Sunday, January 14, 2018

A chilly surprise!

So on December 5th, we adopted three goats, exceeding my self-imposed limit of 20 goats by a count of one. However, I figured we would managed. All I asked was that any males in the trio be neutered, and indeed, when Oilve, Lillian and Lloyd arrived, Lloyd was completely devoid of gonads.

Lloyd, Olive and Lillian (black head) at rear.

Lillian and Olive, however, were suspiciously round. So two weeks later, the vet did ultrasounds. Olive was definitely preggars; he guessed at a due date two-to-three months hence. He though Lillian was not pregnant, but admitted that it is a lot easier to say that a goat is NOT pregnant than is!

So I was keeping an eye on them, figuring I had some time to prepare my goat birthing kit and so forth.

Then on January 5th, one of the coldest days this winter with a windchill of -38C, we had a little urprise....

The frozen tundra on January 5th. I had just gotten home from seeing the vet with a foster cat and stopped to take a pic of our front fields and the sundogs and halo.

Stephanie, one of my barn helpers, usually comes around mid-morning, but on this day, she wasn't here until mid-afternoon. Not long after I sat down at my desk, waiting for a cuppa tea to steep. The doorbell rang. It was Stephanie, with a broad grin on her face.

"You have kids!" she said.

"What? No I don't! There are no kids here today!" (We do sometimes have kids visiting the farm for various reasons.)

"No, you have KIDS!" she asserted.

"No I don't!" 

"You have GOAT KIDS!" she said, laughing.

"Wha... oh MY GOD! Let me put my boots on!"

Yes, on the coldest possible day, Olive dropped twins in the goathouse! By the time I got outside, I found our farm manager Luc leading Olive up the hill, with Stephanie behind him holding two goat kids wrapped in Luc's coat.

Luc took Olive to the back of the granary and evicted poor Grace the foster kitty from her room. Olive stayed in there while Steph and I worked on warming up the kids.

Mootie, who hangs out in the granary these days, was keen to help!

The kids' ears and feet were very cold. Their ears felt stiff and I was quite worried about frostbite. We wrapped up the babies and warmed up their ears gently by holding them in our warm hands.

Stephanie and Elsa

Soon they were trying to suckle our fingers... it was time to reunite them with Maamaa.

Luckily, Olive had lots of milk and it didn't take long for the kids to start nursing, which was a relief. They weighed 4 lbs each  but were surprisingly sturdy once they "thawed out!"

And it's a really good thing that Steph was late that day, otherwise I wouldn't have gone down to the goat house until evening chores a couple of hours later. At best, those babies would have lost body parts to frostbite, but more likely they would have frozen to death.

We named them Elsa and Anna (yes, from the movie Frozen) They are doing just great! Before the afternoon was over, Luc and his friend Corey built a whole new goat pen next to the cat foster rooms, so Grace was able to move back into her room once I'd cleaned and sanitized it.



Their ears were a bit swollen, but a week later the swelling seems to have gone completely, and I don't think they will be losing any parts of their ears to frostbite, which is wonderful!

Oliv is a wonderful, patient mother.

And the kids are getting more active by the day!

Olive goes outside for a while every day to get some fresh air.

And these two are growing like weeds!

They now have "flying nun" ears like their maamaa! It's hard to tear yourself away from them. They are so adorable and playful. And they were born almost to years to the day after Penny's triplets!

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go play with my goat kids! :)

Friday, January 05, 2018

All Monty!

We've have a long stretch of extremely cold weather (-31C and windchills even lower) and after a couple of days of less-temperatures, we again have an extreme cold warning on with windchills of almost -40C today. However, there is one guy on our farm who really doesn't seem to care about the cold...

Yep, Monty! He has various shelters, but most of the time you will find him lying out in the snow. He is a Maremma and a livestock guardian dogs, and these dogs are bred for this. He is getting extra rations to fuel him from the inside, but honestly, he is more energized now than he ever is in the heat of summer.

Yesterday he found a bit of bone in the snow and was having a blast tossing it all over the place, so I took some photos...

Monty is almost 23 months old now but is still very playful! These dogs take at least two years to mature. He still has to be told not to chase the goats at times!! (He thinks that's a game.) I redirect him to more appropriate play. He has a new ball with handles that he thinks is da bomb

But yesterday he was losing it over a piece of bone.

