Saturday, March 14, 2009

Goat Milk Belly

Does it look like something other than a goat to you? It is a young buckling, nearing a couple of weeks old, that develops quite the "beer belly," well, more like a goat milk belly, each time he takes his bottle. The pic doesn't even do the boy justice! He is a pig, a hog-cow as I call him.

Young goats, and all goats, will eat themselves to a serious state of illness if you let them. I always have my bottle kids on a schedule, which is part of the reason why I shun the sippy buckets, even though bottles are a tremendous amount of work for us.

Our schedule at this point includes 3 bottles a day (for 13 kids), aproximately 16 ounces each, no more than that (buddy)! This kid eats, and eats, and eats, until he is ready to pop. "Stick a fork in me, I am done," is a perfect statement! But he does not think he is done.

The story behind this little fellow is he started his life in the barn on a very cold morning. His momma rejected him, but accepted the twin sister. We bottle fed him from that day forward. One day he took his bottle in his normal gusto fashion but could not walk immediately afterwards. He drug himself around unlike any youngster I have ever seen. I scooped him up for special house treatment. I determined it was pneumonia. The boy rattled, coughed, spit up mucous, but the fight for life was strong (which means a great deal in a goat). Today he is back to being a normal goat buckling, eating like a pig, and soon to move back to the barn (as soon as we have a less than 20 degree temperature variance, my rules).

Yes, I am the resident vet. Do I enjoy it? Yes. Do I feel frustrated by the chore? No. I feel frustrated when my house is dirty, and when the barn needs a serious mucking out, and when my routine is shattered. But all of that does not matter. I sacrifice for something greater than myself.

I do not want to bring up business today on one hand, this is the weekend, but I wanted to remind everyone in this circle of friends and customers that I do have a monthly newsletter. I try to include newsworthy items (related to farm sustainability, small business, etc...), and Annie's Goat Hill news. This month I was a little short winded because my brain is still in the kidding fog, so bear with me. If you want to sign up for the newsletter, or if you wish to send a friend to sign up, the envelope (button) to sign up is located towards the bottom of my site index page: . I appreciate the contact!

Before I sign off, it was late yesterday, and it definitely felt like a Friday. I looked out of the window above the sink as I washed kid goat milk supplies and felt warm and fuzzy, comfortable, and then I realized where part of the coziness was coming from. It was nearly 8:00 in the evening, and I could still see daylight. I saw the pair of geese, heard the beginnings of frogs, and saw the starting of green buds on the lilac bushes. It was wonderful, and this is what I saw:


Lomond Soap said...

I'd love to step into your shoes for a day Mary, your days do seem (to me) varied and exciting.

Over here the geese have flown north to Iceland but we saw frog spawn today whilst out walking and the lilac tree in the garden is just starting to show green buds. Ah, spring!

Anonymous said...

Yep, I remember those round milk bellies of a goat;)