Sometimes I wonder, about the lengths we go to, for the health and welfare of our goats. Living in the mountains our challenge has always been to guide the water that flows after a rainstorm away from the entrance to the does barn. View the following Sway to discover our solution to the problem.
My name is Zippo and I suffer from DGS*.
At this time there is no cure for DGS*, but researchers keep trying to find a treatment for this aliment.
Symptoms can cause panic and shock in goat keepers because they are so startling, but is not fatal.
I can live out a normal life with it. It just entails my caretakers to know the signs and treating me accordingly. The intensity of the symptoms increases with the temperatures. Hence, in the wintertime I do not have any attacks.
Tell your goat herding friends about DGS*, before it happens to them.
My Name is Zippo, I have DGS*.
Goat suffering from DGS
*For those of you who have not seen this it is called Dead Goat Syndrome. A goat with DGS lays down in the pasture like it is dead, but they are enjoying the sunshine. The goat herder panics and runs to their aid, then when get up to the goat, it looks up incredulously at them and seems to say "What’s your problem?"
When you think of chickens, you do not think of a bird with great mental powers.
But, you do not know our chickens. You see we have a special chicken. Each night during the summer she delivers her egg at our doorstep. Right around 6 pm each and every night she lays her egg. I try to watch for her but she seems to be shy. She just lays her egg, walks off merrily on her way, her deed for the day is done.
So if you stop by early one evening. You may want to watch your step.
First, I will start this post by saying that I am not blaming her new owners for what happend. I am using her death as a public service announcement in hopes that this does not happen to another family.
I called this post, "My Name Was Ginger" because she passed away on May 4, 2018. Ginger was a great doe and I really cared for her. She was the first animal born on my farm to officially carry the Sliceofalmostheaven herdname. My plans were to keep her here until her natural death, many years from now. But she proved too aggressive once she became herd queen to be in a larger herd. So she was sold. Thankfully, I have a daughter that is the spitting image and personality of her mother, minus the aggressiveness.
She passed away because of an occurrence that I have heard far too often. She was tied out in a field to graze unsupervised. I do not know all of the details, but I'm sure she either got entangled and hung herself or fell somehow and hung herself. No matter how it happened the results were the same, a dead goat.
I impolor anyone who has goats, PLEASE do not tie out your goat. You might get lucky and not have anything happen the first time, but goats are good at getting into trouble. Also, a stray dog (coyote) could come around while you are away and kill the goat. Being tied up they cannot get away.
I always think of my goats as 3yr old children, and treat them as such when it comes to their safety. We have GFCI plugs in the barn so the goats do not fry themselves or burn down the barn. We use safety heat lamps with redundant connections so the kids do not burn the milkbarn down. You get the idea.
The final thing I will say on this topic is for anyone wanting to tie out a goat (or any other livestock) plan on supervising the animal, better yet buy temporary fencing. Don't suffer the heartbreak of a dead animal.
This is one of our turkeys, she is a Super Mom. Let me explain, about three weeks ago someone hit the steel guard protecting our mailbox. I went out to straighten the dented steel and pick up what was left of their mirror. I looked over and I saw her sitting in the ditch next to the road. As I drew near it became evident see was sitting on eggs.
Michelle and I hatched (no pun intended) a plan. Well after dark we crept down to her, I shined a bright light at her. This would hopefully blind her as Michelle came up to grab her. Well at the last instant she jumped and Michelle was able to grab her. I then gathered her eggs. We put them and her into a movable pen. With God's Grace she sat back down on the eggs. She hatched out seven of the eggs we retrieved. Considering where she was sitting she would have been buried by the snow plow when it snowed after that and the chicks would have been run over being so close to the road. So we think she is super!
This is George, of "Curious George" fame. He is our last kid this kidding season.
The season was short but full of excitement. From marathon late night watching sessions, each of us taking turns looking to see if the doe was ready to go. The terror of a stuck kid and trying to deliver them alive without damaging the dam. Thankfully, that does not happen often.
During this time, one of us would say, "It is TIME!" Then we both instantly know is was "GO TIME". We both know what the other needs to do. I am the "Midwife" getting supplies and instruments ready as Michelle helps deliver the kid.
We would go from fast asleep to fully awake in two second flat. To say we are glad we are done is an understatement. The box score is five bucks and four does. All kids and their moms are doing well. THANK YOU LORD!
