Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Catching Up ~ Kidding Season

Where to begin? The past few weeks have been eventful to say the least, and it wasn't my intention to 'disappear' from blogging for so long! There is a lot to post about so I'll be playing catch-up for a bit :) . . . and what better place to start than with what predominately filled our days this month? Kidding season! It has had its joys, yet sadness and tears, too. I'll begin with the later since that is what took place right after my last post.

We had three more does due to kid including Legacy (Lacy), Leah's Boer doe, and she went into labor five days early. Only it was very unusual, and she wasn't progressing normally. Leah went in to try to figure out what was going on and couldn't find the kids. Not good. As this is still relatively new to us, and Leah was feeling things that were much different than what she had felt before, we opted to call the vet. It was already after hours, and when we called, the vet was on another emergency visit somewhere else. So . . . we waited. 

The minutes ticked by and about two hours later our vet called us back . . . he had finished his other call and would be at our place soon. That was a great relief to us! By this time, Lacy was clearly uncomfortable and was becoming distressed.

Long story short, the kids were all tangled up and were trying to come together. The vet worked and worked carefully and persistently to get the kids untangled and delivered, but finally after awhile with no success, the decision was made for a c-section. So right there in the barn stall with Dad and Leah helping to hold Lacy down, the vet did the c-section (which, if it weren't for the circumstances, was quite interesting.) 

The first kid out was as limp as can be and was struggling to breath. I (and one of the assistants who came with the vet) worked a long time to get her going, and she was given a steroid shot as well. The second kid was on her feet in no time which was encouraging to see!

Hours later with the time nearing midnight, the last stitch was in, and Lacy was on her feet albeit looking like she really didn't feel well. Before the c-section, the vet had given her about a 60% chance of surviving, yet was a little more optimistic afterwards as she was already up on her feet.

We said goodbye to the vet, and then the next priority for us was the kids . . . two beautiful doelings! (which we'll be keeping. :) They needed colostrum and the weak kid needed to be warmed. Lacy's milk hadn't come in, but thankfully, Leah had frozen colostrum from Dixie that we could use. The stronger of the two doelings was able to suck out of a bottle before long which was a blessing! 

Meanwhile, we put the weak kid on a heating pad in front of the heater, but she wasn't warming up. We really needed to get her warmed so she could eat! So Leah put her in a trash bag with her head sticking out and submerged her body in a sink of warm water. She was gradually getting warm only then we found that the bag leaked! Out the doeling came, and Dad got the hair blow dryer which worked wonders to not only dry her, but finish warming her.

Sleeping in a cardboard box the day after they were delivered

Finally she was warm enough to try to feed her, but her suck reflex was extremely weak and sporadic (and not only that, but she was still so weak overall that she could barely lift her head up off of the ground.) After trying to feed her with a bottle, Dad, Leah and I went to our last resort and did something entirely new to us . . . tube feeding. Sitting on the floor with the doeling cradled in her lap, Leah carefully inserted the tube. We did the different checks to make sure it was in the stomach and not the lungs, and then fed her. It was with a sigh of relief when we finished that without any difficulty! 

With both of the doelings fed and getting warmer, Leah and I turned our attention to Lacy and did what we could for her before finally heading to bed after 3:00 am for a few hours of sleep before needing to feed the doelings again. We were thrilled when they both sucked on the bottle and drained them! The next few hours for me were spent researching online the care of a doe after a c-section which led to Leah and I giving Lacy some different medicines. We also continued to 'drench' her with fluids as she wasn't drinking on her own yet.

Throughout the day, she slowly improved, and in the afternoon, another vet came out to check on her (which they did 'just because' and didn't charge us. I am so thankful for the caring vets that we have!) There were a few things that were concerning to the vet about Lacy, but overall, she was pleased with how she was doing. We were so relieved to hear that! But still cautious as she was hardly out of the woods yet.

The next few hours brought a drastic change, however. Lacy went downhill rapidly, and amidst late night calls to the vet for advise and hurried attempts to try to help her as quickly as possible, she died in a rather traumatic way late that night. It was really hard and especially so watching her suffer as much as she did. Thankfully, she went fairly quickly. 

As we sat in the house afterwards around midnight, running over in our minds all that had happened (and yes, shedding quite a few tears, too, as Lacy was a much-loved pet and the whole experience was intense and hard), there were so many thoughts going through my mind. One of which was that what had just happened (even though it was just the death of a goat) was yet another reminder of the fallen world that we live in . . . a world that does have so much death, pain, and suffering in it, and all as a result of sin. The sin of the first man, Adam, which corrupted the perfect world that God had created. Sin which brought this physical death and suffering . . . and spiritual death and separation from God as well. But thanks be to God who gave His own Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross and rise again so that all who believe in Him as the Savior from their sins will enjoy eternal life! Physical death will then be but a transfer from this pain and sin-stricken world to a perfect home in heaven with the Lord.

