I re-read my last post. It is pitifully filled with grammatical errors and plenty of 'what was I thinking?' I apologize for giving you a headache trying to decipher what my brain sorta spaghetti-plopped. In my defense - I was pretty much falling asleep at the computer. 'Nuff said.
Now, to finish what I left you hanging with.
We were about as prepared as we were going to be with what little time we had. Barn stalls sorta cleaned, no milk stanchion, a sad lack of goat chow and treats, milk machine-like contraption still in the box that it was delivered in and the manual still sealed in the plastic sleeve, and enough of a general idea of what we were getting into to be overwhelmed. What are we getting ourselves into?
Well, Saturday came, and we drove, and drove, and drove. It's at least an hour-long drive to get to the farm where the goats were. The back two benches of our 12-passenger van were taken out to accommodate three big dog carriers (Dad got a 'Fur'rarri. It's quite the plush carrier, if I do say so myself), and we loaded up whatever else we thought we might need (including collars for the little escape artists). Dad, Mom, Oma, and I all headed out. We stopped at probably one of the coolest, most awesome farm and feed stores ever. It's an old, restored mill, complete with original scale, gigantic wooden beams, and hardwood floors. If I join the work force, I want to work there. After we loaded up the goat fare, we were off once again.
As we walked up to the goat shepherdess' dwelling, we weren't greeted by the pack of poodles and mini dogs like we were last time. The farm was oddly quiet compared to previous trip; something didn't feel right. I found out soon enough: the pregnant doe that we had purchased delivered twins that very morning; one was a stillborn and the other was barely clinging on to life. It's one of the risks that you take with a first-time freshener; the caretaker was having a hard time with the whole thing. I was under the impression that she had never had to deal with this sort of loss before; she adores all of her goats. I'm kicking myself for not offering to bury the body for her; I didn't think of that until after we got home... I guess that goat farmer J--- had called my parents about the ordeal before we left. Why do I always seem to miss the important calls? :shrugs: Anyway... J--- didn't want to have the mamma or newborn around anymore; she was emotionally spent. What are we to do with a preemie?! We were no where near set up for this sort of thing. The surviving kid had to be pulled since he was stuck; the little guy was cold and had slim chances of survival. Shepherdess J--- kept saying that something just isn't right with him, he's just not vibrant like the other kids, doesn't seem to have the gusto that most goats have... Oy vey. Diving in head first, we are.
Eight goats wrangled up and loaded up into their respective carriers, and paper work all filled out, we mounted up for the ride home. I held a spritely, sassy little doeling on my lap, and mom held the newborn. It was certainly a trip that will forever be etched in all of our memories. ;) Imagine - a whole herd of mini goats who had never been away from their farm were now cruising down the highway at 55mph with complete strangers. I think I'd vocalize my opinion in the matter too, if I were in that situation.
At home, the mini-man, Eli, kept asking when we were coming home with the goats. He's been waiting for this day to come. When he woke up that morning, he told Mom, "Guess what today is! We get our goats!"
We pulled up the driveway after 6:30, but the day was far from over. We still needed to get the goats moved into their new home since we had nothing set up. The barn stalls had no bedding in them, no water buckets, no nothing... just what the llamas had been using. And all that was at a level where llamas could reach it, not mini caprines, and it was all covered in spit wads. We certainly are prepared, aren't we? Well, all that to say, we didn't come in until after 10. We were thoroughly whooped. But Mr. Preemie needed round-the-clock care. Mom was up all night with the goober.
Sunday morning came way too fast. We had goats to milk, potluck lunch to put together, church stuff to pull together and set up, worship music to assemble, etc, etc, etc... And everyone just wanted to sleep. Sorry, no sleep for you! Responsibility calls. I don't think that I've ever felt so piece-mealed, yet people kept commenting on how good I looked. I guess when I'm frazzled and brain-drained... :P Some of the young men also kept asking if there was anything that they could help us with; I couldn't even keep up with a conversation. Well, we stayed awake during church and miraculously drove home in one piece.
Meanwhile, while most of the crew was at church, Mom was at home with a tired 7 year-old, a tummy-troubled couch dweller, a preemie, and the phone. Yes, the phone. People wanted to come see the newest members of the farm family. Why not, says I. Come on over, she said! Well, one of the visitors was a friend who has been in the dwarf Nigerian business for about a year now. She was able to help give the goats a more thorough looking over. We got a little more than we bargained for. Our buck has turned into a rescue case, poor little dude... He was at the bottom of the pecking order.
The rest of Sunday was spent nursing preemie, continued work getting things set up for the goats, goat supplements and medicines, and naps (for the humans, the goats were wide awake). We still didn't come in until after 9:30. Keep in mind - we still have boat loads of high-maintenance chickens all over the place that require attention too.
The only promise of a better night's sleep would mean that Mister Tiny would have to stay out with his mom. But it's too cold to leave him out there yet... We were able to get the two of them together though. She had been searching and calling for him. We brought him out, she recognized him, and immediately started excitedly licking him - it was certainly a reunion that almost brought tears, it was that touching. After he got a bath, it was time to bring him in under the heat lamp again since he was getting cold.
Monday - Memorial Day - a day of continued barn work. Oma came over for the afternoon, we had bbq steak... we were starting to settle into a 'routine' if you can call it that. The initial buzz and excitement started to wear off. We were even able to get the little guy to be with his mom all afternoon - in a special pen that we made specially for the two of them and under a heat lamp of course. Things started looking up even if the little squeaker had to sleep in the house again that night.
It's Tuesday now. It's one thing to be greeted by a gloriously sunny day as you wake up feeling more refreshed than you have in the last several days. It's an entirely different matter when you go down to find that the preemie died during the night. I still have to go out and bury the poor little guy since my brother is gone all day. We did everything we could. It was hard to go out and milk his mamma, and she was standing there asking us where he was. Our relief was the spunky little doeling that gave us plenty of comic relief.
I'll write more after I get some pictures of the herd.
Until next time