I had an invitation to join a late-evening gathering in town. But after a nice time spent on afternoon shopping, dinner, and a board game, I decided to go home rather than party-hop. It seems that things happen for a reason. Getting home when I did may have been the difference between "emergency" and "disaster."
I got home and immediately went out to do evening barn chores. As soon as I announced myself at the gate, I heard a weak moaning cry coming from the barn. It was the adult-in-real-distress sound that I have heard only rarely, and never for good reasons.
Alys had hanged herself on her hayrick. She was still alive, thankfully,
because she had managed to prop her front feet on the base of the hayrick to take some of the pressure off of her neck. I tried to simply lift her up and get her out, but lacked the four hands and arms necessary to hold her in midair and manipulate her horns back out through the metal bars. I ended up putting a hay bale under her back legs - which raised her up about a foot - and then lifted her front legs/torso with one hand and twisted her head out with the other. ::pant pant::
Once I got her down, she staggered a little and then stood there stunned. Except for the fact that she was still standing, I would call her non-responsive. I dumped and refilled her water bucket with fresh water, then went inside for a full 50ml of "goat gatorade" (molasses with extra vitamins) and some sweet feed. Over the course of the next hour, I got all of the gatorade into her and watched her urinate. So she hadn't dehydrated dangerously, and should have enough energy to get past this. When I left the barn, she was nosing at the baby food. She still hadn't managed to walk normally.
I'm concerned about her, but I think and hope that she'll be ok. She wasn't horribly dehydrated and she had enough of her senses to be at least a bit interested in food. I just hope that I'm not being too sunny-side-up about it.
An interesting side effect of her immobilization was that Alys's baby boy had unhindered access to her udder for however long she was hanging there. He had the roundest
little tummy when I picked him up to get him out of the way of the hay bale rescue attempt. He's going to sleep well tonight.
Achaosofkittens should be home in an hour. I really really really could use a hug. I am completely done with the barn emergencies, thanks.