Monday, July 25, 2011

Life Interrupted

This week was supposed to be a free week, a week where I didn't have any meetings or other plans, a week where I could get caught up on some chores around the house.  You know the joke:  "Do you know how to make God laugh?  Make plans."

Many of you will remember Iris, the little cutie that I had to bottle feed.  Well, she has graduated to our front pasture and is off the bottle.  In the meantime, I have acquired two more bottle fed babies, both males.  Since we sell our male goats I don't name them, but with bottle feeding, I have to call them something, hence "Little Dude" and "Little Guy."  Little Dude's mother rejected him as far as feeding is concerned so I had to take the role of wet nurse.  Little Guy's mother didn't reject him but we discovered that he wasn't nursing because he developed what we believe is sore mouth, a condition that causes sores on his mouth and made it difficult for him to nurse.  His sores have all scabbed over and almost gone but now he's used to the bottle so I have to continue with that duty.  

Last night when I was out in the barn, finishing up with the last bottle feeding of the day, my husband appeared with a limp goat in his arms.  It was a three day old buck who, except for his open eyes and rhythmic breathing, looked to be dead.  My immediate reaction was to get some milk into him as we had questioned whether or not his mother had been nursing him.  Using a needle-less syringe, drop by drop I got some milk into his barely responsive mouth.  After a time, when we were about to give up, he gave a faint sign that he might have a chance.  More milk into his stomach and he lifted his head and let out a bleat.  It was almost a miracle, much like the scene in the cartoon 101 Dalmatians where one puppy appears dead at birth.

Later last night, I realized it was probably dehydration, what with no sign of his nursing and with the scorching heat that we've been experiencing.  Dubbed "Little Bro," we now have him in a laundry basket in our house.  He's not out of the woods yet and he's still very weak, but we're feeling positive about his recovery.

So, maybe next week I can make plans...


Shona~ LALA dex press said...

next time my boyfriend mentions wanting oats I'm going to print off all these posts about your ordeals. but they really are super cute.

Cherie said...

Shona, I had the vet out yesterday and she commented, "Goats are supposed to be easy, but they're not." We do have the breed, Boer goats, that tends to have the most problems (we didn't know it when we began this journey). But you're right about them being cute. :)