel he does a much better job than I and it is more humane.  So to me it's worth the expense.  So right now I have 10 sedated goat kids laying around my living room, and I am making sure they keep breathing and wake up OK.  It is very much like a recovery room in here.  

Thursday, April 23, 2009

More animal troubles here at Schoonover farm

So we made it through the night and the surviving ewe lambs are doing well- nursing off their mother.  Tom had checked on Shortcake, the smallest of Saphie's quads, with the early morning barn check, and he said she was up and around, doing well.  I had been worrying about her since she was the smallest of the quads, and I did not think when they were born that Saphie would have enough milk for all four of them.  I fed her a bottle yesterday just because her stomach was not quite as full as the others, and she was a little hunched looking.  When we went to feed animals this morning I found her curled up like usual, but she did not get up to come for grain.  In fact she could not stand at all, and her stomach was quite thin.  So I scooped her up and took her into the house.  We had brought Pee Wee out for her daily goat visit (although she does not seem to like it- does not cuddle or play with the other goats).  Right when I found Shortcake, Pee Wee decided to jump in the water container and soak herself.  So I ran off with Shortcake while Tom tried to dry and warm Pee Wee.  Shortcake was cold.  I was able to feed her some milk, then warm her in the dryer (not running!) and then finish feeding her.  She was still cool, and Tom then came in with still shivering Pee Wee.  He could not get her warm again inside his coat.  So they both went into the pre-warm dryer for a little sauna session.  Now they are both in the house with diapers on.  Pee Wee is fine, running laps and performing acrobatic jumps, but Shortcake is still having troubles staying warm- she's in the 80 degree bathroom now and still looks a little hunched.  She's crying for her mother too:

So it is looking like we will have two bottle babies to feed.  So Tom went out to run errands and I asked for goat milk.  I meanwhile tried to milk all the does who have only 1- 2 kids.  My Udderly EZ milker gave up the ghost because it got caked in colostrum earlier, and I had forgot you are not supposed to put it in water to clean it.  So I got to try to hand milk three very uncooperative does- one 10 year old Nigerian doe, one Angora doe and a Pygmy doe- none of which are great milk producers.  After all of this I got maybe 1/2 cup of goat milk:
So I called Tom back and asked for A LOT of goat milk.  In addition Patches escaped from her hog panel enclosure leaving her four kids behind.  So I let all the lambs out of their pens except Jenny's and moved Patches and her kids into one of the pens.  She should stay put in there.  The lambs enjoyed their first taste of freedom,
their first try at the hay feeder,
to look to their mothers in a scary world,
to check out tires,
to eat grass,

and get totally wore out in the process.
I did find some time to check out my newest lamb in the sunlight.  Introducing Jemima.  She is one of Jenny's triplets, but she has appears to be a mioget katmoget ewe lamb.  I am so excited to have this color and pattern combinations!  I am also thrilled to finally be able to name a lamb Jemima- I have been wanting to since I met a wonderful ewe named Jemima at Amy Hauser's place when I bought my first Shetland sheep.  I was wanting Shetland sheep, and Jemima was a large cross bred ewe, but she had lovely wool and a wonderful deep voice.  Plus I always thought it was a great sheep name.  So now I have my very own Jemima!

Lambing sucks! (sometimes)

