Yes, those are the goats in question. Here's what happened. The next morning everyone was still alive and doing fine, but "weak" baby was several yards away from momma and sibling. It turns out, it is a she, and black, and bigger than her brother. She can get up on her feet but buckles over to her knees. She nurses fine but isn't really mobile. This is a fatal flaw, no doubt about it. But she is so perfect otherwise, so strong. I watch them all day. The kids, my kids that is, take this baby to her momma several times during the day to nurse, but by afternoon it is obvious to me if she is to live, we have to do something.
We weigh options. We do some research. I've read about contracted tendons before but mostly in regard to horses, but that's obviously what this is. We can continue to do what we are doing and hope it resolves itself before the bobcat or something eats the largely immobile baby. We can turn her in to a bottle baby -- she's had plenty of her momma's milk to wean over to cow's milk and I suppose the grandparents wouldn't mind if we showed up with four kids AND a goat when husband and I have a business trip we must make a bit later in the week. Or we can bring momma and both babies in to the barn and confine them. By the time we're weighing these things, I've decided I need to splint her legs so that she can stand, and to stretch the tendons.
We decide to bring everyone into the barn.This photo is of them nursing in the barn the first night. The splints are made from pages from magazines and vet wrap. I believe I've said this before, but no household (and particularly no household with children) should be without vet wrap. As soon as the splints were on, she could stand fine and walk a little.
My concern now was that we keep momma healthy, what with changing her circumstances and diet so drastically and suddenly. But she seems to have adjusted fine to unlimited hay, water out of a bucket instead of a creek, and several hours a day being taken out to lush grass and weeds and brush.
After the first day in splints, baby could stand without them but still knuckled over on her fetlocks so I splinted her for a second day. The photo at the very top is her on the third day, without splints since the night before. She is still pointy toed, and one leg seems a bit turned out, and she isn't well coordinated yet, but she's working on it. I may splint those fetlocks again tonight to try to stretch them a bit more. I'm sort of meditating on a technique as I go about my day.
What I would like to communicate about the whole thing is how deeply gut level all of this has been. I'm just getting these huge lessons right now about trying to get myself quiet inside and listening to what my gut and my heart have to say. And doing that.
Speaking of doing:OMG! My legs need to be longer and I tend to break my wrists (why oh why?) but he is fun!
Oh, also, my leg seems to finally be making improvements just in case any of you were worried. It was the riding, I'm sure.