,,,, and death.
I’ve always thought farmers/country people more easily understand and deal with death but I never fully understood why until we had farm animals and not just pets. Unfortunately, livestock brings it’s own life cycle, some of which are way too short. It’s different when death comes as an expected ending to a life, such as promotion (butchering) to the intended end to life as with meat chickens, than when death is an unexpected result such as problem kidding. Regardless, life and death come more frequently on the farm/homestead than in a city environment. Death actually becomes part of the farm/homestead life, not an event.
Chici-BanAnna kidded on Monday. During the last two days she either couldn’t or wouldn’t lay down. I thought the babies were pushing into her lungs and making it hard for her to breath. So she spent most of her time sitting on her haunches.
I had been closely watching her for the last 3 weeks. Sleeping with the monitor beside me, listening in every hour or two at the most. Sleep is a luxury to me when I have a goat due to kid. The day she kidded I took a nap with the monitor turned on and in my hand. I was only asleep for an hour and I had checked her just prior to laying down. She never cried out during that time; I know, I do not sleep soundly – the scratching of a mouse in the walls will wake me from a dead sleep.
As soon as I awoke I went out to check on Chici and found a tiny black ear sticking out of her vagina. She had made no sound at all. The baby was head first, both legs back. I worked with Chici’s contractions and pushed the baby back until I could pull the legs out. Then, still working with her contractions, I helped Chici birth her first baby. Again, Chici did not cry out, just a low grunt. This baby was dead, a little doeling. The second baby was breech, with one back leg out, one in. Again, working til I could move both legs out, Chici and I birthed the second baby, live this time! Still, no crying out, just the low grunt. The third baby was normal presentation. So glad, glad, glad! as Chici was worn out although it had only been 1 1/2 hours after the whole thing started. A very intense hour and half!
The baby on the left is a doeling and the one on the right is a buckling. Both are well and thriving now.
Chici had spent her last bit of energy kidding those babies. She crashed soon after kidding was complete. She hoovered between life and death, spiking a 106 temp soon after kidding. God intervened and her temp dropped to 103.6 in 2 hours. I KNOW the Pen-G (antibiotics) I gave her did not work that fast. We’re on day 4 now and she’s so much improved but not 100% there. Still running a low temp but now eating, drinking and moving around. No sign of vaginal infection but slight diarrhea, which could be from the molasses/Nutri-drench I forced down her the first two days after kidding.
This is a good ending to a bad kidding situation. It brought sad memories of the two problem kiddings that ended very differently. Farming/homesteading has a learning curve that is very hard on the animals entrusted to us. It was what I learned from the two worst kidding problems that gave me the knowledge and confidence to help with this one. Same as prior problems have given me the knowledge and trust to lean on God during this one. God’s mercy endureth forever. Thank God!!
Our life has evolved around Chici and the babies most of the past week but we have had other adventures in our life –
An unexpected visitor came in the back door as I rushed in one day – isn’t he darling?
And 8 visitors who have come to stay (hopefully) for awhile hatched out in the barn –
We’re down to 7 of these turkey poults already. Not sure what happened to the 8th one. John found him dead on the floor. The hen went broody on her own eggs and since no rooster had been in with her we knew that was a waste. The tom turkey kept breaking the eggs under the turkey hen so we switched the clutch to this hen. She’s done a good job!
And here’s the birthday cake we made for celebrating John’s life. I made the cake and John made the icing – a true butter icing made with 1# of butter and only 1/4 cup of sugar. Very, very rich.
And I learned a new quilting pattern from the group at Hope Quilting Bee. It’s called the Disappearing Nine Patch – google it for directions. It’s very simple and easy to do as you start with a nine patch, hence the name! This one is still on the design wall, waiting to sew the blocks together.
Long post but that’s what happens when we juggle life!