Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Monday, March 21, 2016

Kamikaze Guinea

We only had five guineas left out of 17 after some predator, possibly an owl, picked them off one by one in the fall/winter.  They started hanging out with the chickens and frequently going in the chicken coop for the night, which is probably the only way those five survived.

But yesterday when we got home from church, Tom heard a big commotion in our bathroom and when he went to look, he saw that the window was broken and a guinea flew out the window.

The bathtub that we never use sits under this window.  And, because we never use it, I keep the laundry trolley in the tub.  There was glass everywhere.  I asked Tom if the guinea was OK and he told me that, yes, it had flown out the window.  So, I set to work cleaning up the glass on the floor.  When I got the the tub and started to move the laundry trolley out of the way, this is what I found.

Pretty gruesome...and sad.

Four guineas left.  I'll definitely have to make sure that some of their eggs get hatched this season.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Kidding Season 2016

Well, for the third year in a row, Pansy had trouble delivering her kids.  She started labor on Saturday morning so I stayed in the barn observing.  When she started pushing in earnest and pushed out only a clear, fluid filled bubble about the size of a softball, I knew there was going to be trouble.  Usually, when a bubble like that (which is the birth sac of one of the kids) comes out, two little feet and a nose can be seen in the bubble before it bursts.  Sometimes it doesn't even burst until the kid is out.

After the clear bubble came out and burst, she pushed pretty hard for about an hour and nothing was happening.  So, once again I had to put on my midwife hat and put my hand in to see if I could feel the baby.  You also know that if you don't feel feet right there in the birth canal...trouble.  So, there were no feet.  I felt all around and all I could feel was the body.  I was working against the clock because I knew the vet closed at noon.  Tom wasn't home (of course), so I was alone and had to get Pansy in the trailer, which just wasn't gonna happen.  Tom called upon our neighbor again and he ran right over.  Thankfully, Tom had hooked up the trailer and had it ready for such an event, being as how we've had to go in the freezing middle of the night before.  Neighbor and I pushed and pulled and shoved until Pansy was in the trailer, then I took off like a shot, calling the vet on the way to let them know I was coming.  I had time to spare because by then it was 11:00.

When I arrived at the vet, they were working on a cow in labor that was having the same trouble we were.  I hung out in the trailer with Pansy for a while just in case she was able to birth her baby, but nothing was happening.  She wasn't even pushing.  So, I went to watch the birth of the calf, which was pretty amazing.

When that was over and the vet was washing up, the vet tech went with me to check on Pansy.  She had had the kid!  My first thought was to feel dumb for rushing to the vet because she ended up having it herself, but I noticed right away that it appeared dead.  Not breathing, sac over it's head.  The vet tech cleared it's mouth with his fingers, and alternately held it around it's middle with it's front end hanging down, shaking it, laying it down and doing chest compressions.  After a few moments of this, he instructed me to go tell the vet what was going on, which I did.  So, the vet hurried over and said, "give him to me".  He took him by the back feet, held him upside down, and swung him like a pendulum with moderate force.  After that, more chest compressions, rubbing and shaking and finally the baby started to cough and try to breathe.

When that one was sufficiently revived and breathing, the vet went to work on Pansy.  He felt around inside her and said, "there's all kinds of goats in there, all tangled up".  He sorted them out and pulled two more out, lickity split.  So, triplets for Pansy.  All alive...barely.  Tom named the first one Lazarus.

These Nubian triplets were the first kids born this year.  The one standing was breach.  I was able to help the mother enough so that we didn't have to call on the vet.  When I saw that intervention was inevitable, I carefully reached in to see if I could feel feet.  Nope, no feet, only body.  But, I did feel something that I thought was an ear, which gave me hope that I would only have to maneuver the feet in position.  But, when I pulled the little ear out, it actually was a tail.  So, for several minutes, the momma goat looked like she had two tails...her big one and tiny little one that was actually wiggling back and forth.  I was dismayed because I thought I was going to have to do some major birthing, but when I got my hand in there, it must have triggered something in the momma.  She gave two mighty pushes and out that baby came, bottom first.  After him, the other two, one boy and one girl, slipped out easily and in quick succession.

Big Momma was the next to kid.  No problems with her, thank goodness.

She has some big chunky babies.


They run and jump and play right away.


Lazarus' brothers.

Last born were these triplet girls.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Alien...Goat Kids

In all these years of kidding seasons, I have never witnessed movement of the babies like this.   I'm glad I was there with my phone to capture the moment.  Usually, it's just gentle waves of movement that may or may not be the rumen.  There was no doubt what this was in Pansy's tummy.  She didn't kid until several days later and, even though I thought she'd be first to kid, she turned out to be next to last.