Fall is a busy time for us every year. Summer seems to disappear so quickly and then suddenly we find ourselves in need of catching up to the winter preparations so quickly. Every year we make great plans for getting things done early but as always around here, our needs always come last to the needs of our animals. We know that every year we need to get A B C and D done but always seem to come up with new ideas that can improve the lives of our four legged children so we tend to spend all our time and resources on them. With the new barn and enclosure recently occupying our free time, we forget to take care of ourselves as well. That all being said, this past weekend week was our wakeup call! With temperatures dipping into the negatives overnight, we knew for sure we had to get things done so this past weekend was spent not just enjoying Thanksgiving but also getting in our winters wood. With an abundance of family and friends around at this time of year however, we delight in seeing that many hands do indeed make light work! The past month has been busy around here though and we wouldn't have accomplished as much as we have without the hard work of our family and friends. Geordon and I would like
to especially thank my brother Chris for volunteering so much of his time and strong back when we need it, and our friend Kevin who has not only worked hard helping us recently but has also bled because of it! How's that finger Kevin?? :o) A special mention should also go out to Shannon for all of her hard work when she spends every other Saturday with us. She not only helped build a fence and barn, but this past Saturday also moved and stacked over 4 cord of wood and
helped to build some great new kid toys! Not bad for a twelve year old girl eh? Our newest contraption/kid toy is the Goat-y-go-Round! This was built using the base of an old swivel chair and it a huge hit with the kids! I am not sure how we will top this for goat entertainment, but we of course will keep trying to outdo ourselves!
There has been a lot happening around here in the last week or so. With the loss of Trixie we have bravely decided to continue moving forward to ensure that the rest of our herd is safe and more secure. We have constructed a new enclosure we will use as our "playpen" and "breeding pen". We also built a new 4 stall goat barn which will give us plenty of room for spring kidding and a safe refuge if our goat paddocks flood like they did this last spring. We are still putting the final touches on the barn and when it is done I will put photos on here.
Today I made the long drive to Campbellford to pick up Carmela! I have had my eye on this little doe since I first saw a picture of her. She is a beautiful little girl with blue eyes, and a white coat with brown spots. She is very tiny, feminine and LOVES people! I am so grateful to Debbie and Shain at Bashert Farms http://www.bashertfarm.com/for agreeing to sell her to me! She will be a wonderful addition to our breeding program in the years to come and I have high hopes of
showing her next year! More pictures will follow as I find some time to take some good ones in the next few days!
A very difficult decision recently had to be made concerning our dear Trixie. Tests have confirmed that Trixie contracted CL, a highly contagious, volatile disease of which there is no cure.
In order to not only protect the rest of our herd but also to ensure she doesn't suffer, the decision was made to put poor Trixie down. Due to the nature of the disease and the fact that very little is known about it, we agreed to donate
Trixie to the Ontario Veterinary College. As horrible as this may sound, we had to consider that very little is known about goat health in general still and that the future of health and wellness for goats relies heavily on the donations of animals to the school so that future generations of Vets can learn "hands on". Trixie will spend the next two weeks being examined and handled by future veterinarians, and we hope that it will be through working with Trixie that some student there will decide to become a caprine specialist or even find a cure for CL. She will be very well looked after and receive a great deal of attention and love while staying there and she will in turn teach these students more than any book ever could. Before Trixie begins to suffer the effects of her disease she will be humanely euthanized. Her legacy will be through the education of the students who will get to know her in the next few weeks and the love we all have for her in our hearts. Farewell dear Trixie. You will always be remembered for your feisty attitude and attention getting "love bites".
We love you Big Mamma xoxoxo. You will be greatly missed :o(
Dixie has given birth to two healthy little girls!!! They are both just over 5 pounds and arrived when I wasn't even here to greet them! Daniel was home but Geordon and I were 45 minutes away delivering a horse to its new home and had visit his parents
when we got the call. A stressful drive home saw us getting home to two little bundles of wet fluff and a very eager new Mom. Dixie is doing really well and has taken to being a Mom without any issues. Both little girls have the same Alpine markings that Dixie has but one is white and black and the other is brown and black. They are both just so precious!