The short video is of our little goat Flash. His birth was uneventful but the days afterward were anything less than extraordinary. You see we keep our newborns inside for a day or two to make sure all is well. Flash and his sister were doing well and went outside to the barn to be with the others in the kid barn. Within 15 minutes of putting him out there, the once full of boundless energy kid is laying on his side crying in pain. We whisked him back into the house to try to figure what was wrong with him. After hours to checking every book we had and consulting other goat owners online, we concluded he had a blockage internally and could not "go".
So what do you do with a goat that can't go? We spent the next several hours rubbing him all over to stimulate his little body. After about and hour and half, the blockage pushed out and the flood gates opened. 24 hours later, Flash went from standing around like a statue to the bubbly goat in the video. So he now plays catch me if you can!
PS. As an extra bonus, Henry the cat photo bombed the video. Make sure you watch out for him.
Growing up I had heard Taps performed.
You see from a youthful age, my father instilled in me a deep and reverent respect of our Armed Forces. Many of the men in my family were military veterans, and most were combat vets. They rarely spoke of their service, if they did it was in mainly in broad sweeping terms with very little detail. At the time I did not know why. As I grew older, I met a kind quiet man. I knew he was a vet, but he never spoke about it. Later, I learned from his wife why he did not speak of it, we will just say it is best forgotten.
As a boy I thought about the sacrifices these brave men performed in the line of duty for our country. It also frightened me what would have happened if they failed. This gave me a deep appreciation of what these men did for us.
Fast forward, to the date that my Dad was buried. My father not only served in the military, but was a combat vet. He fought for our country in World War 2. Because of this, at his funeral there was a military honor guard. When they played Taps, the tears started to flow and would not stop.
To this day, when I hear Taps, my heart goes into my throat and the tears flow once again.
Dad, I so miss you…
On a recent weekend, we heard a noise on the roof. We were just getting up for the day and Michelle went into the the bathroom. We have a skylight in our bathroom and the noise seemed to be emanating from that area.
She looked up and that is when she saw him....
A Peeping Tom!
In fact it was Mr. T!
He was on the roof and looking down through the skylight. But instead of being startled she remarked to me that it must be time for the turkeys to eat their breakfast.
They were on the roof checking to see if we were up yet.
We can't make this stuff up......only on the farm!
Next month will be a milestone for me, I will turn 50. I do not know why this birthday is such a big deal. Turning 30 and 40 are milestones too, but life marches on and they did not seem to make me feel all philosophical. This one does. Maybe it is because I remember so well when my mother turned 50 (I was 16 and getting ready to start my Junior year of HS). I tormented her so bad about turning 50. I made comments like “well mom how does it feel to be a half century old”. She was pretty patient with me, if the roles were reversed I would have slapped some sense into myself!! Not to fear though, she did get me back when I turned 25 (“gee how does it feel to be a quarter of a century old!”). I wish she could be here to torment me for turning a half century old. I do miss her, it is hard to believe that it has been almost 6 years since she passed. She always told me that you don’t realize how much you miss someone until they are gone. We lost her mother (my grandmother) the weekend of my senior homecoming game. I still remember that time like it was yesterday.
So, you may ask, what does this have to do with the farm? It relates to the farm because of the passage of time. All the animals on the farm have shorter lifespans than their human caretakers. But they in a way are a microcosm of human life. Every animal has a unique personality that carries it through life. Some take more risks than others and pay the ultimate price, where most just do what they can to survive. A few achieve greatness and a few are at the bottom of the pecking order. Humans in many ways are the same. Most of us just do what we can to make it by, a few become great and a few are at the bottom of the pecking order.
But, what makes us different than the animals is that we have hope. The animals here on the farm are born, they live and they die. They serve a purpose, to be food or sold to help continue the farm. There is nothing else. We have a life beyond this terrestrial plane. We are not born to die, we are born to live, forever. We humans are the image bearer of God here on the earth, whether we believe in Him or not. That is how God created us, to be His image in human form.
Now that I am on the cusp of turning 50 I realize just how important it is to have given my life to Christ so many years ago. I have not I been the best of image bearers for my Lord, but every day I learn a little more about Him and trust Him more. So here is to the next 50 years. Thanks for listening to a half a century old person ramble…..