December 28, 2009 – January 6, 2010
Once we got home, we put her in the goat pen with Milky, Prada and Max. She didn’t miss a beat, hopping through one of the holes on the cattle fence panel and taking home. We tried to chase her down, each coming at her from a different direction, until she did the unthinkable. She ran straight for the creek and jumped right in. We couldn’t believe it. It was like 30 degrees outside and that was completely dry! She swam for a minute and then started failing. Bryan jumped in (oooh, the hell he caught from his dad over that later). He got her out and stripped out of his wet clothes down to his undies. While he got himself to the house and back to a normal body temperature, I brought Cookie to the house to make sure she was warm and dry before nightfall. I was a little nervous about leaving her out for the night but we shut all three of the goats up in the goat house and they snuggled together. The next day, Bryan spent the better part of the day, in snowfall, tying chicken wire around the outside bottom of the goat pen.
Because we took her away from her mom before she was weaned, I’ve been bottle feeding her kid milk replacement 3-4 times a day. Or at least I’ve been attempting to. The first few times, she fought so much I don’t think she got more than a drop. Finally, though, she seemed to be getting some and even seemed to enjoy me holding her; she’d lean into me, resting her head on my chest while I squatted in the goat house to feed her. Cookie also started eating a little hay and straw and even wiggled her head into the food bowl to get some grain. No wonder Prada head-butted her. We were thinking that she was too little to be eating the grain or hay but didn’t think it could really hurt anything.
Surprisingly, we think she bonded more with Max (the Anatolian) than she did with Milky and Prada (the Nigerians). At first, she followed Milky around a bit and we thought she might even try to feed, which would have been futile since Milky’s dried up right now. She pretty much stayed away from Prada, though, probably because Prada rammed her every chance she got. We’re starting to think Prada’s going to be “herd mama.” The other night, though, Cookie started rooting around at Max … and he just rolled over and let her do it!
Last night, she sat in my lap and drank from the bottle of kid milk; when I put her down, she followed me around for a bit. This morning, when I went out to feed her, I found her lying in the corner of the pen, cold and stiff. I’m not sure if the cold got her; if it was the stress of the move; if it was related to her polar bear swim; or if she had some sort of digestive blockage, perhaps from eating grain too early. Truth is, I’ll probably never know.
Tonight we’re in for more freezing temperatures, so I spent the early evening doing some shift work around the farm. The dogs are in the garage and the goats (Max fits in this category) are in the workshop. Man, we need a barn!
Today, I didn’t much enjoy being Farmer Steph, and I’m certain they’ll be more days like this; this is life on a farm. But tomorrow is a new day and I look forward to being greeted by some warm noses (Milky and Prada give Eskimo kisses in exchange for animal crackers! Hey, I’m not above bribery.)