Tuesday, March 18, 2008

And Then There Were Two

I think I officially cemented my OFFICIAL FARMGIRL STATUS this morning. Dr. Mary arrived at 9:30am. By 10:00am Becky & I were holding Surprise Steve down on the picnic table while Dr. Mary took care of his manly bits and pieces. Ten minutes later, we did the same with Buster. And as painful as it was to hear the goats cry, Dr. Mary reminded me that they are babies and that babies do in fact cry and that in this case they were scared because they were being held down and being held down by strange people no less. And oh yeah, the alcohol she used to wipe them down was a bit cold.

And I'll tell you what. I did really, really well. I didn't panic. I didn't freak. I did keep my eyes closed, but I got through it.

We started hitting problems when it came time for Peanut. As you might recall, Peanut has had a busted leg for a week now. Dr. Mary felt and felt and felt but could not feel a break or a fracture. She said it could be a greenstick fracture which means there's no discernible displacement or it might be some soft tissue damage. She said the muscle was mildly atrophied but not terrible. Unfortunately, the only solution is to put Peanut up in a stall and let him rest his leg and hope that it heals. For 2 weeks. And because Peanut is only 6 weeks old and still nursing, that means Ann-Margaret needs to be up in a stall with him. For 2 weeks. And because Buster is only 6 weeks old and still nursing, that means he needs to be up in the stall with Ann-Margaret and Peanut. For 2 weeks. 3 goats. 1 stall. 2 weeks.

Once again, I did not panic. Well - not really. Maybe some mild anxiety set in, but I went about the business of making some quick decisions. Dixie's stall is by far the biggest and has the most light. It's her home - where she feeds, where I put her up every night. There's definite rhythm and routine there. The other stall - where we have historically put the goats up when we need to put them up, is sizable - but it's dark and in a corner and just not a solution for a 2 week stay. So Dixie has been displaced.

I mucked her stall and laid down fresh straw. Steve was there and he cut up some 2x4s to cover up some small holes along the outer wall where the babies could have possible got their heads stuck. Then he and Becky ran some leftover fencing along the inside because the spaces between the boards are big enough that once again, the babies could have possibly wriggled out. I know it's hard to imagine so just trust me when I say - a whirlwind of activity in the barn.

Meanwhile, Lucky did not do well with her shots - she hollered and hollered and hollered. And then with all the buzzing and whirring and sawing and hammering and general commotion she sort of freaked out a little.

Meanwhile, we finally got all of the adult goats wormed, got Ann-Margaret and her 2 boys in the Dixie Hotel where they will be residing for the next 2 weeks. We got Nugget up with Surprise Steve in the other stall where he will recuperate from his surgery until tomorrow afternoon.

Lucky is in the house in her cage, quite quiet and trying to shake off the shell-shock.

And it's sad to look out on this chilly, gray day and see only Elvis and Dixie wandering around the pasture because the last few days all 8 of them - including my little Lucky Doodle - have been out grazing and playing and bonding. It's been wonderful to watch the little ones folic and explore and to watch Lucky integrate and learn how to be a goat and just to see them all together. And now there are 2.

So, I am kind of sad because we were making such progress and now we've had this minor setback but I suppose the next 2 weeks will fly by and hopefully Peanut's leg will heal (if not - we can amputate it which actually doesn't freak me out because I've seen him this last week and he's done fine on 3 legs) and by then we'll be ready to wean them which will be a whole other undertaking. Oy.

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...

ps In case you were wondeing, we spared Peanut the trauma of castration in light of his leg.

pps On top of everything, Dixie has some aggression issues towards me which I can't figure out. I thought she was being playful but Dr. Mary said it was clear aggression. I need to get her ass in shape...


Linda said...

How is Lucky today?