Mucky Business

 Darn it, the washing machine has broken down – yet again.  

The company who manufactured the machine – Hotpoint – have made it clear that they not in the slightest bit interested, even though it’s a design fault which is causing the problem; so we consulted the Citizens’ Advice Bureau, who have told us we’ll have to go directly to the vendor to obtain a refund, to which we are entitled as the machine is not fit for purpose.  So I had to go into town to drop off a letter to the shop from which we purchased the machine, stating that we’d like a refund & certainly a reply within he next seven days (during which time of course, we can’t do any washing at home – again – as the machine isn’t working….unless I grit my teeth & flood the kitchen, which is now causing water damage to the units on top of everything else). 

Fortunately I managed to combine this chore with other necessary errands as a trip into town costs money & takes a fair chunk of time out of the day.  The town centre was bustling & I found it unusually difficult to park; however being the first Saturday post Festive Season I expect everyone was desperate to stock up their larders again.

Tony meanwhile worked on cleaning out one of the deep-littered stables, which took him most of the day whilst Darwin munched contentedly next door, his lame leg now definitely sound.  The goat kids which had occupied the dirty stable had developed the annoying habit of pulling hay down from the racks & then scattering it liberally all over the floor as they played between mouthfuls; which makes said mess extremely difficult to shift – much harder than straw – as it all knits together in a bizarre sort of tangled crochet, & is heavy & unyielding.    

During evening milking, we discovered to our immense dismay that Morganna has mastits – yet again – in her right-hand udder.  Although this time it appears to be a different type to that which she suffered before,  I immediately bathed the udder with hot cloths & milked her out, before using a spare Lincomycin intramammary injection & giving her a massage with Uddermint.  However I will have to discuss her exact treatment with vet, as I’m at a bit of a loss as to why this has occurred yet again.  The first incidence took place not long after she’d kidded & before she was being milked by hand or on the machine.  She was then fine until November; but suffered a different form of the condition & in the other side of her udder.  Was it the milking machine, perhaps?  We couldn’t be sure.  I’m now convinced it’s not the machine as she hadn’t been milked for a few days because we are drying the goats off prior to kidding; & it’s occurred in the same side again.  I had mentioned to Tony that for a couple of days beforehand, she’d seemed a little subdued; but I’d thoroughly checked her over – including of course, her udder & all appeared to be normal.  Now she is better in herself but the problem is bac forhe third time this lactation; so it’s not looking good.  And it would, typically, happen to our best goat of course…..!

Meanwhile Merson has been enjoying himself: Thistle is clearly in season & he has been mounting her with gusto, albeit looking very silly as he sticks his tongue out of the side of his mouth & goes cross-eyed when ‘doing he deed’; reminiscent of Benny Hill doing one of his silly salutes I suppose!  The curious thing is that unlike with our own females he’s served in the past when he really made a song & dance about the whole courting thing, with these visiting goats he is remarkably quiet & gracious; which is frustrating for us in a way for as any animal breeder knows, the job becomes somewhat voyeuristic – you need to know who is being mated & when so that you can accurately calculate when the female in question is due to give birth.  And by being quiet about it, Merson really isn’t helping….!

Meanwhile a couple of the Hooligans are starting to look pretty big; Ninny looks as if she’s at least got triplets in there!  We’ll find out in a few weeks’ time – scary thought, here we go again….


About LittleFfarm Dairy

The LittleFfarm Dairy Team: Jo - Goat farmer & Gelatiere Artigianale, plus General Dogsbody; Tony - Airline Pilot & part-time Herd Manager, Product Taster, Accounts Secretary, Handyman etc!
This entry was posted in Animals, Diary, Farming, January 2008, Life, Livestock, Smallholding, Technology. Bookmark the permalink.

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