So yesterday I noticed that Jenny, our katmoget ewe who tried to die 1.5 months ago, was acting oddly.  She as hanging out on the far fence line and not coming in for grain.  Her uterus seemed to have dropped, and her udder seemed fuller.  So I assumed she would lamb soon.  I hung out in the barn yard all day checking on her constantly.  She kept acting oddly but no other changes.  I chose not to go to the Mariners game, and my husband went with his father.  Then she started hanging out in other odd places, baaing to the other lambs (I had never heard her baa before), and standing still when I walked up to her (normal she would flee wildly).  I kept watching her every hour without other changes.  I last checked her at 11:00 and Tom checked her at midnight.  He asked what time I wanted the alarm set for, and I said 2 to 2.5 hours.  He set it for 2:30.  I got up then, and it was the hardest getting out of bed I have ever done in my life.  We have been up every 2-3 hours since March 24th and are exhausted.  But I drug myself out of bed and went to the barn.  Jenny was here with two black katmoget lambs one standing and licked and the other lifeless, covered with meconium and head covered in the sack but still quite warm.  I tried to revive it without any luck.  It was a beautiful ewe lamb.  I dried, clean and dipped the other lamb and moved them into a pen.  It is also a ewe lamb.  I stripped the mother's teats and left them.  I assumed that the lamb would nurse well as vigorous as it was.  I thought I saw the placenta next to the dead lamb, and there was nothing hanging out of Jenny so I thought we were done.  Then I collected the dead lamb for burial for the next day and went back to bed.  I, of course, couldn't sleep thinking about how if I had kept doing the hourly checks like I should have the lamb may have lived.  It may not have though- it was covered in meconium indicating stress, and I couldn't get air into it's lungs.  Lambs that don't move after birth aren't cleaned by their mothers so it may not have lived anyway.  But I at least could have tried, and I would not be experiencing this guilt.  Anyway, here's a photo of the lamb that lived:
Tom did the 5:30 lamb check and bottle goat feed and then I got up at 7:30 and checked on everyone.  When I looked in Jenny's pen, this is what I found:
There was a third lamb born at least 4 hours after the first two!  This is a first for me- I really thought she was done.  This lamb was up and walking but was still somewhat wet, chilled, and covered in meconium.  It was obvious is had not nursed and the first lamb's stomach was not very full either.  I  dried, cleaned and dipped the third lamb and noted that it is a mioget katmoget ewe lamb!  I tried to get them both to nurse but no luck- Jenny was completely uncooperative and kicking them away.  So I went back to the house to get Tom's help.  When we returned Jenny was trying to get them both to nurse, but neither was finding the teat.  So Tom held Jenny while I tried to get them on.  I could get them on the teat, but they would not suck despite all of my tricks.  So I got out the Udderly EZ milker and got about 2 cups of colostrum.  After a long struggle we got both lambs to finish this by bottle.  Both appeared a lot more lively and warm after this.  Now we have to hope they will find the source, and we will not have to repeat this performance.  The other barn animals were hollering that they were hungry through this whole process although it wasn't feeding time yet- adding to the commotion.  So now we are cleaned and changed drinking our well-deserved coffee.  Tom says he has "animal burn-out", and I was getting there too.  But now I have a gorgeous mioget katmoget lamb I have always wanted so things are looking better this morning for me.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Kidding goes out with a bang!

So kidding has ended here for the year with Patches producing quads!  I had bought a barn cam with a birthday gift card.  I had been to the barn about one hour prior but then noticed on the computer screen that Patches was licking something on the ground.  So I went out to the barn and found she had quads.  Initially one looked a little droopy so I dried them all, dipped their cords and got them all to nurse.  Looks like they will all do well.  I will get better photos of them tomorrow and post them on the goat web page at http://www.schoonoverfarm.com/Kids.html
There's Alla, a black and mahogany buckskin doeling with white on her face, forehead, foot and side.  She appears to be polled.  We are planning on keeping her to preserve Patches and her mother Paloma's genetics.
Then there's J. P., a white, spotted buckling.  It appears that he is not polled.  He will be sold as an intact AGS registered buckling.Then there's Tikey, a mahogany buckling with a white belt over his back and a large stripe on his face.  He will be available as a wether.
Finally there's little Paddy.  She is mahogany with a white star.  She appears to be polled.  She will be available as a doeling.
That brings the grand total to 17 kids with two sets of quads (the first time we have ever had quads).  To refresh we also have Zeus and Athena,
Fannie Mae,
Lady Jane and Mr. D. (who like to hang out in  the hay feeder),
Mindy (who likes to sleep behind this post),
Mork and Mearth (spazing out on the pallet),
Sherlock, Sophia, Shortcake and Sugar Mag,
and finally Pee Wee.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Even more lambs, a greenhouse and Pee Wee

At 1:15 this morning I heard yelling from the barn on the baby monitor.  So I headed out there and found Monette pushing hard and part of feet and head out.  So I pulled and delivered this gorgeous grey ram lamb I am calling Rhett.
It took her almost 45 minutes to delivery the second lamb- this grey ewe lamb I am calling Scarlett.
Both were cleaned, dried, dipped, stood and nursed without difficulty.  I am thinking the baby monitor may have saved another lamb.  Below are better photos of Daphnie's lambs born yesterday- Dinah
and Dixie.
During this time Tom has been building me a greenhouse out of old windows that were left here by the previous owners.  Some are probably from the 1940's and others the 1970's.  All are wood.  Some have broken seals, and some have some wood rot, but they all would work for a greenhouse.  Yesterday he is almost finished with the walls and roof- just a few holes to patch over- and he is working on bricking in the floor.  We have old bricks from a demolished building in Whatcom county which should work great as well as sand left over from our sand bags from flooding.  So anyway, here's a photo of my new greenhouse!Finally I have some cute Pee Wee photos.  She no longer needs a heated towel to stay warm but still can only be out in the barn in the day time a few hours.  She is on a bottle with goat milk and wears a diaper in the house.  She is getting quite adept at using our furniture and shoes to pull the diaper off though.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

More lambs!

