Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Setbacks in the Back

Just when things were starting to go swimmingly in the backyard (milk!) . . .

CAM00702 

. . .we had a couple of big setbacks. A wonderfully kind goat breeder offered to teach The Patriarch how to disbud the kids, because that was the one job I just couldn’t see ever being OK doing. Shudder. Google if you want to, but you know, it’s a 700 degree iron on their heads, and their brains are right there. Well, the poor Patriarch is in the midst of a three-surgery battle with some huge kidney stones, so I ended up taking the little does to this lovely lady’s farm. Wow, what a beautiful goat setup she has, and great goats. She is super experienced, so what happened was just an accident. But Butternut got burned :-(. There is an area the size of a quarter burned fairly deeply – it just looked like singed hair while we were there, but by the time we got home it was an open, weeping, oozing sore. Her head is so little that this is about half of her wee head.

I bought the best salve I could find at our health food store and am changing the bandage each day. It is day four now, and it isn’t oozing and might be beginning to heal – hard to tell. She’s still nursing well and is back to jumping up on things, but she has a wheezing since then which might be the bandaging, I don’t know. Sarabi has really cooled in her affection to Butternut since the burn, but Cupcake has become very protective and maternal toward Butternut. Cupcake is really a good little goat.

CAM00703Tarquin wanted me to use his “Angry Birds” bandage today, hence the bonnet look

 

This does set back my intention to sell the babies as soon as I could get them to bottle. It will take long enough for this to heal that they will likely be ready to wean before we can sell them.

A far more serious problem emerged today. We have a rental behind us. This has never been a problem in the over fifteen years we’ve been here. Today I went out back and discovered new renters – there were maybe five twenty/thirty-something guys back there, loud rap music of the sort that has lyrics like “&$*#%+ the )#&)%* cops and (#&$%^)@ my !&#*^ girl @^*^%”, and they were having a conversation louder than the music (which was actually more expletive-laced than the lyrics), evaluating the quality of the drugs they were using. The conversation also fondly recounted exploits in hotwiring cars and how they evaded arrest. Tarquin came out to visit the goats while I was cleaning the milk stand and I had to send him right back in. What a disappointment. I can’t imagine letting my little ones play in the backyard, or with the goats, in this circumstance – I so hope something changes before the nice weather comes. We’ve spoken with the owners of that rental in the past regarding our shared fence and some trees they have which encroach on the fence, and they don’t particularly care about anything other than keeping the place rented. It’s a big fat disheartening moment.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

How Do They Do That?

After a hilarious yet frustrating “photo shoot” (that would be in quotation marks since it yielded few usable photos and a whole lotta blur), I am left wondering how goat breeders take those baby shots . . . from the Camanna website, where we bought Selkie and Sarabi, a photo of Sarabi as a few-day-old baby:

Sarabibaby photo by Anna Brown

And Selkie:

selkiebabyphoto by Anna Brown

 

I don’t know. Thumbtacks? Super sticky stuff on their wee hooves? Sedatives?

 

Here are some sorry attempts at daughter shots:

CAM00629

 

CAM00625   CAM00626

CAM00623Look at her face: “You have GOT to be joking” 

 

I think you get the gist.

I did no better chasing them around the yard trying to get a side shot, but here’s a gratuitous cute shot of Butternut Rue:

CAM00648

And one of BluPearl Cupcake:

CAM00646

They are at a very fun age. Butternut spends her whole day trying to jump on anything (the entire time I was attempting to photograph Cupcake she was jumping up on my back and eating my hair):

CAM00579    CAM00621

Although she’s quite cuddly, too. If you sit down where she can’t leap on your back, she’ll happily climb into your lap and snuggle in. Cupcake, maybe just because she’s a week younger, is a bit shyer or more reserved. She will happily sit in a lap when picked up, but she won’t ask for it. She’s gaining now, though, and doesn’t look so gaunt, so that’s a relief.

Sigh. Any reader with some pro trick to photographing goats, let me know, OK?