The Stisted Fair is a favorite of mine in Muskoka as it is exactly the same today as it was when it began 126 years ago. I am on the Board of Directors for this fair currently as the secretary and take a great deal of pride in the people that come out to exhibit and take part in this fair every year. This year we did not bring any horses or donkeys, but instead brought some goats and I entered into the photography class for the first time. Our goats did very well, but of course they would! There really wasn't any goaty competition except for another yearling doe that placed 3rd in the dry doe class. Billie looked very cute sporting his ribbon for Best Kid though! I entered into 16 different photography classes and placed with 8 firsts, 4 seconds and 4 thirds! I think I did really well! I didn't have the time or luxury of taking too many photos this year at the fair sadly as I was working it and Dixie started to show signs of going into labour. We did not stay late, that's for
5/14/2012 0 Comments
Where does the time go? I can't believe that today is the last day of August already! The nights are getting colder and the fog a little thicker as summer comes to an end. I have noticed a lot more leaves on the ground lately. Before we know it fall will be in full swing!
Still no babies to report but Dixie is in the kidding pen and not very comfortable today. She is eating like a horse as well so she must be getting ready! If she gets any bigger I fear she will burst. It is hard to tell in the photo because of her ear but she is WIDE!
Trixie is still sick. We had our vet out again today to deal with the large abscess she had on her jaw and to take more samples for testing. She is now in isolation from the rest of the herd and not happy about it at all. I hope we find answers soon for her so we at least know what she is dealing with. She still has milk but if she was bred she would be due now as well as Dixie and she just doesn't look pregnant! Once she
is better we will be able to ultrasound her to see if she has babies.
Daniel has been busy job hunting again. He has had 3 job offers in the last week which is awesome for him. None will start until after this weekend though so once they come through with some hours he will be able to decide where he wants to work.
Alyssa left for PEI today. She left us on Sunday to head to her Dad's house to finish preparing to leave. They will be driving through the USA for the next couple of days to get there and she has already been sending me pictures from her phone! It is very quiet without her here. I miss her antics and the guaranteed laugh. I look forward to seeing her on Skype when she gets settled.
The Stisted Fall Fair is fast approaching. I hope that I will have some goats to show that day! With Dixie in the kidding pen and Trixie out of commission, that leaves only Billie and Bonnie to show. I guess we will just have to wait and see next week!
Once again, my apologies for not writing more regularly. This summer has been one that I won't soon be forgetting - and not for the good times! Well, there have been a few of those though as well.
So to the new happenings on the meadows...
Well, Daniel has decided to spread his wings and try living on his own. He has been gone for two weeks now and so far he is doing good. He is living with the family of one of his good friends and seems to be thriving on the freedom. I know he will continue to do great and hopefully juggling full time work and his last high school credit in a few weeks won't be too much on him.
The mystery of the pregnant goat that never gives birth may have been solved today once and for all. Poor Trixie, it has all been such an ordeal for her. I had our vet, Kelli Drost out today for a
visit and to see what Trixie's udder was suddenly much bigger on one side. It turns out the poor girl has mastitis which may be caused from a lymph node problem. As this may be a highly contagious problem so she has had to be isolated until she runs through a course of antibiotics over the next few days and being milked and given an udder treatment. She really does have the tiniest teats ever! At least she stands quietly while being "milked". So Kelli, informed me that once she is treated she may dry right up and display no signs of pregnancy! So for the next few days we will have to wait and see how she does. I can't believe after all these months of waiting and preparing for Trixie to have babies she may not in fact have any!
The big surprise of the day today was learning that not only is Dixie definitely pregnant like we suspected, but Kelli feels she should give birth within a few days! I am dumbfounded by being kinda caught by surprise on this one. We suspected she may be bred but figured that nothing would happen until after Trixie gave birth. Kelli informs us that Dixie will be the first to give birth. I just hope she waits until Trixie comes out of the kidding pen! I hope we become better goat farmers than we have been so far!
In other goat related news, the boys - always so funny and entertaining have begun to enter into rut - breeding season - which is causing them to act out more aggressively and let's just say that the odour they cause is creating some havoc around here. Geordon and I are even contemplating not keeping bucks now after all and looking into some kind of AI for future breedings. This is only
the earliest stages of rut as well; we have months more of this and it will only get worse! I can't imagine how bad things will smell around here in the fall when they are fully in rut... I don't think I want to imagine it either.
