Monthly Archives: May 2017

HollyDot Derby Prep Race

My in-laws were in town and we had a great time taking the boys out for a drive around the golf course! Finn and Sputnik were on their best behavior. Jim drove Finn without any help at all! Lois, on the other hand, preferred to let me do the driving while she enjoyed the view.

There was a palpable Ben-Hur spirit in the air. There were several times along the route where our drivers got competitive and encouraged their charges to pass.

Contestant #1 – “Jumpin’ Jim” and “Fiery Finn”:

Contestant #2 – “Lopin’ Lois” and “Speedaway Sputnik”


“Speedaway Sputnik blasts out of the gate to take a three-length lead over Fiery Finn!”

“They’re around the clubhouse turn and Fiery Finn has closed Speedaway Sputnik’s lead! It looks like Sputnik’s leader is starting to flag! That early burst of speed has taken its toll!”

“Into the homestretch and Finn flies around Sputnik on the outside to take the rail!

“And Fiery Finn crosses the finish line to win by a length and a half! What a race, ladies and gentlemen!”

Farm life is hard some days

It was a sad day at Goat-O-Rama. Tigerlily finally went into labor this afternoon, and she couldn’t have picked a nicer day for it. It was sunny and warm with a cool breeze, and her water broke around 2:30, so I was anticipating a wonderful kidding in the outdoors on the clean grass. Unfortunately things did not go so well. This has been a terrible year of kidding for us. Everyone has needed help, and I’m going to have to review our nutrition and minerals and see if I’m doing something wrong.

Anyway, Tigerlily wasn’t making much progress. Even when she pushed, not much was moving and she would give up quickly. But she wasn’t weak or tired. She was more like Nubbin–her body knew something was wrong and labor was stalling. Her bubble burst and she kept pushing out fluid but no kid. When I reached in, she wasn’t very dilated and I couldn’t get my hand in at all. We waited about twenty minutes to see if she would dilate any more. She did, and I was finally able to get my hand in but it was a very tight squeeze. It took me only a short time to find the front legs, but the head was nowhere to be found. I had to reach in up to my elbow before I located it far away in the depths. The kid was on his side with his head on top but turned completely backwards. I was able to reach along his jaw and find his nose and I was able to bring it toward me with my fingers in his mouth, but that’s as far as I could get him. His head simply refused to come my direction.

I’d only been trying for about ten minutes when my vet friend, Kathy, drove up to check on her horses, which I’ve been boarding at my place. I flagged her down and she came over to see what she could make of it. Long story short, we both worked for a good hour and maybe more, taking turns as our arms got numb. Tigerlily had plenty of strength and “push” in her, but she was way too tight for such a large kid and neither of us could get our arms in quite far enough, and that little head simply refused to turn. Kathy finally gave up and said we needed to take Tigerlily into the emergency vet clinic for a C-section. At this point it was a matter of saving her and not the kid. I decided to try just once more.

I pushed the feet completely back in (they’d been out up to now), and I went in as far as I could for the head. It took me a while, but I finally managed to cup my hand around that big, nobby head and bring it round. The only reason was that by now Tigerlily was so exhausted that she didn’t have the strength to push my hand away, and she had finally dilated just enough to allow my elbow to fit past the opening. I got the head to the surface and then found a foot. From there I was able to pull baby out, but sadly there was no life in him by then. We sucked out his nostrils with a big syringe, slapped his ribs, rubbed vigorously, swung him back and forth, but to no avail. A lot of fluid came out of his lungs but he never gasped for air and we never felt a heartbeat.

We buried him near Nubbin’s 2014 kids at the back corner of the property. There are some pretty stones marking his grave, poor baby. He was the prettiest kid yet–red with lots of roaning, white spots on his sides, white lacing around the edges of his ears, a beautifully marked face, and black legs and dorsal stripe. He was quite big, as one might expect from a week-late delivery, but a doe as large as Tigerlily should have had enough room for him. I’m a bit mystified why she was so tight in there. She doesn’t look narrow.

One small mercy is that Tigerlily is not mourning. She was in a lot of pain and was in shock for a while after the delivery. I don’t think she knew or cared about the kid at all and probably won’t mourn like Nubbin did. I’m the one mourning the kid. He was a lovely boy. Here’s hoping things are better next year.

Phil Hassey: Goat Pediatrician Extraordinaire!

Phil cut up a paper towel tube, rolled a piece around each of Storm’s bent legs, and vet wrapped it securely in place.

“What are these things?”

He had to inspect both sides.

Then it was time to go back outside with mama.

One of the first things Storm did after receiving his new splints was to start leaping! This poor little kid had been crawling on his knees or walking pathetically in a kind of downward dog position with his feet out in front of him, completely unable to stand up straight, let alone hop around. The splints offered him a whole new range of activities!

Today Storm is walking just fine. His knees are still slightly weak and buckle more easily than normal, but within a day or two we’ll never be able to tell there was anything wrong! Props to Phil for fixing our poor broken baby!

And the hurricane blew over!

Photos finally! I was up very late Saturday night and into the wee hours of Sunday morning with Nubbin’s crew, but they’re cute enough I can forgive them.

Look! It’s a fuzzy bucket o’ love!

