Saturday, May 19, 2012

My Mother's Day Surprise

Mother’s Day is that time when you’re supposed to sleep in, get spoiled and then spend hours cleaning up after all the “surprises” your spouse & children made for you (Seriously… If you ever cleaned up after my crew when they cook/create, you’d fully understand the horror) …

I made mine more difficult by impatience.........

Casper was due to kid on the 11th. Mom had another appointment on Monday and I knew that with my luck, Casper would kid the moment I pulled out of the drive way Monday morning. I needed to attend the birth to pull the kids, so I decided to induce her. A shot of Lute & a shot of Dex and I settled into a routine of frequent barn checks.

Last check was a lil before 4am on Mother’s Day… Sat out there for about 20 minutes watching her. Ligaments weren’t fully softened yet… no goo and no sign of impending labor (she was up munching on alfalfa pellets) so I went back to bed.

Up again at 6:35am (was supposed to be 6:00am, I accidentally hit snooze) and when I arrive at the barn it’s pure chaos!!

Casper had kidded and her pen mate had stolen one of the kids, Casper was screaming at the end of the run farthest from the barn and the new would be momma was snorting & fussing. One dry lil one and one tiny lil one, cold, still partially in the sack.

Gathered them up, and brought them in the house… It has been a buck year for me. No doelings… So of course it would be my luck that the cold kid left on the ground in the barn drama was a doeling! The ONLY doeling! And of course it would make sense that the buckling was the warm, fully dry, vigorous one.

Oh life how I do loathe your sense of humor sometimes…..

After warming the doeling and failing to get her to eat, we had to resort to tube feeding. Had a few moments where I just wasn’t sure if she’d be ok or not… After food was in her and she had her shot of Bo-Se and a Vit E capsule she was up walking and everything was normal… except that she would not suck and what lil bit of milk dripped into her mouth she wouldn’t swallow. Finally after 2 ½ days of all her meals coming via the tube into her stomach, she started nursing as if she had never an issue one.

So now I can share her with y’all…. My very first, bred by me, with my herd name, keeper is Noodleville’s Trick or Treat AKA- “Tricks”

Newborn Tricks looking a bit bewildered..
Isn’t she just precious!!!??? Her brother, currently unnamed, is a pretty boy… He’s longer and has a longer neck, but in all else they are pretty equal. Would love it if she were a bit longer, but I’m certainly not complaining!

Casper x Tonka Twins

New babies meeing the March doelings.... Heidi was NOT impressed! 

I had my doubts about Casper…. She was dam raised and a bit timid, and after my "Bloody Battle of Wills" with the last first freshener, I was not looking forward to milking. Her teats looked a bit short too, so I prepared for a fight and hand cramps.

Casper at 4 months old
Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised when I had neither!! Casper was a bit nervous and unsure, but stood still anyways.....Her udder is butter soft and out of all my does, she is by far the easiest to milk.

Here is a picture of her udder at 5 days fresh and about 9 hours full (forgive the bad haircut):

She actually has a fore udder!!!! Ginger has hardly any fore, Sabrina’s was badly pocketed and Bleu’s is ok, but I’d like it to be more smoothly blended and extend a bit further. Casper though, I have no complaints about and I see this maturing into a really pretty udder...

Could be blended a lil smoother, but it's very well attached and balanced so I'm happy to keep a doeling from her. She could use a smidge more height in the rear udder too, but there's lots of attachments, its wide and her teat placement is great!

Her doeling has a higher escutcheon than her dam, and a more level rump, so perhaps luck will favor me and I’ll have a doeling who is an improvement over her dam…. That is the goal anyways...

Tricks 6 Days Old
I can’t keep many goats… Can’t afford the feed, don’t have the space and can’t handle the work load, so I’m frequently forced to make cuts. I’m not as attached to Casper as I am Bleuberry, so I decided, before she kidded, that I would sell her if she had a doeling for me to keep.

Made arrangements with a 1st time dairy goat owner, and let her know that if she didn’t have a doeling, then she could take Comanche instead…

These folks are really nice and have been working hard to get everything set up and ready for Casper… So it is a bit bittersweet that I’m loving her stand manners, her udder, ease of milking and that at 5 days fresh, she milked 6.4lbs of milk. Got in touch with the new future owners to give them a choice of taking Comanche bred, or Casper in milk and they have their hearts set on Casper.

I keep telling myself it is only logical to let her go.. I have her daughter and I want to add another doe, but this is one that isn’t going to be easy.

Either way, I hold to my word, and they’ve already shopped for her and are pretty excited, so next Sunday Casper goes on to her new home. Thankfully they aren’t too far away and they are also open to me breeding Tonka to her again this fall and we may split the kid crop if the numbers/gender work out, so all is not lost.

With potential travel in my future (hopefully getting mom into MD Anderson) having one less milker will make things easier on my helpers too….

You might recall my husband's attempt at goat milking...

If not you can read all about it here:
Helpful Husband Extraordinaire

Needless to say, me keeping more milkers than I need will be doing hubby no favors when he is my milker.... He's more than willing to help, always is.... But it's best to make this as easy on everyone as

And since y’all haven’t got to see Tonka in a while… Here he is at about a year old.....

Tonka out on a browse eating walk as a reward for tolerating the bath & shave so well.
I’m so proud of how he’s turned out and am looking forward to watching his doeling grow. He got shaved & bathed as I had intended to take him to the Big Buck Bonanza, but financial obligations with mom’s medical issues came first so we’ll have to try again next year…

Tonka was added to the ADGA Young Sire Development Program with an ETA of 69-75 and I’m really looking forward to freshening daughters from him.

