Life around the Double F has been nothing short of busy as of late.
Let's see here, since my last post we have: welcomed a new baby doeling into our lives, successfully opened a local children's art school, lost the same newborn baby doeling at only five days old, had our first disbudding experience with our two week old doeling kids, received about 20 inches of new snow, and sowed our first seeds into the garden.
Runty ended up giving birth to a single baby doeling the last Friday in April. She had an easy delivery, with Madeline up and standing within minutes of being born. Unfortunately, by the following morning newborn Madeline was showing signs of weakness, and we never saw her feed on her own again.
With several days of attempted bottle feedings, additional heat lamps installed, and forced vitamin drenches already behind us, we lost Madeline on Tuesday evening.
We did all that we could, and she most likely had some sort of internal birth defect that would not allow her to digest properly.
It was a very sad experience, with lots of sleep lost, and stressed foreheads rubbed.
In the end, however, I realize everything happens for a reason, and Runty being only 2 years old, has many more breeding seasons to look forward to.
She was a very good mother while it lasted and still producing about 3 quarts of milk a day for us.
Happy to be let out of the kidding pen in which she was on lock down for the five days Madeline was with us, she has taken to watching after Janet's very busy kids when Janet is in need of a break.
Here is a shot of Runty with Madeline just seconds after her birth.
Look at how big our chicks and poults are getting! They recently have started going outside their little coop for some leg and wing stretching. The turkeys are the big ones on the right in the photo above and are quite vocal lately.
Baby Flo and Pinkie and getting huge. We used our new electric dehorner to brand their incoming horn buds on Tuesday. This activity, called dis budding, will permanently damage the incoming horns at the skull, not allowing them grow at all. While some people allow their goats to grow their horns, they can be a major nuisance if you plan to spend alot of time around your herd. Being aggressive animals, horns can cause serious damage to other animals and humans. As long as you protect your herd adequately from predators, there is no need for them to ever grow. This can be thought of as similar to declawing a cat.
And yes, the branding hurts, for ten seconds. We then spray them down with a burn spray like Solarcaine to prevent infection and cool off the painful burn, and off they go, like nothing even happened. The scab will form in about a day, heal in about a week, and there you go. No horns!
Above you can see Flo not having too many hard feelings for me even though I burned her head with a hot branding iron. The pink ring around the horn bud is the scab. I know it doesn't bother her at all, as she is CONSTANTLY playing the 'head-butt game' with me, Pinkie, trees, and anything else she finds in front of her.
You can only imagine how impossible it is to take a picture of these two lately. The only time they are still is when they are asleep. Speaking of, as of Wednesday evening, I have started separating Flo and Pinkie from Janet for 12 hours per night to aid in the weaning process. This also ensures that I will get a good surplus of milk first thing in the AM from Janet, as the kids have not had a chance to nurse since the prior afternoon.
As of today I am getting about 2 quarts of milk in the AM and 1 quart of milk in the PM from the combined does. I can say enough how much we are LOVING it.....long overdue!
Bok Bok Bok...
You can see above how the little chicks and poults have their own separate area from the adults. This helps with the socialization process, and bullying can really be a problem among birds of different ages.
The garden soil is looking great lately. Although I still have a house full of strong green seedlings, and the garden soil is more than ready, I refuse to put them in the ground before June! I did, however plant my peas and beet seeds yesterday, and can't wait to see what happens. Well, I think that's all for now, and I should probably get back to planning my next art lessons.
I hope this spring finds everyone doing well, and I hope to catch up on our blog very soon.
Hugs and muddy boots~ The Jack Creek Coyles