Wednesday, February 3, 2010

She's doing fine. (Thank you)

I can't tell you all how much your comments and emails meant to me. This one hit me hard and I debated about posting it. I'm glad I did, because having the support and suggestions and ideas was just what I needed.

Tamari's my favorite goat. I had big plans for these babies and that's put off for another year. I've also had to run the gamut of 'What now' questions. If you've had something go wrong with animals, I know you've done it. I watched Matron go through this when things didn't quite go right with Della, but I wasn't prepared for the constant back and forth in your mind when it happens to you. It was like watching the volleys on a tennis court.

"So they didn't make it, now I have a doe with no babies and lots of milk. Do I milk her? If I milk her, it has to be regimented two times a day, no excuses, for her own health. But I don't want to be tied down like that. I know, I know, then I shouldn't have a milking animal. But if I milk her, then I'll have a lot of milk to start experimenting with soap making this year - and she gives a lot of milk. But if I milk her, it will take more time for her to breed back, and I really want some babies out of her. But do I want her to breed back soon? If she does, that will put her babies in .... September, October .... Do I want to raise babies in the fall? Do I want to milk through the winter? I really don't. But do I want to have a doe who is not being milked and isn't pregnant all the way through the spring, summer, and fall? I really don't, but that's probably due to being married to a man who is always thinking in terms of production."

And on and on it goes.

I've decided to dry her off. I'm not in a place health-wise to be tied down to milking at set times. I have not decided whether to allow the buck to breed her again soon. Still thinking on that.

On another note, no more weird mice outbreaks. The best theory we could come up with is that the night before it happens, it rains and then freezes which forces the mice out of their holes. I also think - even considering the mice in the chicken coop - that they aren't coming up to the porch on their own, but are being brought there by Aradia (the calico).

I tried to get testing done, but it was over $100 at the local vets or has to be overnighted to a college that will test them - and I have to pay for that too. Since they weren't hurting my cats and dog when they ate them, I didn't think it was necessary to have that done - and neither did the vets I talked to - although I am very curious (and so were the vets).

Kid news - Yesterday I disbudded the two females that Tiffany had. That's never a pleasant job, but in our operation, it is necessary for those I'm going to keep. I'm getting better - less hesitant - so it's much faster and less painful for them now. The male isn't being kept by us, so he wasn't disbudded, and he's not likely to be castrated either. There are a lot of Hispanic families around here that eat goat, and they eat them young enough that the testosterone hasn't affected the meat yet, so I see no reason to put him through that.

Word heavy, today - no pictures!

Again, thank you for your advice and support with the Tamari situation. I appreciated it more than I thought I could.


Goodwife said...

I think when we truly care about our animals we will always second guess ourselves during these times. Raising animals isn't for the faint of heart, but as you know, the benefits far outweigh the risks! I'm glad that you had the courage to post it and to share with us. That also helps in the healing process I think. Good luck with whatever you decide in regards to breeding her back! :)

Christy said...

I go back and forth about every decision here! It is so hard to decide.

Conny said...

When I read today's subject: 'She's doing fine. (Thank you)' I hoped that meant both you and 'she' are doing fine. Thanks too for the update on the mice parade.

I hope you have a good (better) weekend. Cheers ~

Danielle said...

I'm sorry you lost the babies and all the hopes that were laid on them. Hugs. I think you should milk your doe for 2 weeks and then go to once a day milking. You'll still get tons o' milk but won't have the committment as 2 a day milking has. Your goat is a seasonal breeder, so she won't be ready to breed her back until the fall anyway. You may as well milk her for several months and then when you tire of it, dry her off. big decisions, but she is in milk now, you might as well not let her pregnancy be a total loss. Enjoy the cheese, the milk and any butter you make and be thankful her pregnancy can nourish your family even if the babies didn't last. Hugs.

Bernard said...

2 of my goats lost their kids this year one during birth and the other one a week or so after giving birth. We did milk them twice a day at first and once a day after a while as we do with or other goats. Not only i got milk from them but i also became their baby :-) . even now 5 or 6 months after they still look at me in a motherly way and call me when i walk by.