Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Guts (not the literal kind)

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.


Gypsy said...

Sounds to me that following your "gut" instincts was just the thing to do! i'll keep my fingers crossed for the little one.

Alecto said...

OMG That's Just Awesome!!!

(baby goat is cool too)

Kitt said...

Yay for the kid! So glad you followed your gut.

Wendy said...

The Old English word wicce means "wise." In days long past, women who were healers, herbalists, and midwives were often labeled wicce - "Wise Woman."

We'll need more of you in the days to come. I wish I lived closer ;).

Cielo Singer said...

Vet wrap should be in everyone's "survival stash", like duct tape.

Hope baby goat continues to improve.

laura said...

that must be deeply satisfying to see that doing what felt right has helped.

i wonder if this is the same as what i've seen on some kids. you know how some kids will walk on their toes...all the time. and they have to have special casts put on to lengthen the tendons and stretch the calf muscles.

interesting how quickly this is helping though, i wouldn't have thought.

love the picture of you riding!

CG said...

well, she's still tippy toed, I never did resplint the fetlocks (if that is what they are called in goats) because she's getting around goatfully. Still, I think maybe we should eat her but I don't know that we will. They all go out to the field to join the herd tomorrow!

I most often ride with these two wonderful ladies and you should have heard their oohs and ahs when I went in this big fellow's stall instead of the usual pony's stall! Not that I don't love the pony, I do, and pony has a LOT going for him but still. That barn has some of the most wonderful people in it and I am so grateful. So glad you finally got to see me ride! LOL!

PocketsoftheFuture said...

That is a great story about finding your way with the kid. I think developing the ability to look within for answers to material problems as well as "life problems" is the very essence of self-reliance. As you are illustrating, self-reliance can be about much more than raising your own food or sewing your clothes or whatever. Self-reliance, in its fullest sense, is an inwardly directed approach to life founded upon the natural law that a willing and prepared person can find direction and inspiration within for how to approach any problem.

We faced a similar scenario recently when one of our cows in milk sustained a very deep gash on one of her teats. She did heal without incident and is fine now but it surely took some doing on our part. We did the same thing of allowing our hearts to tell us what to do and it worked out.

Thank you for sharing your experience. It is valuable to read stories of other people approaching life in a similar way.


annetteinalaska said...

Hate to be pushy, but I'm just wondering how the kid's doing now.

CG said...

She's fine. I'm trying to load photos even now . . .