One of the traditions of Thanksgiving among the humans that celebrate it seems to be over eating. Usually that means loosening up the belt, a nap after dinner and maybe popping some antacids.
Over eating in goats often leads to bloat which can be fatal. And unfortunately Bekah decided in the spirit of the day to give the bucks and the chickens extra food as a treat. I'm not sure just how much extra she gave them, but there was actually food left in the pan so it must have been quite a bit. The older bucks seemed to handle the extra ok, but poor little Donavan who was just finally healthy got very sick. He was very bloated and having extreme diarrhea.
I g ave him a baking soda solution and probotics and then did a lot of making him walk around the pasture. My goat mentor brought me some essential oils to rub on his rumen to aid in getting his rumen functioning properly again and to stop the diarrhea.
I hadn't eaten breakfast yet when Bekah told me Donavan was sick, and I missed Thanksgiving dinner by an hour. I was so hungry by the time I did have a chance to eat that I didn't even bother to heat up the food and it still tasted wonderful!
I am very thankful to report that Donavan is looking and acting much better today. I am also very thankful for friends that will drop their own holiday preparations to come help me with a sick goat and for my husband and parents that took care of cooking and the children while I was busy outside.
Adding new members to an established herd can be a tricky process and as much as humans try to interfere and make everyone "play nice" there really isn't much that can be done on our end to influence the herd dynamics.
Away from the barn Mame' will reluctantly let the new doeling, Cordelia, tag along with her (Mame' looks a lot like Cordelia's dam) and Liberty is free to roam unmolested. But when the herd returns to the barn all bets are off.
Since joining the main herd last Thursday, Liberty has been quietly slipping into the barn and has quickly got into the routine of a few minutes on the milk stand when I'm finished milking in the morning. (She needs extra feed to improve her condition prior to breeding.) Cordelia on the other hand, has been staying away from the barn and humans, although I suspect she has been sneaking in and sleeping in the barn at night.
Last night we had a wind storm with gusts over 50mph. When I went out to do the milking this morning ALL of the does were in the barn! Cordelia did run off when I entered the pen to feed, but came running back as soon as I was on the other side of the fence. She was also persistent in getting to the alfalfa pellets and getting her share. This is the first time I've seen her eat in the barn with the other goats, and I'm hoping this trend will continue. It is going to take some time and patience for her to come to want attention from humans, but I'm sure we can eventually win her over.
A call of "Here Goaties" is usually all it takes to get the herd running up the hill to me.
This morning we drove up to Lyons to pick up Donavan from North Fork Nigerians. He is a very sweet blue-eyed buckling and brings us up to capacity for bucks.
For at least a couple of days he will be in with our newest doe, Liberty. Who came to us last week with an injury that is finally healing up. Having him in the pen with her seemed to perk her up and she even ventured a few steps to check him out. We want to give him a few days to acclimate to his new home before we put him in the pasture with the big boys.
Hopefully by Thursday Liberty will be healed up enough to join the doe herd and Rocky will have gone to his new home in California thus freeing up room for Donovan to join the "big boys".
Panda and her two doelings joined our herd near the end of September and while Panda got along fine with all of the other goats, she took a strong disliking to Mame'. The move to the new barn where all of the does share a single large shelter just seemed to make matters worse, with Panda not allowing Mame' to come inside.
I contacted another breeder near us about the possibility trading Panda for one of her does and it turns out she had a doe that was being bullied by some of the larger does in her herd. So I took Panda over there this afternoon and brought Liberty home with us. We are certainly going to miss Panda's wonderful milk, but for the sake of peace in the herd it was a necessary trade. And we will be keeping both of her daughters, so her blood line will still be available in our herd.
Liberty is a beautiful blue roan doe, that tends to pass along some of the blue color to all of her kids. Her buck kid this year was a very stunning red, white & blue! And her doe kid was gorgeous too. I can hardly wait to see what the kids from a breeding between her and Sunshine will look like.
I've been sick so much over the past 6 weeks that I have been putting off the strenuous task of trimming the goat's hooves. I was feeling a little better today, so decided to at least try and get a few done. Surprised myself by getting everyone but our herd sire Sunshine done. I would have done his too, but he wasn't in the mood to be caught and I didn't have the energy left to change his mind.
Every time I undertake this task I must say I wonder how people with larger breeds manage this chore. Dealing with the smaller sized Nigerians definitely has its advantages!
I came across a video on how to trim hooves this week that demonstrates one of the best explanations for how to do it that I've ever seen on-line and so I thought I'd share it just in case someone reading here is new to keeping goats.