I feel like I’ve been in hiding this last week or so and indeed I have been. Life decided that it was going to rain. And sometimes when it rains, it pours. Life got more than a little overwhelming and when it gets like that I hibernate.ย 

We have spent the last 10 or so days pretty much hiding out in our little corner of Ballan, cozy by the fire, baking and eating comfort foods and I’ve also been reading up and learning to work out if we had done anything wrong. Thankfully it doesn’t appear so.

Anna’s nutrition was poor when she came to us due to her missing teeth making it hard for her to eat enough food in the free ranging forage system she was running in. She was a goat better suited to close stabling and feeding which suits us perfectly. We have a small area in which she can forage but primarily we had planned for closer containment and feeding. She had been given an ultrasound some time before coming to us and wasn’t at that time pregnant but of course when running with a buck, things can happen and they did. We didn’t realise that she was pregnant and although we fed her up as if she was we hadn’t quite found the best way to feed her and also the babies that she carried took every ounce of nutrition our poor lady ate. When we began to suspect she was pregnant there was no time in which to do a thing to help, even had we realised how poorly she was. Pregnancy hides malnourishment well sadly.

I know how awful this sounds, like we were starving her or feeding her inadequately but the reality is she was being fed an abundant amount of good food that was easily digestible with added minerals and vitamins and all she really needed. It was fed in such a way as to be easy to eat with her missing teeth too. but the kids took more than she could take in.

Anna appears to have birthed her babies prematurely, by maybe a week or 2. We suspect she simply wasn’t able to sustain the pregnancy any longer. And with the kids being born on such an icy cold night, had they been born live they wouldn’t have had much chance of survival being premature. As it was, they were stillborn.

My poor lady feeling a little worse for wear and tired after the birth

My poor lady feeling a little worse for wear, tired and bony a day after the birth.

The dramas haven’t stopped there either. Anna’s health hasn’t been able to support her enough to produce milk. We’ve been able to milk out and freeze some of her colostrum (first milk) but after that her production dropped off to 20-50ml per milking so the frustrating decision was made to let her dry up and to hammer her with the best nutrition possible in order to hopefully get her to health to be put in kid again in a few months time. After only a week it has become very clear to me that we have made the right decision. We’ve adjusted her food to ground grains rather than whole ones, made into a soupy warm meal which she guzzles down with relish. She’s also had an increased mineral regime and about as much nutrition as a body can handle. Already she has gained weight and is looking so much better. ๐Ÿ˜€

Tucking into some rolled oats in warm water. A much happier lady

Tucking into some rolled oats in warm water. A much happier lady.

This makes me feel better too. It’s a horrid feeling to realise that an animal you’ve been feeding up and trying to improve the health of is not improving but in fact the opposite. I know it’s not been our fault but that of her condition (pregnant) but even so it’s an awful feeling. It’s been playing on my mind I can tell you. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

The other unfortunate fortunate thing is that all of this fell on what is called birthday week in our house making it a super crazy week. We have 3 birthdays from the 2nd of August through to the 8th which means we have 3 cakes (at least) to bake, 3 renditions of Happy Birthday to endure sing (at least) and 10 lots of candle spitting blowing out to go through (at least). Every child has to spit blow them out once each on each birthday and of course Martin has his own candles toblow out (thankfully he’s learned not to spit ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). We made the decision late last year after Allegra’s birthday that we would not have a big party for our kids but rather have a family day and make some happy kids memories for them instead. We took Allegra for a belated birthday trip to Fairy Land which Jasper and Allegra still talk about. This year for the boys birthdays we decided upon a trip to the snow. Martin took Wednesday off and we all headed up to Lake Mountain for the day where we all had a blast. It was a wonderful positive in the middle of a very frustrating and sad week. ๐Ÿ™‚

Getting ready for the snow in their thermalwear and very excited to be going.

Getting ready for the snow in their thermal-wear and very excited to be going.

