Friday, July 27, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

My kids were home last week and for my Mother's Day present put the lattice on my barn. There is nothing I like better than to have people working for me. It turned out beautifully and grounds the barn to the...well, ground.

I love these guys. Now how about those steps.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

How is Buttons?

Buttons is doing just fine. Thanks for asking. You would not even know she had such a hard time. She is very pleased with her new baby boy and is taking very good care of him. Snaps is just like his momma and is training for the role of farm ambassador. My son and daughter-in-law have been carrying him around and socializing him. Buttons is a smart mom and appreciates a good babysitter. She doesn't waste any of her precious free time looking for him.
I think this will be Buttons' last least for awhile. She's earned some time off.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012



My brother-in-law has a farm where he raises beef and anything else his daughters brought home. Over the years he has been known to use family gatherings with an abundance of male attendees to get some of his more unpleasant tasks done. The men and boys never knew if they were going to herd cattle, separate the bull, or for that matter castrate the bull calves. It has turned into a family joke. My brother had the misfortune of being in on one of these family parties and witnessed the pulling of a calf with a '77 LTD bumper. The cow and calf lived but my brother was never the same. Hubby has always been right in there helping his brother......when he couldn't fade away into the background.

Little did I know this family joke would come in handy.

Buttons went into labor yesterday and when it came time for her to push all that presented was one long front leg. I stuck my finger in to have a feel around and came up with another leg but no head. I brought the leg out but it was a back leg. Now I had a front leg and a back leg out and I still couldn't find the head. I tried to stuff the back leg back in. It wouldn't go. I tried to find the head and finally found it way in the back but couldn't get this kid turned around. I was really getting nervous now. I was all alone and no matter what I did I could not get this huge kid out. I needed help. I started to go back home and then realized I had ridden my bike to the farm and would have to peddle home for help.

I was a horrible sight to see turning into my driveway covered in blood and mucus. I told Hubby that something was terribly wrong and that I couldn't get the kid out. I would need to call someone. I would call the goat farmer at Herron Hill. He asked if I would like him to try. Now I must say Hubby is not really into the farm as much as I am. He is a reluctant farmer. Growing up in the suburbs with no pets it didn't come naturally for him but being one that isn't afraid of getting his hands dirty he is always willing to help. So I accepted his offer and as we flew back to the farm to try and save Buttons I called the goat farmer just in case. I left a shaky scared message to come help Buttons.

When we got to the farm the two legs were still sticking out and Buttons was in great pain.  I told Hubby to pull down and out but to get that baby out. I held Buttons collar while he grabbed the legs and gave a good pull downward. I asked if it budged at all and my heart sank when he replied "No, not a bit."
 So we gave it another try and this time Hubby reached in and grabbed what he thought was the rear end of the kid and pushed it down while pulling as hard as he could and out it shot. I have never felt so relieved to see a kid shoot out then at that moment. The kid was huge and dead. It is always sad to see a kid make it that far and then not live but I didn't care. Buttons was saved. Even Buttons was so relieved to have this large kid out she didn't care either. I worked on the kid for awhile to see if I could get him going and then when it looked futile, wrapped him in a towel and set him aside. Poor boy. He was beautiful.
Thankfully she had another in there and with a little help from me (this one was not in the right position either) pushed forth another big boy. He was alive.

Now Buttons being the practical girl she is quickly forgot about the dead baby and focused all of her attention on the new live one. I slipped the dead kid out and buried him. I know I should be more upset about him but I am so relieved that it wasn't Buttons I was was that bad folks.

 Sure I've seen the horror stories about stuck kids but in all my years of goat raising have never had one. Lucky for Buttons, Hubby had spent a few of his holidays helping his brother and one of those days involved pulling a calf. The family jokes will continue but I know for a fact there is a little goat named Buttons that is glad that a farmer is out there teaching the menfolk how to deliver a baby that doesn't want to come.

So Hubby was my hero yesterday. He not only saved my goat but he washed and vacuumed my Jeep. I don't know which took more courage.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Monday, July 9, 2012

Triplets Again?

Excuse me but you're in my spot

I had read that llamas choose a special spot to have their babies. The llama lady asked if I had noticed if Willow had picked a spot yet. I hadn't noticed. When I went to feed yesterday I did notice a huge difference in how Willow was acting though. She was humming. A lot. And using the dung pile. A lot. I knew for sure that we would have a baby that day. It just so happened that Hubby had rented a log splitter for the weekend and was busy splitting and stacking wood and I was busy cleaning around the farm. The perfect day to hang around and watch for a llama baby. When Willow wasn't at the dung pile she seemed to be hanging out with Hubby at the woodpile. He thought she enjoyed hanging out with him but as the day wore on and I knew that llamas gave birth in the morning I started to get worried. Then it dawned on me...this was Willow's place. The spot she had chosen to give birth. Long before Hubby decided to split firewood. We have to leave I told Hubby. You have to stop right now and leave. You are in her spot. "But I only have about 5 more minutes of wood to stack," he said. But he packed up at my insistence and we left her to her spot. It was approaching the 6 pm deadline for llamas to give birth without problems....I read it on the internet! We had to get out of there fast. When I checked on her a half hour later there were two long legs and the head sticking out her rear end. It was huge and she was having a hard time getting him out. As she paced around she knocked his legs and head on trees and got his gangly legs caught in the fence several times. Every time I tried to help it only made it worse so once again I left her alone and went to milk and do my chores. She finally delivered him at 5:45 pm with one hard push as I watched from the barn door. As he slid to the ground she made a terrible noise, swung around and acted like she was attacking him. I ran from the barn screaming her name and it seemed to startle her out of her attack and she turned to him and started loving on him. What was that? Hubby says it was like spanking a newborn...that's his theory. I'm just going to forget about that little episode since Willow has turned into the perfect little mother to her giant baby boy.
We named him Blackberry after the little wild blackberries that are ripe right now. He is really very popular because no one I know including myself has ever seen a baby llama.
I am going to start charging admission.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

He's Here

At least I think it's a he...she won't let me anywhere near him.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Willow's Dirty Little Secret

When we got Willow she was in a large pasture with two alpacas, the carcass of her mother, and her intact father. I knew there was the possibility she was pregnant. I asked my vet if it would be a problem and she thought no. Then I put it out of my mind and brought Willow home. As the months went by I was sure that she wasn't. She didn't look pregnant. Then she started lying down a lot more than usual. That was my first clue. So when the llama lady came over the first thing I ask her was to see if she thought Willow might be pregnant. As the fiber came off there was a good section of her belly exposed so it was easy to see the leg that poked out of Willow's side. The llama lady said sure enough Willow was going to have a baby. Even I was sure when I saw the little llama udder. I asked the llama lady if it was a problem that the father is her dad and she thought no as well. Willow is going to be both mother and sister to this little baby. Now we will never mention it again.