I didn’t notice it at first, but if you look at the kids, Tricks has Casper’s pattern/markings (even similar shaped white splashed up both sides), but in Tonka’s colors, while the lil' buck has Tonka’s markings/pattern with Capser’s colors.

Sweet baby boy...

Anywho… I hope all the mothers out there had a great day and I do hope all the daughters/sons take time EVERY day to appreciate their mothers.... Mother's Day is a great time for presents & treating mom to something special, but life is short and unpredictable so every day you wakeup is a day to be thankful for.

Speaking of moms… My mom finally got her diagnosis. It wasn’t what we had hoped for, not at all.

She has a rare form of leukemia called Chronic Neutrophilic Leukemia. There haven’t been many cases documented, and at this time, no cure. Mom is hanging in there though. Some days she’s a trooper about it all, and she has her glum moments from time to time, but we’re not giving up.

My momma is one of the most head strong people I’ve ever encountered, if anyone can beat this, it’s her. It gives me hope to see her strong, determined and hopeful.......When the inevitable times of doubt creep over her, she has me for a flamboyant, never ending distraction, a job I take VERY seriously….

No matter what, we’re gonna make it through this!

They say there is no cure, and gave all sorts of morbid numbers and tossed life span terms around as if we were discussing the weather…. But just because they haven’t found a cure, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, it just means they haven’t found it yet! Here's hoping the paperwork for MD Anderson is processed soon so we can explore more options...

Thursday, May 3, 2012

My Remedy for Writer's Block

Well, I got an email from a friend letting me know my blog was fading & followers were flocking away. Actually, the message wasn’t that nice and was more along the lines of “If you're gonna have a blog, then BLOG, you're boring your followers to death”!

But here I sit, suffering from writer’s block of the worst sort...... I have a mass of words that won’t string together into actual sentences, and a bunch of jumbled thoughts. Chaos in life tends to do that to you I suppose...

So, as a remedy, I gave up my previous topic & I have baby goat pictures!

Yea, yea, I know that’s cheating….but my last post, I left everyone hanging so now y’all get to meet the newest babies here in the land of Noodle. Plus we all know I have a tendency to get overly wordy anyways, so pictures are a great substitute.. Haha

As mentioned in my previous post, momma & I made a road trip to go pick up goats… The original plan was to get a single doeling. Then I was offered her dam, Ginger, a beautiful 8 year old doe who has moved quite a bit in her life and I think she prefers her old Idaho home to her hot west Texas home… In addition to those 2, I was also offered the doeling’s half sister who was a tiny lil' thing, half the size of her twin, with the cutest lil chocolate nose & dished face…

So one, turned into three, and by the time we got up there, we ended up loading a total of 4 goats into my car (Yes, I did say FOUR). Which, BTW was a sight, as I drive a lil Dodge Nitro and hauling 2 humans, 3 goat kids and one adult doe is not what my car was designed for!!

First up is MY baby….. Her name is Heidi and she is the daughter of Ginger, born March 15, 2012 and is just tooo sweet. Quiet, mellow and loves to snuggle in my lap…. It did not take her long to establish her place as my favorite.. This girl is LONG and just beautiful, I can not wait to see how she matures.

My sweet, fuzzy Heidi, not quite 2 weeks old

Shayla & Heidi
Cookie is Heidi's ½ sister and the lil runt, born on March 13, 2012. She has tons of attitude to make up for her small size and isn’t much of a people goat.. Unless you’re my mom…. She adores my mother and they’ve kind of claimed each other. Given the trials my mom is facing right now, I think baby goat therapy is just what the doctor ordered.

Miss Attitude - AKA Cookie :)

#4 was unplanned, and I swore I’d never buy a Nubian, but once I saw her I had to have her…

This long eared beauty is Daisy… I wasn’t going to mention her because shortly after bringing her home we lost her in a sad accident… But she was so sweet, and too pretty not to at least give her mention. The smallest of quads, she wormed her way into our hearts very quickly… RIP Daisy.

R.I.P Sweet Daisy
I’m usually a planner… I stew and think over every single detail to the most mundane things….. But sometimes I can be very impulsive….. Daisy was Shayla’s present for her 7th birthday and the loss was VERY hard on her…. Right after the accident, and seeing the shock & heartbreak on my kids faces, I called the breeder in tears to see if she had any other doelings she was willing to sell… Thankfully she did, and we loaded up right then and hit the road. We bought Daisy’s cousin, and since the does in this family all had flower names, Shayla named her Rose.

Rose - Born March 6, 2012

Rose enjoying pecan leaves after winning "Queen of the Mountain"
 Rose is just striking and oh so beautiful. Being Pruittville on both sides of her pedigree, I wouldn’t expect anything less.

She is a character and very much the love bug. In the beginning she was LOUD and I kind of wondered if I had made a mistake…. But my lil Alpines seem to be a good influence on her and if anything she’s quieter than Cookie.

My view from above the lambar bucket... Lil' chunks are going though 9 quarts of milk per day!

Cookie headed for the top of the stairs..

Nothing better than baby goat snuggles

The trio impatiently waiting for their lambar..

I have a few pictures of Ginger, the 8 year old doe, but technology HATES me and for some reason, I can't get them to upload, so I'll just give Ginger her very own post later on.

The loss of Astra, and all the plans/hopes she represented really hit me hard. I'm without an Alpine buck for this year and I feel like I'm having to start at square one all over again... But these 3 lil ones give me a bit of hope and a chance to try again......