So while that week was a hard one (and made even more so by the significant lack of sleep) . . . I am once again thankful for the reminder of the promise that the Lord gives of heaven and eternal life . . . a home that I look forward to eagerly where there will be no pain, suffering, sin, or death. For Christ has had victory over death! “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:55-57.) 

Over a week old and enjoying the sunshine . . . the one on the left is still unnamed, and the one on the right (that's biting her lip :), Leah named Sienna (Dad gave the doeling to her in place of Lacy.)

As I sit here typing, there are so many other things that my heart is full of thankfulness for as well . . . one of which is that we have such excellent and knowledgeable vets who care, one of which who despite the late hours and long day he had already had, worked so hard to save the life of our doe and of her two doelings. And then also thankfulness for the two doelings . . . Legacy’s ‘legacy' . . . who are both doing so well now, and the weak one has surprised us all with how quickly she rebounded and how fast she is growing!

Sierra (Aurora's doeling), Lacy's unnamed doeling, and Sienna.

With all that happened with Lacy, Leah and I were a little anxious about the next two kiddings that were just around the corner. Larkspur ended up being five days overdue and had been in pre-labor for nearly two days . . . we were starting to get a little concerned about her when last Tuesday morning, she woke me up with soft little bleats/grunts that were coming over the baby monitor. I recognized that sound! And quickly woke Leah, and we hurried out to the barn while a strong spring thunderstorm raged overhead. Not long after we arrived with the kidding kit and towels in tow, Larkspur delivered two beautiful doelings. A very quick and uneventful kidding which we were grateful for!




A few hours later Chase went into labor, and she needed just a bit of assistance to help deliver her huge (12+ pound!) buckling. A smaller doeling quickly followed. Two easy and successful kiddings in one day! A great relief to all of us. :)

Her doeling

Chase cleaning up her kids

So now our little farm is a bustling with activity! Ten adorable goat kids that are all doing really well . . . I love watching them play together! They love to race and race around the hoop houses, then leap up on the stumps, leap off again while kicking up their heels . . . it makes me smile just thinking about it! They are certainly entertaining! They also so enjoy being held and petted which we rather enjoy, too. :) And there will be more photos to come soon!

18 comments:

  1. Well, what a time you have had! It must have been such an anxious time, and sad too watching your dear mama goat decline so soon after the birth.
    Now you have a lovely little flock of new babies to enjoy.

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  2. Oh Sarah, I'm so sorry for the loss of Lacy! But I'm also thankful for your post. This past Summer/Fall we lost one of our pet rabbits in a traumatic way, our cat's cancer became more severe, and friends lost their 3rd baby (full-term) in a row. My heart was (...is) broken over the consequences of sin so evident around us! But what peace and comfort and hope and confidence we have in our Lord Jesus Christ! His mercy and love are unsearchable... He is more than enough. Your post was such an encouragement in this! Much love to you as you continue to serve the Lord and show forth His glory!

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  3. Missed you my dear friend!
    What an exciting story. Thank you for sharing!
    Miss Lila

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  4. When I hadn't seen any posts I had a feeling it was kidding season for you all. So sorry to hear about Lacy!! :( But what a blessing to have all the kids! :) Hope you have been able to get caught up on rest! :)

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  5. I am sorry that you lost Lacy but her legacy is so precious. It amazes me how many miraculous things vets and doctors bring into our lives on a daily basis. We may live in a fallen world but still there is much to celebrate.

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  6. Sarah...so sorry to hear about the loss of Lacy. We humans can certainly become quite attached to our pets, and their loss is deeply grieved. We've lost some cats and dogs along the way, and it never gets easier. Thankfully, we have many wonderful memories, photos, etc. that we can appreciate after they are gone.

    I'm afraid I'm getting a little bit confused on who's who in your barnyard.:-) Legacy/Lacy was confusing...and then there's Chase (is this a girl name?) and I'm not sure who are the mamas and who are the kids. Maybe you could provide a quick roll call again for my sake? Thanks so much--and enjoy the kids!

    ~ Betsy

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  7. Your goats and kids have beautiful colorings. Sorry to hear about Lacy - we also find it difficult to loose animals.
    Mr.B is considering a few Boer goats, are there any books you can recommend?
    Blessings,
    Mrs.B

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  8. What a traumatic time! I'm glad things are looking up now, in spite of the sad loss of Lacy. You've worked so hard, and can feel that you did all you possibly could - you and the vets. I'm so impressed at those vets, by the way!

    The kids are very cute!