"Are you watching, mama?"

I call it the Monty Dance.

Stay warm, people!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Kittens and coffee


Thursday I took in five 12-week-old kittens to foster. I have found homes for two already!
Their one-eyed, pregnant mama was dumped at a local woman's house. She was kind enough to take mama in and has been raising the kittens, but has been having trouble finding them homes (and she already has eight cats!) So she asked me if I could help and I said yes, as the big foster room had just been vacated!

I took them straight to the vet for vaccines, deworming and check-up. They are being treated for ear mites too, but otherwise they are lovely, healthy little critters!

This one has been named Athena by my friend who is adopting her.

So much cuteness!

Percy and Athena, who are being adopted by my friend. They will stay here for about four more weeks until they are big enough to be neutered.


The usual kitten chaos.

My vet gave them temporary names as he examined them. Percy was "Bushy", Athena was "Chubby" (she had the roundest and probably wormiest belly!), then there's "Tilty", who is tilting her head likely because of the ear mites (if that doesn't resolve, she'll go back to the vet), "Lefty", because she only had mites in her left ear, and "Baldy", because she looks so much like Lefty that the vet shaved off a tiny patch of fur on her front leg so I could tell them apart! If they stay for any length of time, we are going to need some new names, lol...

Yesterday I also took in a shy grey cat from Operation Spay + Neuter in Hawkesbury. I'm going to see if I can get her to come out of her shell a bit. She is in the "auxiliary" foster cat room. No pics yet!

We've been having an extreme cold snap. It was -31 C/-23F again when I got up this morning. Yesterday the dogs had no interest in going out for a pee, so Gordon came up to the bedroom, put their coats on, and dragged them out!

Gigi was the most reluctant! Ears completely pinned. "NOOOOOOOO!"
Can you blame them? They are from Jamaica after all!

But the cats were staying cozy in my office...

Naomi, Mimi and Annuk.

I don't think Mimi really minded her cozy Greek blanket!

And Gordon had yesterday off, so we went for lunch at our fav place, The Quirky Carrot...

Gingerbread spice latte for him.

Chai latte for me!

And a blissful half hour relaxing on the couch there!

Hope you all have a lovely New Year's Eve tomorrow, and all the best for 2018!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

All I want for Christmas... an amazing home for my dear foster kitty Fanny!

I've been fostering this girl for a few weeks now. I love her.

She is a bit shy, but enjoy sitting in your lap to be cuddled and brushed.  I mentioned her in my last post. She is feeling so much better now that her mouth is fixed up.

I would keep her but (a) I don't need 18 cats and (b) I want to see her in a home where she gets plenty of love and attention without three hyper dogs. She is good with other kitties. She liked our foster cat Hallie and kittens Tulip and Enzo, who have all been adopted out in the past week.

I just want her to have a wonderful home. She has suffered enough in this life, and yet she still wants the company of humans. She would do well in a quiet home with someone who will be patient with her and let her come out on her own terms. She still likes to retreat to her box for alone time, but she will come out now when I call her, and even jump up into my lap.

Like I said, I love her... so does Gordon!

Meanwhile in Goatville...

Feeding grain to 21 goats is a bit of a life-or-death challenge now, lol.

Luc has been doing it for me a lot. I can't outrun these suckers and then they try to knock the bucket out of my hands! :)

And we adopted three more goats in November. Lloyd, Olive and Lillian...


No, not me. Olive (brown head.) The vet did ultrasounds on Thursday because I was highly suspicious. He doesn't Lillian is preggars, unless she very far along (when it can be hard to tell with the ultrasound) or not very far along (too early to tell.) Luc thinks she is preggars. Luc grew up working with cows, so I think his farmer's intuition may be correct. Regardless, Olive is for sure knocked up and due in about 2 to 3 months. So MORE GOAT KIDS FOR US! I've already exceeded my self-imposed goat limit of 20, sigh....

Bert kindly gave me a hand while I cleaned the goat house the other day. Wait, no he didn't. Neither did Kevin...

Have you ever seen a moose-goat before?

Me neither. No wonder he head-butts me!

Get out of the way, Annabelle!

Don't worry. She did! :)