The weekend came and went with grandparent visitors on Saturday and some wood chopping and woodshed building on Sunday as well as a visit to Mill Rose craft shop on Sunday for some crafting and catching up with a friend which was a lovely escape for me. ๐Ÿ™‚ With the weekend being busy it’s meant we didn’t achieved all we had hoped to achieve but he have ย had the chance to deal and heal from last weekend which is far more important. ๐Ÿ™‚ At least the weather was gorgeous on Sunday. Nothing like a little vitamin D to boost immunity and morale. ๐Ÿ™‚

So here we are, halfway through the week. We’re spending time constructing the various kits Jasper got for his birthday, hunkering down away from the weather (cold and wet) and focusing on the simple things. It’s been a time of healing.

I have been reading comments but not had the motivation to reply until now. I thank everyone for their support. It has been important to us. ๐Ÿ™‚

Well, time to start cooking some dinner so I’d better get a move on before the “I’m hungry” whine begins. ๐Ÿ˜‰


12 thoughts on “Hiding

  1. Lynda says:

    Well my lady, this is a sad time all round. I think my heart broke last night too. Im glad you have found a way to feed Anna and no doubt Thermie is playing its part in all that grinding of food. Happy Birthday to everyone. Catch you soon.

  2. Jenny says:

    I’m so sorry. That has got to be so hard. Happy Birthday to your littles!

  3. You are a beautiful “farmer” one who cares deeply about her animals, you have done everything right and nothing wrong. A sad time xx
    Happy birthday family ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks. It is still hard not to judge oneself though.

      • I once nursed a newborn calf that was born a dwarf, for four days before it died. It was always going to die really but I believed I could outdo nature if I did enough. Nature, often times it works against us. xx

        • We rubbed and scrubbed and stimulated and warmed our little goat kids for a few hours too before finally admitting defeat. Even the next day when we buried them I still felt like I’d failed them as they looked so ready to take that first breath. It was only logic that kept me sane.
          Kudos to you for the support and care you offered that poor calf. How much kinder its passing would have been rather than being left alone in the cold to die.

  4. Jo says:

    The reality of living with animals is that they die, and of course, this death is not at your door, but so hard nevertheless. And birthday weeks are exhausting – well done you. We have been having the same weather, and I must say, I am well over rain. I hate to think of all the pests and diseases incubating in my warm, wet garden…

  5. […] Well birthday week has come and gone and although I didn’t quite get to cake baking like I’d planned but we have still had our fill of cake (well, I have but the kids probably have not) and we’ve had our birthday day for making memories too. I’m glad to see the last of last week to be honest, despite the fun day we had last Wednesday. It’s been a hard week and we’ve all spent time inย hidingย since. […]

  6. Lisa says:

    good to see your sounding somewhat better. I know your not there yet and here remember when you get the time/ can be bothered to ( you know how i am with words) to give me a bell; hope all the visiting was ok and your moving faster now. Been thinking of you i honestly have. PS THAT GIRL OF YOURS IS LOOKING MORE AND MORE LIKE HER MUMMY EVERY DAY. LOVE YOU BABES

  7. Sorry to hear about Anna and her babies. Hope she is on the mend now with your very special care. Sounds like you have been enjoying some lovely family time. Hope that helped.

  8. narf77 says:

    Finally got to “R” and here you are. Hopefully the last month (has it BEEN a month?!!! has helped ease your loss and that Anna is starting to fill out. Time does heal and so do birthday’s. All of that pfaffing about getting things baked etc. takes your mind off things and helps. I am racing through my RSS Feed Reader as fast as I can because we have 2 weeks holidays starting next week and want to get as many of our potted plants into the ground before summer hits. Wish us luck (we are certainly going to need it ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

  9. […] to indicate she is so here’s hoping for greater success than last year with both kids and milk. It’s time for me to get things ready, including building a milking stand and getting their […]

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