Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Real Winter

Winter has definitely arrived. It's actually been cold -- and very cold indeed! We continue to learn the ins and outs of farming, and unfortunately we sometimes have to learn things the hard way.

Last Saturday the boys went down to the goat shed to do their chores and discovered one of our does was down. Ebony was laying on her side, too weak to get up. The weather had turned very cold overnight; the temperature in the afternoon was in the 20's, but by morning it had dropped to 30 below zero. Poor Ebony was very cold. Jim and the boys rigged up 2 heat lamps, and added bedding and a blanket for her.

Jonathan thought we should check on Ned our buck, since he hadn't heard him stirring yet. David ran over to his shelter, and was very upset to find him dead. We aren't sure just what happened, since he seemed fine the day before. I usually call to him when I go outside, and if he is in his shelter he will stick his head out and greet me. He had done that the day before, so it was a great shock to me.

I am very grateful for a network of people we have come to know and love, who gave us good information on what to do to save Ebony. She is still weak, but gaining strength. We continue to check on her because if she falls over onto her side, she cannot get up on her own. It has been exciting to watch how patient and caring the boys are with Ebony as they tend to her needs.

4 comments:

Caroline said...

I have just been through a similar scary situation with one of my does. I have chronicled every step on my blog, if it might be of any help to you. (http://nexusalpacas.blogspot.com) I hope Ebony continues to improve.

Goodolboy said...

Hi Lynn, Sorry to hear about your troubles. You guys seem to be in the same boat we are. Learn from your mistakes and just keep pluggin away till ya get it right. The winds here are terrible. Driftin bad and makes it seem too cold for anything to survive. Egg production is almost nothin now and we are spendin more in feed than we get in eggs. Got to keep your head up and try not to get down on the deal but sometimes it is hard. Suppose to get worse as the week goes on. Stay warm. Good time to catch up on some readin. Readin the Contrary Farmer right now. Good book.

Peggy said...

so sorry you lost one of your goats. I have been putting thrift store sweatshirts on Ms Diva to keep her warm. Our buck seems to enjoy the cold.

Lynn said...

Caroline, thanks for the reference; I left a comment on your blog.

Guy,in spite of all this terrible cold, our Buff Orpingtons have been faithfully laying eggs every day! If they lay early in the morning we end up with a split eggshell, but I still use them. They are amazing little machines!

Peggy, I saw a photo of your sweatshirt for Ms. Diva, and think we'll do something like that as well. I appreciate your blog! We are very thankful that Ebony is acting like her regular self. Now for this weather to moderate!