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.