On Tuesday I drove to Statesville to get rabbits. I’ve been trying to make the trip during the week because on the way home I stop by the feed store and get milk goat food. Even though it’s very expensive, I’m very happy with this food. The goats are all doing well on it. I meet my rabbit supplier in the Lowes parking lot. On the way out, I always stop at Dunkin’ Donuts and get a bacon, egg and cheese bagel as well as six donut holes. Because it was getting hot, I planned to leave at home, but he had other ideas. Before leaving I put him up, quickly went into the house to fill my cup with iced tea and came back out. There was Gel, sitting in the back of my car. It didn’t take him long to climb out of his run. I let him go with me and he was very happy to share my Dunkin’ Donuts treats.
On a whim I decided to swing over to Home Depot which is across the highway from Lowes. Since early spring, I’ve been looking for Russian Sage and have been unsuccessful in finding it. I love Russian Sage and the goats won’t eat it. I drove by the garden shop and there it was in all its beautiful purple glory. Gel and I went in and I bought four plants.
When I got home and got everything unpacked I broke out the lap top and wrote that darned article. I don’t know why I had such a mental block about writing that article, but once I sat down and started writing, I finished it within a couple of hours and sent it off to the editor. What a relief to have that done. I turned off the lap top and went outside to plant my Russian Sage and found Rain cleaning off a new baby, a light red doe kid. All seemed well and I felt sure she was going to deliver another one so I stayed outside and planted the Russian Sage and repotted ferns.
Wally got home and we did a few chores around the house. The chickens were harassing Rain and not allowing her to rest so we put her up in Gel’s run and went in the house to have supper. Around 8 PM we went back out to haul water down to the sheep. Rain still hadn’t delivered another baby and the chickens were getting ready to go up for the night so we put Rain back into the fenced-in area. My landlady had stopped by and I was visiting with her when I noticed Rain on her side straining. We watched her for about 30 minutes when Wally said I had better go into the house and get some hot water and soap because there was likely another baby stuck.
It would have been better on Rain if I had been the one to straighten out the baby, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. That poor doe screamed horribly when Wally put his hand in her vagina to straighten out the baby. He managed to pull her out and we both expected it to be dead, but it wasn’t! I ran back into the house and got towels and we dried her off. She was a lovely black and white paint. The problem was that her head was bent backwards and both of her front legs were bent at the ankles. We milked some milk into a bottle and tried to get her to nurse, but she just flopped around. She also was having trouble breathing due to liquid in her lungs. We stayed with them until we were sure Rain was okay then went in for the night.
Neither of us expected that kid to be alive the next morning. I went out and she was lying on her side. I walked in to pick her up, expected to feel her stiff body, but she was still alive and somehow she had managed to nurse during the night. I went back into the house and got a bottle to milk Rain into and offered it to her. She sucked some and was quite lively. Both Wally and I had to leave the house at 7 AM so we didn’t have a lot of time to spend with her.
Again, when we got home from work we expected to find the baby dead, but nope, she was up with her front legs bent under her. We offered her a bottle and she nursed quite well. She was also able to nurse some off Rain. Obviously, she is nursing to some extent otherwise she wouldn’t be alive.
Apparently it is not unusual for a young animal who was stuck in the birth canal for any length of time to have the front legs bent over like this one is and from what I’ve been told, it usually straightens out. Her head is now in a normal position and she’s no longer wheezing. I gave her a bottle this morning and she did well on it. I’ve also seen her nursing and a few hours ago, I saw her almost stand up on her front legs. I was told to gentle massage the front legs several times a day. Hopefully she’ll survive.
Rain has been wonderful. It’s no surprise that she’s a great mother. We have her separated off from the rest of the goats in what we call the sheep house (the 30 foot long covered dog run) and she seems happy with that. I don’t want the other goats in with her until the baby is able to get around. The light red doe kid is doing fine. When I go in to feed the black and white baby, the light red baby climbs into my lap as well.
I’m off today and have done a good bit of long overdue house cleaning. It’s pretty hard having only one day off from work. You are not able to catch up on what needs to be done and get any rest. I work Friday, Saturday and Sunday this week, then am off Monday, then work Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Yesterday, I told the Assistant Manger who schedules the cashiers that I wanted to go back to 16 to 20 hours a week until October when my unemployment status will change. It is my understanding that there is another extension due me, but it likely won’t be as much money as I am getting now. I’m getting seriously burned out working as a cashier. It’s rather scary thinking about the job market. There are simply no jobs to be had. Hopefully things will get better in the next couple of months.
Time to head out and check in the babies and try to get some milk into the black and white baby. Hopefully her legs will straighten out and she’ll go on to thrive. Part of me thinks I shouldn’t be hand feeding her, that if she can’t nurse on her own, then I’m perpetuating weakness by helping her. I also wonder if it was the light red baby rather than the prettier black and white baby if I’d be hand feeding her. I don’t know, but I’m very fond of Rain and I’m glad she seems okay.
Until later …