Tornado was the cork that stopped the whole delivery and kept us up so late. He was a strong kid and was up and walking in the usual amount of time, and he had no shortage of determination to nurse, but for some reason he just couldn’t find those teats. He adamantly refused help, and if I forced the teat into his mouth and squirted it full of milk, he would turn his head away without swallowing or latching on. He wanted nothing to do with nursing as long as I was interfering. But as soon as I’d set him down he would toddle around bumping the udder and suckling on everything at head level. He couldn’t figure out that he had to reach DOWN to find the milk spigot. Eventually I gave up trying to help him nurse and filled a bottle for him instead. That settled the matter and at least he went to bed with a full tummy. Next morning he still hadn’t caught on (even after watching his brothers), so I bottle fed him again. He was very hungry! It was Phil who finally got him nursing later that afternoon. Now he’s eating like a champ!

Little Storm was a bit of a sorry character that first day. He’s very bow-legged and his knees won’t straighten so he had trouble standing and did better on his knees. It didn’t hinder him from nursing, and maybe it helped because it meant that unlike the other two, he didn’t have to reach down to find the milk bar. He was a little straighter yesterday, and if he’s not a lot better today I plan to splint his legs for a while each day and see if that helps. His legs are straight and proper when I flex them, but it feels like his tendons are very tight and causing the legs to curl back. He cried a bit the first time I straightened them, but the next morning he only whimpered, and last night when I straightened them he stayed quiet and relaxed so I think he’ll be fine.

Lightning is perfectly fine with nice, straight legs. This guy really lives up to his name. He shot into the world without help, immediately started crawling toward the udder on his belly, got himself a drink without guidance, and next thing we knew he was on his feet and walking around.

Streeeeetch, Tornado!

“Just look at that there bow-legged cowboy! Should I give him a push?”


Yesterday the sky was beautiful, and Delilah once more brought her kids along for our daily constitutional (Jezebel and her kids stayed home again).

Phil no longer refers to Nubbin as having a “baby bump”. He’s calling it a “baby blimp”.

Large and in charge!

Heading home.

They’re running with the herd!

Delilah decided to bring her kids on our walk the other day! They were very excited and kept right up with the herd! They were a little scared of the big goats, but not because the big goats were mean. I think the little guys were just afraid of accidentally being trampled in all this mayhem. But everyone was careful and no one got stepped on.

Tigerlily practices her levitation exercises.

Finn surveys his domain from on high. Who are those little pipsqueaks down there?

Actually, I think he was just waiting for Phil to come give him peanuts.

“Dance, Finn!”

“Gobble down this grass before it disappears!”

So far Jezebel prefers to keep her kids close to home. No walks for these babies yet! Have I mentioned she’s a bit overprotective?
This shot is blurry, but I love the action.

Sox is king of the stump!

Delilah has a somewhat hands-off mothering style, so Jezebel often ends up watching all four kids.

“How did I get roped into this?”

Couch potatoes

We’ve been having waaayyy too much fun around here. An exhausting amount of fun, in fact. Phil was conked!

Sox and Sanibel were conked too!

I love how baby goats appear to have no bones in their necks.

We’ve been having quite a few baby goat parties on our couch lately. We’ve gotta get these guys hooked on TV at a young age. It’s the American way to parent!

Fuzzy, fuzzy hippos

Nubbin and Tigerlily are both due next weekend, and while Tigerlily is doing an excellent job maintaining her girlish figure, Nubbin is definitely “in a family way”!

I think she’s carrying triplets. Phil says quads. I hope not quads! She’s so tight I can’t even feel kids any more. Rubbing her belly is like rubbing a fuzzy basketball.

Nubbin is totally rocking the “pregnant waddle” these days.
Work it to the right…

Work it to the left…

And then there’s the svelte Tigerlily. Her grandmother, Lilly was similarly discreet about carrying kids. Phil and I are thinking she has just one.

Adventures in Babysitting

I let everyone out into the Wide World today, and Jezebel immediately took her family and hid behind the house. I guess she’s doesn’t like the company we keep around here! The kids learned how to climb stairs!

Their first hike…

It was cool and shady behind the house, but perhaps a bit too cool and shady. The ground was still quite muddy from the previous rains, and I was afraid the kids would get damp and cold.

So I brought them back to the sunny side of the house where Jezebel was treated to apple cores and oranges. I guess she thought the move was worth it because she and her kids stayed there all day. In fact, Delilah left her kids with Jezebel and went off with the herd to graze. So much for motherly responsibilities! Jezebel did her duty and stayed with all four, never venturing out to eat anything herself, so I’m glad she at least got the fruit. I’m proud of Jezebel. She’s overprotective of her own kids as usual, but she’s changed this year in that she’s not being mean to Delilah’s babies. Jezebel has been known for being unreasonably mean to babies that weren’t hers in the past.

Jezebel likes giving Sox baths. Little Sox had trouble walking that first day when his foot kept collapsing forward, but the splint did it’s job and we were able to take it off that evening. Although I had not wrapped it tightly, it had still lost a little circulation, and Sox looked very funny when his “asleep” foot started tingling with extra blood flow! He was swatting and goose-stepping that one one leg for a few minutes, but we could see that he was much improved. Sox is walking perfectly today!

I love the spot Sanibel picked to take a nap! With her leg draped over the wood like that, it almost looks like I posed her, but she posed all by herself for these pictures.

The mamas do NOT like the dogs and start growling and snorting any time the dogs come near, but the dogs are very interested in the kids. Pluto is normally a very rowdy, rambunctious dog, but when he approaches the kids he calms right down and walks very slowly around them, sniffing and licking gently so as not to startle them. If a kid gets scared and jumps away, Pluto retreats with an apologetic wag.

What’s down there?

Can I reach under your belly?

I guess this crack made a cozy niche to take a nap because Coral and Westing wedged themselves right into it and stayed that way for most of the afternoon.