"Yes she really is as wide as she looks, and no I don't suspect triplets or quads." :)
Millie's due date is June 9th but like last year she started losing her mucous plug a few weeks ago so I am guessing that she will kid early again with twins just like she did last year. Last year we were out in the pen with her just two hours before she kidded and so no signs of labor whatsoever.
We discovered that she had kidded when the children went outside to play and Bekah came running back into the house yelling, "Millie had her babies!" I corrected her and said, "No Millie, is going to have babies." Boy was I wrong! I didn't know then that Nigerians average a 145 day gestation cycle and was still working off a 150 day cycle so with her kidding on day 142 was a complete shock.
This year I plan to start penning her up at night on day 140 and by day 142 she will be spending all of her time in the kidding stall unless I can be there to supervise pasture time. We have had cool enough temperatures this spring that even the slightest breeze up here on our little ridge can quickly chill a newborn.
Update on Bekah: Bekah is doing just fine after the second surgery with very little pain. She has managed to work the bandaging down so more of her thumb is free although she is so good with her left hand she really hasn't tried to use it to grip anything yet. Her next doctor appointment is the 1st of June.
Bekah still looks a little glassy-eyed in this picture, but over all she is doing well. The second surgery on her hand went well and we are very pleased that a second skin graft wasn't needed. So all areas in need of healing are confined to just her right hand. Bekah is excited that she can see at least a little bit of her thumb even if she can't do much with it - yet.
Her next appointment is on the first of June and we will see the hand then for the first time since the accident happened almost three weeks ago.
When we got back from the surgery center we discovered goats in pens they weren't supposed to be in, so Rita and Tsunami have moved back in with the main doe herd and I'm keeping a close eye on her to make sure she doesn't start nursing on her dam again since Millie (pictured below right) is due the 9th of June. And I want her energy to go to the new crop of kids.
Bekah's second, and hopefully last, surgery is scheduled for early tomorrow morning. We would appreciate your prayers once again for peace and that the surgery goes well.
Hospital protocol is to give children gas before they put the IV in, but the anesthesiologist refused to do it last time. So I had to hold her down while they got the IV into her. A very traumatic experience for all of us!! The IV therapy tech's hands were shaking pretty bad by the time it was done too, so it certainly wasn't something they do routinely. I have informed the doctor and the hospital that is NOT going to happen again and that they WILL do everything in their power to ease her fears, and make the procedure less painful and traumatic for her (and us). Now that I know what the protocol is supposed to be, I won't back down!
One last thing - we are collecting the Toy Story 3D promo codes from inside specially marked boxes of Kellogg's cereal, If you aren't going to use them yourself could you please email them to us. Both Bekah and Ari love Toy Story and being able to see it in 3D in the theater when it comes out June 18th is a really big deal to them, especially since they have only been to a theater once before in their lives. It's also a good incentive to Bekah to follow through with keeping her bandages clean & dry.
Sunshine's desire to lounge as high up as possible has meant him napping on the roof of the external nest boxes and from there climbing up onto the roof of the coop itself. I didn't design the coop for that sort of abuse, and it was starting to take a real beating.
Sunday I finally got around to getting the extra large wooden spool retrofitted and placed in a sunny part of the bucks pasture. Now if we would only get some sunny weather Sunshine would be thrilled!
Rio seems to be enjoying the new spool too and the location closer to the yearling does pen. And Mojo isn't big enough yet to even jump up onto the smaller of the two spools, but he is content for now to just hang out below.
Rio listens to Mystery complain while Stormy eats
To put it bluntly, Mystery is a tank of a doe. She was overweight when I got her and while she has lost a little weight running up and down the hill she still needs to lose a lot more.
Now that Allie is gone, Mystery has become the herd queen, but only because she throws her weight around, not because she is a leader. She bullies her way to eating most of the food and since Millie is only two weeks away from kidding I started to be very concerned for her safety and the safety of her kids.
So this morning I moved Mystery into the children's play yard - which used to also double as the maternity yard. The grass in there is knee high so there is plenty for her to eat. About the only goat that can match her weight wise is our wether Stormy, who could also stand to loose a few pounds, so he went in with her. When they first went into that yard, Stormy immediately started eating and Mystery started complaining.
When Mystery & Stormy have finished "mowing" that yard then I will put the two of them in the yard where Rita and Tsunami are now. I had hoped to bred Rita and Tsunami this month, but the bucks haven't detected any strong heats, so I will be waiting until this fall to bred them. I'm also waiting to move them, until Millie has kidded in the hopes that with new kids to care for Millie will stop letting Rita nurse when they are back in the same herd again.