    Looking forward to the other updates :)

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  9. Leah, I'm so sorry to hear about Lacy!

    Sarah, I'm confused! I thought you mentioned a long time ago in one of your posts that raising goats is yours & Leah's project? So why did your dad gave the doeling to Leah if it's not his in the first place to give? I might be wrong because your family have so many projects that's hard to keep track of whose is whose.

    Your kiddies are so cute! I'm glad that I don't live on the farm but I do envy you that you get to watch their births, seeing them play and grow up.

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  10. It was, Elizabeth . . . and I am so glad her kids lived. It would have been a lot harder if they hadn’t! And yes, we do indeed! We are so enjoying all of the goat kids. They are a lot of fun!

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  11. Welcome to my blog, Michelle, and thank you so much for your sweet comment! I am sorry for the losses that you have had as well, and especially your friend's baby . . . that would be so very hard!

    The results of sin all around us are grievous to see, yet as you shared, there is “peace and comfort and hope and confidence” in our Lord. And we know that we are but sojourners here and have a perfect, heavenly home with the Lord awaiting us!

    I am so glad that the post could be an encouragement to you . . . and thank you again for sharing all that you did as your comment was a blessing to me!

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  12. I am always so glad to hear from you, Miss Lila! Thank you for leaving a comment! And you’re welcome for sharing. :)

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  13. You were right, Nabila! And it was a busy one for sure! Yes, it is indeed a blessing having all of the kids . . . we are loving it. :)

    I have been able to finally catch up on sleep now . . . thank you! Today is actually the first day that I actually feel rested since kidding season began, and it is a *wonderful* feeling. :) Hope you are doing well!

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  14. Thank you for your caring comment, Suze! Her legacy is indeed precious.

    It is amazing to see what doctors and vets can do with their skills to help both people and animals! The medical field is a wonderful one, and I love the fact that the history of it was largely discovered by godly men who searched the Scriptures, and the Lord continues to use men to bring healing to people.

    Yes, there is much to celebrate and be thankful for even in our fallen world. Very much indeed!

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  15. Thank you, Betsy, for your kind comment! I know what you mean . . . we certainly do get attached to our animals. It makes it that much harder when we lose them, but then as you shared, we have all of the memories.

    Sorry to confuse you about ‘who’s who’! If it makes you feel any better, Leah and I are the only ones here who can keep them all straight. :) All right, here’s a 'roll call' for you and in my next post with photos of the kids, I’ll try to explain it better!

    Our Dairy Does that kidded this year:

    ~Chase . . . and she had a doeling and a buckling that we named Primrose and Ranger

    ~Dixie . . . she had a doeling and a buckling that we named Daisy and Demi

    ~Larkspur . . . she had two doelings that we named Ebony and Lily.

    Now for our Boer does that kidded this year:

    ~Aurora . . . and she had a doeling and a buckling that we named Sierra and CenterFire

    ~Legacy (nicknamed Lacy) . . . and she had two doelings and only one is named so far and she is Sienna

    Our bucks are named Ruger and Classic.

    Hope that helps! And we are very much enjoying the kids. :) They are so fun!

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  16. Thank you, Mrs. B! It was fun to see what colorings each of the kids ended up having, and we really like how they turned out. I especially like Daisy and then Larkspur’s little gray doeling!

    That’s great that Mr. B. is considering Boer goats! They are beautiful animals. As far as books to recommend, the one that comes to mind is “Storey’s Guide to Raising Meat Goats.” Most of our learning about the breed has been online, and one site done by a well known breeder of Boers we have found very useful. The address is: http://www.jackmauldin.com/

    I hope that helps! And if you ever do get Boers, you’ll have to let me know how it goes!

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  17. It was, Rena! I am glad it’s behind us now, and yes, very glad that things are going much better. All of our goats are doing so well! It is a comfort knowing that we and the vets did as much as we could for Lacy. We, too, are impressed by our vets! They have been a great blessing to us many times.

    Other updates should be coming soon as time allows! There is a lot to post about and more ‘developing’ all the time. :)

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  18. Thank you, Leah! My sister, Leah, appreciated your caring note. She said to tell you 'thank you'!

    Sorry to confuse you! The goats are actually a family project and we really enjoy working on it together! Most of the goats belong to my parents as they purchased all of them; though, my Dad had given Dixie and Aurora to me and Chase and Legacy to Leah. When Legacy died, he gave Leah first choice out of her kids, and then he also gave me Dixie’s doeling and Leah Chase’s doeling. Hope that makes sense!

    Thank you! I think they’re pretty cute, too. :) It is a lot of fun watching their births and seeing them play and grow up. Too bad you don’t live closer as then you could come and enjoy it sometimes, too!

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Thanks so much for your comment! Each one is read and enjoyed. :)