4/29/12

And two more make ten

Since their difficult delivery on April 11, Alba's kids have been doing fine.

Taco, Cajeta & Burrito still like to hang out together 
cuddle with Mom


video


and climb all over her. 

Come Mother's Day, they had better chip in together for a big bouquet of roses.

Taco relaxes at the dairy bar
while Burrito samples a tasty dried leaf.
On April 18 Juju completed this year's kidding season
with a beautiful doeling
followed shortly by another beautiful doeling. video
Getting toweled off just after birth.
Momo and ChouChou are practically indistinguishable.
The sisters slid right out of Juju
(to the relief of the midwife, after the troubles Dream and Alba had)

and were enjoying a walk outside two days after birth.
They're still at the cute, cuddly stage, as friend Margaret discovers


but they can also look a tad sinister.
Ten days old, sporting their new collars and browsing on tree branches.
Kona's kids are getting so big & strong

that they lift her off the ground when they're nursing.

Although Kona has had only two teats during their entire lifetime

all three "babies" often look for a snack at the same time.

Macchiato is developing some impressive horns

as is his brother Pingado

who fearlessly challenges Dreamy every chance he gets.

Fortunately, she's willing to play gently with him instead of butting him across the pasture.

The kids love to run from the pallet out into the big pasture area and back again

and jump all over the truck topper

and especially to play on the skyway Barb built for them.


Some dismounts are of Olympic caliber;


others not so much so.

If we could only harness the energy expended by the kids, we'd be off the grid.

Energy of another kind -- a gusty thunderstorm -- took the top off a dead tree, which narrowly missed our propane tank.


A few days later our neighbors watched a dust devil pick up a plastic sheet from their garden and deposit it in a nearby tree. 
Calmer weather ensued, and Lassi is enjoying the spring green-up.  Of course, the grass is always greener just beyond the fence.


4/12/12

The Unbearable Cuteness of Being . . . Baby Goats

 Mergansers on the front pond are getting ready for babies
 as is the resident pair of Canada Geese
floating gracefully back and forth
 (when they aren't pooping on the front lawn and driveway).
Lassi was supposed to deliver her babies on March 28 
 so the Farmers were surprised when they went to the barn before dawn on March 27th and discovered that Lassi had gone ahead without them
 and sometime during the night had unloosed two doelings -- Raita
 and Tzatziki (both named for yogurt sauces, like their mother).
 Not knowing how much milk they had slurped during the night,
 Barb made sure they got plenty of colostrum during the crucial early hours.
 Mother and kids have been doing great from the start. 
 Poor Dream was not so fortunate.  Two days later she went into a long labor and delivered a stillborn kid; Barb had to go in and remove the second baby, which also was stillborn.  Fortunately Dr. Dolores soon arrived on an emergency call to treat Dream for hypocalcemia and high risk pregnancy toxemia. 
 She's doing fine now and is almost completely back to her usual self -- joining everyone else in the back pasture and nipping at those obnoxious youngsters when they get too near.
 Because they are so close in age, Kona's and Lassi's kids hang out together.
 At first they spent a lot of time snoozing in the Bat Cave
 but they've been growing so quickly that they no longer all fit in.
 They loved exploring every inch of the big pen
 and were especially delighted to get outside
 
 to nibble on fresh salad
 and play in and on the truck topper. 
 Barb constructed a play-set for them
 to climb on 
 and rest on.
 But they mostly like to eat it
 and will soon have all the bark stripped off the stumps.
 Of course, there are more nourishing options available, too.
 Proud papa Mr T keeps on eye out on his progeny
 
 when he isn't tormenting Niblet.
 At two weeks old the kids were getting so big, wild, and hard to grab that it was time for collars. Macchiato sports a handsome orange number.
video
The kids have only two speeds: 90 mph
 and zero.
 Alba was supposed to deliver on April 14 but went into labor on April 11, without being able to push the babies out.  Remembering her difficult delivery last year, and fearing a situation similar to Alba's mom Dream, Barb -- with much trepidation -- went in after the kids.
 Sure enough, the first buckling was positioned backwards, preventing him -- or anyone else -- from moving.  Barb reached in and tugged away heroically until the reluctant guy came out -- much the worse for wear.  She suspended him head down to get him breathing
 and then turned him over to Mom's attentions.
 A short while later, she helped Alba deliver a doe -- properly head-first this time --
 and then another buckling.
Kids, Mom and midwife were understandably exhausted by this time
 but Alba went about cleaning the babies up;
video
Just a few minutes old, they take a licking and keep on ticking. 
Eventually they went in search of a good meal
even if they were too tired to sit up straight at the table. 
 Once again, Barb made sure everyone was well fed from the start.
 By the time the Farmers retired, the kids were looking a lot dryer, stronger and happier than they had earlier in the evening. 
 And the next morning they were up and about
 still being attended to by Mom.
 Alba proved to be a trooper during the whole ordeal -- and is justifiably grateful to the midwife who saved her life and her kids.
 Juju is the remaining expectant mother, with a due date of April 20.  We're eager to see what she will contribute to the current herd of eight kids.  In light of the population explosion
 Barb sold the RAV Goatmobile and bought a vehicle more suited to hauling hay, feed and goats.
Soon we'll fill the back end with cute babies and see which of our neighbors leave their porches unlocked.  What could be a more welcome day-brightener than finding a gift goat tapping at your door?