Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Squeak in the Woods

Man, we thought Wheezy the goat was pregnant, but my sis called me to tell me that she'd had a miscarriage. I asked if she was sure, and yes, she was. She bury'd it, and had an appt. she had to go to, but I was on my way home, and she asked that I check on the goat when I got home. Of course, when I got home, I forgot, as there was someone in my driveway who wanted to talk to me about a job, and I sat on the back porch with him discussing it.

We were in the middle of that chat, when I heard that call, WAY OUT BACK....all the goats were lined up at the front of the fence, this had nothing to do with them, this was a sound I'd heard before, and at that moment talking to the guy, I must have gone white. Eyes wide, I stood up without explanation, and took off like a rocket for the back. He's yellin' "WHAT WHAT!" All I could do was hold up a finger, I was worried I'd jinx what it was that I heard. Hope against hope I'm fumbling with the gate chain, I loop it back around the gate, hope the goats don't escape and go to haul ass, but I hear nothing. I stop. I wait. I hear it again, and take 5 steps. I stop. I wait, I walk, I hear it again, quickstepping towards the sound, and I see the tree where we put my dad's ashes,(his name was Earl) I walk behind that tree, and there she is. Half covered with the sack she was born in, her one eye is plastered, dry, and one ear, Wheezy must have licked her for just a moment and then totally freaked out. The baby goatie is essentially dry under the sticky spoo that covered her rear half, and i scooped her up and it came off on me, i threw it as far as i could, and it slid off her eye and ear, and the baby was soooo happy to see me. She was rooting around, a great sign, she was healthy and I was so relieved. I thought seeing she was behind the Earl tree, the name was Earline. Tacky 'nuff?

I came walking up to the fence, as the guy who I ran off on was walking back to the fence. OMG! He yells, Who's is that!!?? I told him Wheezys! She had come by us to see the baby, but when I set the baby down, she took off, like , don't get that thing near me! It HURT!

Bill, the guy's name, totally flips out. He says, That goat is goanna starve! What do i get it? Where do i get it? I told him Colostrum, baby goat food and a baby bottle, and he was gone.
My husband came home, and after having gotten the miscarriage message on the phone, he was crazy happy. I called my sis, who was at a concert. I held the phone out, let it ring, and when she picked up, the baby goatie made a baby goatie wail that made my sister run out of the concert hall to the lobby. It was truly a very happy moment. There is nothin' like a baby goat. Sweet, immediately headstrong, warm, fuzzy, docile. CUTE!

We took her into the house after several rebuffs by the mom, and I'm thinkin, o GAWD i don't want a house goat, it has taken me forever to get a chicken we raised in the house to understand (partially) that she is not entitled, but thats all I need, all my mango leaves gone, all my flowers eaten, cause we raised a goat to be up by the house. I don't think so.

We decided on a plan of action, we had to tackle the wild mom goat. Got'er. I had to milk a goat for the first time in my life while Nico held her, and was underwhelmed by the quantity, but that colostrum within the first few hours is really essential for the baby. The baby, upon arriving at the house, was totally cleaned by Mona the Poodle, who assumed that it was now HERS and I am surprised that this fixed dog didn't lactate. She cornered the baby goat on her bed an slept with her. She's never done that, she won't even touch the black lab when she sleeps.

While this happened around 4 pm, the birthing part had happened maybe an hour earlier, and now it was getting to be 11 at night, and she'd not eaten yet. When my sis came home from the concert, she picked up the bottle i'd made (Bill was back from the store in a flash, with baby goat food, a huge tub of goat milk substitute, and a baby bottle from Kmart.) the baby ate like a pig. We were all hugely proud of ourselves, and decided that the mother goat might be receptive to somebody to empty her huge milk bag which must have hurt like hell... if we locked em up together. The baby naturally has a rooting instinct, and if they were together, the baby can smell where the milk is, if Wheezy would let her near her. We trapped her in the barn, and as there is no door, we boarded em up, with a little pan of water and food for the mom and straw down for a clean place to sleep. (You can't put a deep pan of water down near any new baby anything) Sure as hell, the baby nursed, Wheezy acquiesced from pain, and for a week we kept them together. Wheezy is still not sure what the heck happened to her.

She still looks at the baby like, WHY? She gets concerned if she can't see the baby, makes noises, but nothing like an experienced mom would... moms that are used to it continuously talk to their babies, and their licking stimulates the babies to nurse. Wheez still has never licked the baby, I think that the Poodle spit was too much of an insult to take. Next time.

Clik on the title of this post to see my Nico and Earline Movie, its a Quicktime 10M, so it loads slow, but I think worth it. ha.