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Goats, gripes, and grasping for greatness
State of the goats (babies, boys, Elsa) while we wait on goat babies 
22nd-Feb-2016 09:30 am
Summer
It was a glorious day on Saturday, so I spent three hours outside cleaning up around the barns and working on the goats. I finally repaired (read: covered the major holes in duct tape) the enormous silver tarp that covered the chicken coop during the snow, folded it, and put it into the hay barn where it will at least be dry when next I want it. I got everyone in Jessie's pasture toe-trimmed and de-loused, paying particular attention to Elsa and Emma, who have the thickest fleeces. Yes, this means I re-trimmed toes from a few weeks ago - I don't know if this is the spring growth-spurt or what, but of the fourteen goats we touched, only Scout didn't need his toes redone.

The kids from last year are finally starting to grow up. Hope is settling down into the typical-for-my-black-line squat and fuzzy body type. Corene appears to have a nice fleece, but is nothing special just yet. In contrast, Misty is getting really tall! And Soma is still this tiny cute thing with a dark, fuzzy butt and really pointy little horns. Simon is the sweetest-but-pushy guy, and walks nicely on a lead, while Ivan is still trying to figure out what he wants to be.

In the first stage of preparation for goat baby arrivals, which could be as soon as the middle of this week, we toe-trimmed, de-loused, and relocated Scout, Pan, Simon, and Ivan up to the front pasture frat house. Scout is *not pleased* with this new situation, and takes every opportunity to tell me this. Nor are the baby boys being allowed into the barn. On Sunday morning during a break in the rain, I ended up dragging a huge piece of leftover roofing up to the front barn and setting it up crosswise on the fence runs just in front of the barn for auxiliary rain protection. I hope it helps, because we are supposed to be drowning for the next few days, and I'd rather the baby boys not get sick.

Did I mention that Dahlia is definitely pregnant? She's pregnant. Her udder is bagging up, which is a rather obvious sign to me. I'm quite pleased with this development, and am really hoping for a reverse badger girl. Emma and Taffy are also pregnant. My wish, as always, is that the new kids are 1) healthy 2) girls 3) obviously colored.

Tonight, I'm planning to get the kidding pens put together and staged so that I can lock up the three pregnant goats during the rain tomorrow. While I trust Dahlia somewhat to know to kid in the barn, I don't trust Emma and Taffy on their maiden voyages here. And Taffy has the bad example of her mother, who kidded Simon in the rain last year. So they may be cooling their heels in the barn for at least a few days until the weather clears up.

If I have the cope and ability, I want to flip Emma over and shear around her udder so that her kid(s) have a chance at finding her teats under all of that hair. I'll probably need Achaosofkittens' help to do this, since Emma is roughly the size of a small hippo now.

I ran out of Elsa's last medication this morning. We started medication on 1/28, so she had 3.5 weeks of antibiotics to help keep her spinal column from getting infected. She is regaining weight/body condition and she is not scratching herself to death anymore. We have about three more weeks before we know her full recovery path. She is still grapevining left when she walks, and I'm not expecting a great deal more improvement. Instead, she is developing coping mechanisms - mostly leaning her left side against things - to keep her body balanced and aligned when she is standing.
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