I am such a bad blogger. I haven't blogged in sooooo long, I nearly forget how to do it! Sorry to all - I didn't fall off the edge of the earth, nor did I get stampeded by a herd of roving water buffalo. I didn't even get hit by a bus. Instead, I had final exams. Three of them. It took a lot of studying time, and I was "sequestered" at my desk. Then, after I finished my last exam, I had roughly 24 hours before my parents arrived for a 2-week visit. You know what that means....cleaning house!!! So, I cleaned and organized (really, I did!) and finished up the final touches on the guest room, which Kelly and I had freshly painted in preparation for their arrival. So then, I spent 2 blissful weeks with my parents, not worrying about school or work or anything else. Just sharing the delight of their company, which I so rarely have these days.
Kelly and I so enjoyed their visit. They are tremendously helpful here on our little farm, and we manage to do things much more quickly when they visit because they are so willing to assist us! We put in more fencing than I care to remember, we planted 13 rows of potatoes (8 varieties!), we fed the animals, we laughed at their antics, we planted new plants, we weeded (especially my mother, who is an expert weeder), we transplanted 45 highbush cranberry shrubs (my father is an expert transplanter) and 5 young elm trees. We chased goats who got out of their pen, we sheared llamas, we even sheared llamas who had no desire whatsoever to be anywhere near the hand shears. I taught my mother how to use a drop spindle and showed her how to use the spinning wheel. My Dad and I taste-tested cider and strawberry lager. In short, we were very, very busy. I wish they lived just down the road so that we could visit often and we'd help them with their garden and they'd help us with our projects. But since that cannot be, we do the best we can with the short times that we spend together.
There will be numerous forthcoming blogs about our adventures, but for today, I would like to introduce our latest farm baby. Wilder was born last night to our Nubian doe, Laura. He was her first born. He was sired by our Nigerian Dwarf buck, Ramses (from Black Cat Creek Farm).
I was so sad my mother missed the birth of this little darling boy. She would have loved to be here for it. After we dropped my parents at the airport, we ran some errands and came home for supper. It was after supper that I ventured out to the barn to feed the chickens and close them up for the night. As I wandered into the barn, I saw Laura, with the telltale mucus hanging from her back end....she was in labor. I rushed back to the house to call Kelly and we went and sat in the barn, expecting a baby any moment. We waited, we talked, I read a book, we waited some more. Kelly went inside and I had the cell phone to call him. Then I went inside and he came out. She passed the mucus, she strained, she pushed, she stared at the ceiling, she lay down and stood up repeatedly, and nothing happened.
I went in to look up goat labor on the internet, to see if it was taking too long. Everything I read suggested 1 to 2 hours after the mucus had passed was normal. We hummed and hawed. Finally, about 5 hours after it began, I decided it was time for an internal check. I donned the shoulder-length gloves that we have for this purpose, and used generous lubricant. This was my first venture into the inside of a goat. I had read about it, studied pictures, learned the various ways a baby goat could be positioned and how to try to fix it. I felt like I could handle it, but I was still kind of nervous. It was about 11 pm.
About 3 inches into the canal, I encountered hooves. Two of them! Yay! I moved a little further in, and found a head. Yes, that meant they were front hooves. The baby was positioned normally. I stopped and let her continue. She pushed, she strained, she arched her back, she stared at the ceiling, she lay down, she got up....well, you get the idea. Nothing happening. So, around midnight, I made the executive decision: it was time to deliver a baby.
Kelly held Laura (much to her dismay), I reached in and grabbed little hooves and began to pull out and downward, Laura hollered like a stuck pig, I kept pulling, Kelly kept holding, and out popped a bouncing baby boy. I was amazed at how easy it was to pull him out. Yes, it took effort and a calm deliberate persistence, but he came out fairly quickly once I had the head out, and then Laura was all over him, licking and grunting in that way only mother goats do.
We toweled him off and within less than 10 minutes he was standing and nursing.
I was soooo relieved. I was afraid he would be stillborn after all that time, afraid that he was breach, afraid that he was not going to be healthy. None of those fears were warranted. He is a sweet bundle of joy.
I can't resist posting this picture of how I found them this morning, lying side by side in the lambing/kidding pen. He is so very tiny compared to her. His parentage makes him a mini-nubian. He is possibly smaller than Luna when she was born.
Since his mother's name is Laura, we named him "Wilder" after Laura Ingalls Wilder, who wrote the "Little House on the Prairie" series of books, which I enjoyed as a child. He is the little goat on the prairie. We welcome him to our farm.
I have blog awards to write about, I am behind on emails, I haven't read anyone's blogs, and I am woefully behind on everything else in life, so please forgive me if I haven't returned an email or if you think I've abandoned your blog. I haven't! I'm back, and will be catching up soon!