Trudging back from the barn, I think, “Wednesday…?” My routine is sandwiched (lasagna’d?) between tasks for the does & offspring. It gives the days a certain sameness:
Any given day: 6AM: coffee; read Times; check e-mail; suit up for outdoors
7 AM: feed cats; hay to does; bottle to quads; count kids (18)
7:30AM: breakfast, laundry, paper work, answer email
9 AM: tonic to does; hay to horses (snow last night); shots, Aggie & Edie; count kids; greenhouse; haul firewood
1 PM: round up goats; count kids; bottle to quads; lunch
2PM: till (or) haul mulch (or) shift compost (or) mend fence
4 PM: hay to horses, does; count kids; cut/split firewood
5 PM: feed goats, horses; count kids
6 PM: bottle to quads; count kids; fold laundry; supper
8 PM: count kids (still 18)
To be fair, readers, “quads” is just ID: 3 survived, and only two are taking the bottle, to help Aggie keep valiantly nursing all three. Shots for Aggie and Edie (the birth-stressed does) only every other day. It is entertaining to give a lively goat antibiotic with one pair of hands: however, 2 days out of three there’s been help (Bless you, Jess, Mary, Dan, Josh, Pam, Julie!). Which makes a big difference in holding the doe’s collar, standing her against a post, locating an adequate muscle, getting the needle in without hitting a nerve – causing the most docile of does to break loose, leap away across the pen and charge around stepping on kids, with the syringe still stuck in her haunch – and gently pushing the plunger to slowly deliver the med without losing one’s grip on the entire situation. Keeping in mind, too, that the goal of the process is to control infection.
Next, “tonic to does” summarizes pouring into 3 separate troughs and a small bucket while being jostled by 11 horned, hooved, 120+lb creatures – all equally fond of warm water, corn oil & molasses – and making sure that the deserving – Aggie, Columbine, Jonquil and Hyacinth, all nursing triplets, plus poor bereaved Edie – get a good share.
Also in fairness, no more 5AM trip (to see if anyone kidded during the night) or 11PM trip (in case anyone started labor after 8PM), at least until the end of the month when Trillium is due. And it’s reasonably sure at 8 that if none of the kids are left down in the woods by then, they’ll still be in the stall at 7 next day!
Reminded now of the early religious belief that the world rested on the back of a giant turtle. Asked what was under that, an exponent declared it was “turtles all the way down!” Just so you don’t get bored with “goats all the way down,” here’s glimpses of what’s coming along in the greenhouse.