Rabbits and Death

I’m getting plumb tired of animals dying or having to put them down.  I did not loose any rabbits yesterday and as of 5:30 AM today there are no dead ones in the barn, but we did have to put a goat kid down last night.

When I got through milking yesterday morning, I saw a goat kid lying on her side screaming.  By the time I got there, she got up and seemed fine.  I checked her later in the day and she seemed okay.  When Wally went down to the back pasture around 5:00 to bring them up, she was down again.  Interestingly, Gwen (cow) was standing over her licking her.

Wally carried her up, but she wasn’t able to get around on her own and could not nurse.  I could tell she had not been nursing because her mother had a full udder.  We came to the joint decision that she was suffering and put her down.  I believe she may have had tetanus.  Yes, you can vaccinate against tetanus, but I never have, nor did Wally while he was raising meat goats.  He’d never seen tetanus before, nor have I.

This was the baby that I mentioned in previous posts that her mother was bringing with her all over the farm.  She may have got a puncture wound from a rusty object while up at the house on the hill (the Christmas Tree Farm).  There’s a lot of rusty things up there.  She have contracted it from horse manure, although as I said before, we’ve never seen and we’ve had horse(s) in the pasture for almost as long as I’ve had goats.

Let’s hope we don’t see it again.  Now I have to milk this goat twice a day.  I was hoping to not have to do that until the buck kids were old enough to take off their mothers which wouldn’t be until August.

And of course it was a doe kid that got sick.

I do a lot of research and reading on the Internet these days.  I noticed that a number of grass-based farms start out with rabbits, but they don’t stick with them.  I can only assume it’s because they can be difficult to raise, especially in a pasture-based system.  Yesterday afternoon, Wally and I sat on the back of Yoda and did some rabbit sexing.  I’m still on the fence about what to do with the litter that’s from the doe I assume is exhibiting symptoms of pasteurellosis.  My gut feeling is to cull them and I probably will.  The doe is bred back to the buck we culled.  Then again, the weather has been so weird this winter, that may have something to do with the snuffles and other sickness I’ve seen, including the tetanus.

I don’t need to make any decisions now.

I need to get out to milk.  I need to get back into the habit of going out earlier and doing my computer work after I milk.  Had some issues with Gel the day before yesterday not holding the gate.  I was IRRITATED with the goats and that dog feels my emotions usually better than I do.  A couple of the goats have cuts and scrapes on their udders from going through brush.  They’ve been escaping through the back part of the pasture.  That will be fixed this weekend, between rain drops.  Heavenly has been particularly bad.  I hobble her, but she pulls against the hobbles which makes for stressful milking because I envision her pulling free and knocking the bucket over.  Yesterday morning, I vowed to not get irritated and to let Gel do his work as he thought was right.  I want him to hold the gate, which to me means lying at the mouth of the gate.  He prefers to watch from the side.  Yesterday morning, I let him do his work as he felt he should and if a goat escaped, then I’d correct him.  Goats did not escape.  I fixed Heavenly’s boat: not only did I hobble her, but I tied her back legs to the back of the milk stand so she couldn’t pull against the hobbles.  I got her milked quickly and with less stress.  If we can keep them out of the woods, they won’t scratch their udders.  We went through this last year.  Maybe next year I can remember to make sure that back fence is in place to keep them in the pasture.

Off to milk.

Until later …