Friday, January 9, 2015

Farm Friday

We've been busy crunching numbers and making plans
We held our annual retreat this past weekend. That's the day when we review everything personal, financial, and farm-related from the past year and plan for the current one. We worked up a new budget for 2015, planned our seed order, and made an action list for the year.

We also were contacted by a local network affiliate to be interviewed for a story on Monday. The government is considering adding an environmental aspect to the "My Plate" nutritional recommendations by advising a reduction in meat consumption, especially beef, and the station wanted our input. Of course, the topic is controversial because the cattle industry is big business and this would hurt their profits. We'll see how it all shakes out when the official "My Plate" is announced. We like the idea as large-scale meat production is bad for our health and for the environment - think antibiotics, growth hormones, GMO feed, manure ponds, etc.

Photo: We love having new faces on the farm this time of year.
What a cutie! (Photo credit: Bill)
We're going through a kidding season right now and, for the most part, things have gone well, despite the extra cold days we've had. Before today, 6 kids were born and, although one didn't make it, all the other's seem healthy and happy. However, today we had problems. One of our older girls, Bonnie, was in labor quite a while before she kidded in the back pasture. We brought her and her new baby boy back to the barn, expecting her to deliver at least one more kid. 

When, after over an hour and no additional baby goat, we knew we had to intervene. I thought it would be just a quick assist and all would be well. Turns out, the next baby to be born was a large stillborn boy that was breach. It took me quiet a while to deliver it as there was yet another behind it and I had a hard time sorting out the various legs. 

Despite my best efforts, I couldn't deliver the third kid - and one of the reasons is there might be a fourth one. Again, I was working blind and couldn't sort out the various body parts to make sure I had either two front legs or two rear legs before pulling the kid. More than once, I had two legs but they weren't a match so I had to push them back in and start over.

The whole process was very painful for Bonnie and physically and emotionally exhausting for me. Unfortunately, the ordeal isn't over. At this point, we're sure there will not be another live birth. We've decided to see if nature will take it's course and Bonnie will be able to deliver the next kid(s) naturally. We've had goats deliver stillborn kids two or three days after going into labor without any negative health consequences to themselves - goats are sometimes amazingly resilient. At 9:00 tonight, Bonnie and her boy were happily bonding in the barn. 

This is the reality of farm life; sometimes you lose animals and there's nothing that can prevent it. While we are saddened by days like today, we also find joy in the newborns that DO make it. And we always strive to do the best for the animals on our farm.


David said...

Cherie, sorry to hear about all your goat birthing problems. I know you had problems last year as well. It brings cause to celebrate for the ones that live through the process. I didn't know that goats were so susceptible to birthing issues. We didn't have goats or sheep when I was growing up. We raised strictly cows and hogs which must apparently must be better at birthing. We did have some still born but that was not the norm. I wish you well with the rest of the birthing season.

Have a great new born goat day.

Aimee said...

what an adorable photo and such a sad thing you and bonnie had to go through! thank you as always for sharing a world that so many of us have never experienced!