Thursday, September 9, 2010

On turning 60 and bottle feeding in the middle of the night

Well folks....I turned 60 a few weeks ago and received a surprise visit from Josh and Leah and Xaviah and Che, Rachel and Duncan and Alexandra. They had managed to keep the visit a surprise and just turned up two days before my birthday. I will admit to shedding the odd tear or three.
Duncan could only stay overnight, but we had a great time. Unfortunately, we had
no snow for Xaviah and Che, so the whole thing was
a bit anti-climactic for them.

They did get to Cockle Creek while they were here. It's a thriving metropolis, as you can see, but has the distinction of being as far South as you can drive a car in Australia.

We had some problems shifting the slips
(piglets) that Janice and Reagan had produced. A consortium of other staff from school have bought one, which they are supporting until it's ready to kill and Aidan has his: Goldie. These had to be separated from the others which were for general sale, so they were scragged by one black leg and put over the fence.
They did not appreciate the indignity, promptly broke
back in with their peers, and having been caught like this several times now, and watching all their litter-mates scragged, are now very wary indeed.

The once-little saddlebacks are
turning into real chunkers.

However, none of this is the real excitement. Today, we had baby goats, at last.
Lulu has been showing signs of going into labour for about 36 hours: not straining, just getting ready. But today, during a visit from my boss and a friend, Miriam surprised everyone by producing quads!
The first one was fine, and was a beautiful little buck with a chocolate bum.
Next came a little doe, but we couldn't get it breathing despite massage and mouth-to mouth. It was very upsetting
to have a heartbeat, but no breath.Then Miriam pulled her party trick for the day: two at once, and one of them breach. We made a very hurried call to Bennie, a friend of Sue's and one of
the goat gurus of the area. She turned up just in time for the delivery. The breach kid also failed to start breathing despite a heartbeat and more mouth-to-mouth. The other kid was just fine.
We managed to get doe and kids into shelter, as rain was forecast and we thought all
would be ok, but Miriam has shown no sign of being interested in letting her milk down. So the kids are in a box with us, being bottle fed. Miriam will have to either accept the kids, or we'll have to hand-milk her to get the colostrum for them and to prevent mastitis.
Lulu has advanced in her labour, but still no kids (0230 hrs) so
it looks like a trip to the vet's in the morning. To compound things, the first little buck appears to have hyper
-extended its knee on one leg in a fall, so may not make it.
We'll see what the vet says in the
Better go, the kids are letting me know that they're hungry...again.

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