….so they say, come in small packages.
And today, the package was positively tiny….three little triplets, born to Breezy; our lovely, amiable ‘Bond Girl’ (owing to the fact that her ear tag is numbered 007!). They really are the smallest kids I’ve ever seen – two little boys & a girl. And the girl really is extraordinarily miniscule, as can be seen from this photo of her with her Mum:
It must’ve been a fascinating birth. Unfortunately I wasn’t there. Having checked the goats this morning, satsifying myself that Wolfie was fully recovered from yesterday’s scare & that nobody appeared likely to give birth during my brief absence I hurried off to Welsh Class, with the Ffarm – & not the language – on my mind. And it certainly showed; as my rusty vocabulary & grammar painfully ground the wheels of cognition at a snail’s pace. On top of which, the fact that I was so tired, too – having not retired to bed until 3.30am & getting up again at 06.00 – obviously didn’t exactly enhance my linguisitc performance.
The other thing which by now was seriously worrying me, however, was the fact that we still hadn’t received the results back from Thistle’s mastitic milk sample which I’d taken a full week before. I was naturally anxious to obtain the results ASAP as ‘proper’ treatment couldn’t commence until we could target the specific bacteria causing the problem; & the longer things lingered, the more difficult – inevitably – the condition would be to treat. And poor Thistle is still very much unwell; withdrawn, eating sparingly, & drinking little.
Normally we get the lab test results back after only a couple of days (it takes two days to culture a plate for mastitis) so I’d fully expected the Surgery to have the results on Monday; as the local laboratory should have received her sample on Friday with the culture yielding a result by the end of the weekend (albeit our Surgery unfortunately sends samples through the mail rather than by courier).
But we’d heard nothing. So I called in to the Practice in the hope of getting some answers; however there was no sign of the results, nor could anyone apparently remember having seen them. It was assumed the vet dealing with the case must’ve taken them from his ‘In’ tray to discuss them with me; & I was assured someone would call me back in due course.
I was also by now desperate to get several of the kids disbudded as the telltale bumps of horns were starting to appear & so far I hadn’t been able to secure a booking. However this couldn’t be arranged without the authority of the vet; as because there were so many kids to do, a callout was required. So all-in-all it was something of a wasted visit & I left the Surgery feeling worried & frustrated.
My next stop was the Farmers’ Co-Op to purchase a drench gun which simply sucks up liquid rather than having one with the fancy fitments which require the exact-sized cap – which caused me so many problems last night when Wolfie needed drenching…..with a standard drench sold in an apparently non-standard drench bottle (how ridiculous).
Initially it appeared such a simple thing as a manual drench gun, just didn’t exist; however some delving around eventually unearthed said rare beastie – & thankfully at only around a quarter of the price of the ‘Carlos Fandango’ drench gun we have back at the Ffarm….somewhere….
Anyway; at least I’ve now got something for emergencies – & I’ll make sure I know exactly where it is kept so that there won’t be a repeat of yesterday evening’s debacle.
It was time to go home. I wanted to check on the goats; but I felt a strange heaviness, almost a reluctance; I somehow felt that I was letting Thistle down by not returning with a bagful of ‘goodies’ with which to treat her, & make her feel better; I didn’t relish yet another repeat of that tired, pained, accusing look.
But when I arrived I was at least relieved (if also somewhat surprised) to find Breezy delightedly nursing her three new offspring who staggered around awkwardly on their wobbly little legs, the weak little mumbling bleats answering their mothers’ own deeply-contented maternal rumble. I had left with some doubts, that morning as Breezy had been anxiously ‘chatting’ to me & following me around; so she’d evidently had her own suspicions. However, as she’d been doing this for a full 24 hours already, it really had seemed pointless to play the ‘waiting game’ any longer.
By evening the babies were finding their feet, albeit – owing to their diminutive size & obvious prematurity, slowly – with the tiny little girl shuffling along like an ancient mechanical toy. Whilst her ‘official’ name is Ceinlys I’ve nicknamed her Elf, owing partially to her extraordinarily diminutive size yet equally in part, to her sweet little pixie-like ears; this indicates she’ll probably always be a small goat as we tend to find that goats ‘grow into’ their ears: the kids with floppy ones won’t always look like that as the ears do eventually spring back up (unless they’re Anglo Nubians, of course!); it’s just that they’re too big & heavy for them at that tender age. And as kids & yearlings, many do tend to appear amusingly ‘Dumbo-esque’.
Meanwhile it had clearly been a harder day than I’d anticipated, for Breezy: I had been very sorry to miss the birth as I’d imagined she must have fired the kids out at incredibly high speed because they were so small; in fact I’m surprised she even noticed! On one occasion last year when after giving birth to what was apparently a large, single kid the new mum coughed & at the same time let fly a massive fart, as I walked past the pen. When I glanced in to check all was subsequently well, I was amazed to see her (also equally amazed) simultaneously looking behind her: at a second kid, expelled by said cough-&-fart reflex.
‘Nuff said – that’s the way to do it….! 🙂