Bekah came through her surgery this afternoon with flying colors. The nurse told us before hand that she would most likely be given a little gas to make her sleepy before the IV was inserted, but that turned out not to be the case. She was already worried enough about not waking up, and then the IV really upped her stress level.
Her entire right hand is wrapped in a HUGE brace/bandage that is so large the sleeve of the hospital gown had to be cut to get it off. Now that she is home, she is wearing one of daddy's t-shirts and complaining frequently that the brace/bandage is too heavy, and it itches, and she wants it off NOW!!!
We see the doctor for a follow up on Tuesday afternoon, and if it looks good he will probably cast it, which should result at least a slight size and weight reduction. Then we wait for it to heal for a couple of weeks and then she will have to endure another surgery.
Yesterday afternoon Bekah, who is now 6 yrs old, was running and dancing around like usual as we were walking along the sidewalk near the bank. She started to lose her balance and put her hand out to catch herself and caught her finger in the chrome grill of a 4x4 pick-up. The result was about 3/4 of her right ring finger was sliced off from the first knuckle to the tip. I took one look and took her straight to ER, where the triage nurse took one look and took us back to a treatment room. We didn't even have time to do more than give our names at the front desk.
She was very brave in ER and only screamed when they gave her the numbing shots. Which is perfectly understandable since those shots hurt a lot! When the nurse offered her a stuffed animal for being so brave, she picked out a pink dolphin and then asked if she could take a toy for her little brother too, and when they said yes she picked out a cute little stuffed dog for him.
This morning we went to see a hand specialist over in Corvallis. After examining the injury he decided that there was so much open area with no skin to sew back together that it will need a skin graft. So the first of at least two surgeries is scheduled for 4pm Friday afternoon. Bekah is very freaked out about going under general anesthesia, and keeps asking "what if I don't wake up?". She will probably have her hand in cast to immobilize and protect it for a couple of weeks, and then will have at least one more surgery after that.
Prayers are greatly appreciated!
Allie's buck kid out of Rio
On Friday morning I delivered Liberty and her kid and Allie and her twins to their new homes where, by all accounts, they are doing just fine. Of course change, whether for bad or good, always brings a certain amount of stress as people and goats find a new "normal".
Mame' has reacted to the departure of Allie & Liberty by racing to the milk stand and positioning herself without my having to do anything other than open the gate. Normally she is hesitant to jump up, but now its as if she is saying "I'll be good, just don't send me away!" She also sticks closer to me and more actively seeks attention.
When I moved Roni back into the main herd, she looked puzzled that her dam Allie wasn't there, but hasn't cried as much as I was expecting her to. She has been too busy trying to reassert her dominance over the other Junior does. Mystery of course has taken on the roll of Herd Queen, a roll she had been battling Allie for almost since her arrival here a few months ago. So far she is ruling with an iron fist, but hopefully she will relax and become the dignified and benevolent leader that Allie was for us.
Last night as I was doing the evening chores I realized how much quieter it was in the barn. Allie was really my only "talker" and she used to carry on quiet conversations with me while I was doing chores. Tsunami does that a little bit, but she is over in the yearling pen waiting to be bred. I'm looking forward to having her bred and back in the main barn.
Peggy Sue and Prudy are still for sale, but I have to admit I am rather ambivalent about selling them. They have wonderful milky pedigrees, and if I didn't already have their sire's half brother and full sister (Sunny & Mystery) there is no way I would sell them. So I just keep reminding myself that I need to make room to possibly keep a doe kid from Millie x Rio, and then the fall kidding should yield several keepers as well. And before you know it I'm out of space again. *sigh* Anyone have an extra 100k they would care to donate towards a new barn? :)
Mame' has taken on babysitting duties whenever Liberty heads down the hill and Justice wants to nap, Auntie Mame' and usually be found close by and keeping an eye on him. Like many kids he has come to the conclusion that the feed tub makes a nice snug bed for him and he can often be found curled up in it.
Millie is already looking HUGE, but isn't due until the 9th of June. However I fully expect that she will kid early just like she did last year. But at least I have a month of being able to sleep in my own bed before the next kidding vigil begins.
Allie and her babies continue to do well, and they all should be ready to be transfered to their new home on Friday morning. It is going to take us and the rest of the herd some time to adjust to not having Allie here as she is one of our original four goats. But we are keeping her daughter Roni, who is just as sweet as her dam.
Allie presented us with twins this morning. A pure black doe kid and a big strapping gold buck kid. These are our first kids out of Rio, and although they aren't as colorful as he is, it still isn't a bad start for him.
As always Allie is being a very attentive mom, and she and the kids are doing great!