So early this afternoon Daphnie finally lambed.  She did not like us watching but ultimately pushed out a black ewe lamb with agouti markings- white on her neck, forehead and in her ears.  This means she will grey with time.  We are calling her Dinah.

Then after 10-15 minutes she produced a second ewe lamb- this one covered in meconium (poop).  This was has more agouti markings so will be a light grey color.  We are calling her Dixie. 
 They were moved into a lambing pen and are up and nursing. Three ewes and one doe to go!

Finally.... more lambs (and more kids)!

First things first- we had triplet Nigerian Dwarf goats born.  They are all good sized and doing well.  There's a black belted buckling we're calling Mork,
a tan/black buckskin doeling with white legs we are calling Mindy,
and a black doeling with a white belt, white star and frosted ears we are calling Mearth.
Then when I was at work (of course!), Mona decided to give birth between Tom's barn checks and to apparently ignore one of her lambs completely.  So Tom came out to find a lifeless appearing lamb.  He did mouth to mouth breathing and chest compression, and the lamb started breathing a little.  Then he swung the lamb, dried and stimulated, and he finally seemed more lively although would not stand or eat.  He was cold so was brought into the house and warmed.  When brought back out to the barn still would not nurse or stand and was breathing hard.  He chilled again quickly so Tom milked colostrum out of Mona and brought this and the lamb back into the house.  He warmed the lamb again and this time he sucked the bottle and colostrum down well.  He was still having difficulty standing but was brought back out to the barn and laid next to his brother at midnight.  Then Mona finally licked him and laid down next to him and he nursed.  By morning he was standing and acting vigorous.  When I came home from work this morning he is looking and acting like nothing had happened, but Tom looks very tired.  Tom definitely earned the right to name him so he's "Buster":
His brother is McFly.
I will need to go back out and get better photos to put on the website, but all are doing quite well at this point.  I think we are getting better at this lambing and kidding stuff as we have had two saves this spring- PeeWee and now Buster.  Four ewes and one doe to go!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Spring Day!

Today was a nice, warm, sunny spring day.  Hazel's Satin Angora bunnies are 3 week sold so they got to move to a cage in the feed shed (rather than a kennel on top of the dryer) and are offered food and water- although they show no interest.  I also trimmed the hooves on all of the goats as well as wormed them and injected them with Multi-Min.  
After this was accomplished I heard a crying out from the barn.  I went in and noticed Fern, our pygmy doe, in labor.  I called Tom in from building the greenhouse, and we watched her.  She was crying and pushing hard, but it had not been long enough to intervene.  She then pushed a head out but no legs.  Uh oh..So now is time to intervene.  I managed to pull one leg out but couldn't get the other.  So I pulled the head and the leg.  It was scary because the neck stretched a bit, but we were able to deliver the kid.  She is a tan and black buckskin doeling with a white belt and star and frosted ears.  Her father is our Nigerian Dwarf buck Yahoo so she's a Pygmy-Nigerian cross.  We are considering calling her Fannie Mae.
Pee Wee, our runt Nigerian kid, is doing well with frequent bottle feeds and warming.  She is still quite tiny but is walking and sucking better.  We are trying to get some meat on her bones so she can maintain her temperature better.  She's currently on my lap sleeping wrapped in a dryer-warmed towel.

By the way, congratulations are in order for Rabbit Meadow's two new lambs born yesterday.  I got to watch the whole process on their lamb cam (above) and even called their cell phone to offer advice during the process.  Isn't technology interesting!  Madison (the ewe) is the proud  mother of a ewe and a ram lamb.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Easter 2!

So Cally decided to go into labor when I was supposed to go to sleep. She first produced a tiny thin kid and then two normal sized ones. I was sure the small one was not going to be able to breathe then eat then stand but she proved me wrong. It took 2 hours though. Now it really looks like we will have a bottle baby. She is cute though a golden buckskin. The second one is a flashy black and gold buckskin buckling the third one is chocolate brown with a gold belly and a white star. She has a curly coat though. Not sure what to make of that. I will get better photos when I find time.


Shaun the Sheep "Off the Baa"

Shaun the Sheep clip "Save the Tree"