Just a few more days and I will be done with school work for the rest of the summer! I can't even begin to explain how exciting that it for me! August is shaping up to be a crazy busy month, with
multiple trips to Toronto and driving the kids around for work, so I guess for that reason alone it will be nice to not have school assignments to worry about as well.
Daniel finally secured himself a job! He had suffered from some serious let downs earlier this month when he was hired at a local camp, then laid off the same day, then rehired a few days later, then told he wasn't needed again after all. Seriously, some people have no hearts at all! The good news is, with perseverance and a good show of initiative he was hired at East Side Mario's last night! He went in for a trial shift and was hired almost immediately. It is nice to see him smile with accomplishment again.
We have finally decided that Trixie, who we were told was bred when we got her - was in fact either not bred or had a false pregnancy. Strangely enough though, we think she is still pregnant but it would be by our Shaemus instead of an unknown buck. As we were told she was bred we didn't worry too much about mingling the herd while we finished some fencing earlier this year. She is still happy and active and growing everyday! I'm going to have to have a conversation with our vet about all this though to see if we can determine when she would be due now. We are also having a sneaking suspicion that Dixie has also been bred by Shaemus. What a busy little man he has been! It seems too
much to hope for babies after all this time has been passed with waiting
already, but I just can't help myself! We want baby goats!!!
Well, another long break between posts but at least I return to write some more! This summer is flying past so quickly, it is really hard to imagine where it has all gone to. The last week has been spent dying and complaining from an incredible heat wave that didn't seem to want to quit. With a storm that came in Saturday, the wave is finally broken and today seems blessedly cool out for a change!
This past weekend was spent at Earl Rowe Provincial Park in Alliston, ON where the Horner side of my family gets together for a reunion. The weather was hot and steamy as it always seems to be like when we are there. Not all of the family could attend this year so it was a small gathering but all who attended still enjoyed themselves. The pool at Earl Rowe is definitely everyone's favorite place to spend time. It is built like a big pond with a gradual slope all the way around into the deeper part which is still only 5 feet deep at the deepest. Someone told me the pool is actually 3 acres in size which makes it seem spacious - even when crowded during a heat wave! There are no pictures of the pool though because for some silly reason I forgot that I now own a waterproof camera! Next year it cannot be forgotten!
It really is a nice time getting together with the family. I look forward to seeing everyone together again all year, but I get the most excitement about being around all the new additions to the family! Watching the youngest family members grow one year at a time is really bittersweet and
reminds us all that we need to continue this tradition of getting together. My cousin BJ and his beautiful wife Stacy brought the newest additions to the family this year with their twins - Draven and Ceil. Twice blessed with these little angels, they were lucky enough to have a boy and a girl! The beautiful picture accompanying this post is of my dear Aunt Jackie feeding Draven. She has such a beautiful proud glow around her when she looks at her new grandchildren. It makes my heart smile! All of the little ones are a year older and so much bigger than they were at last year’s reunion. It saddens me in some ways to wonder how much bigger and different they will all be at next year’s annual gathering...
What a week! School really jumped on me all of a sudden this last week with so many assignments all due in one week - 6 in all, including a major research paper for my history class. I think my butt is permanently flat on the bottom now from sitting so much this week! So, today is the first day in weeks that I don't have looming assignments to work on. With only 3 weeks left in school for me this summer, I can feel a holiday coming on.
Today I have zero motivation and I don't really care either! Geordon is outside working on new outhouses for the Stisted Fair, Daniel is away with his girlfriend on a 36km paddle down the Magnettewan River today for a fundraiser, Alyssa is at work, and I just came back in from enjoying some sunshine with the goats and dogs.
The otter family that lives in our back yard came out to tell us all off for disturbing their peace and I managed to snap this picture of one of them. The dogs get quite upset for being told off by otters.
We put Dixie back in with the girls today. Her head isn't completely healed yet, but if she can remember not to butt anyone with it she'll be fine. She is getting fat from being cooped up for two weeks now in the stall. It is high time she get out and exercising again!
Still no babies out of Mama yet..... :o/
“Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened.”
- Anatole France
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