Easter Goat Update

Things are settling down after our Easter Sunday goat kid adventure. The kid spent the night in my office, and then on Monday morning we moved him to the barn with his mother. They’ve been together in a separating pen, to facilitate their bonding. It’s a lot easier on them if the rest of the herd isn’t constantly walking through and causing disruptions.

The biggest problem was that the kid never nursed immediately after his delivery. He did take a bottle of colostrum, which was good, but he needed to figure out how to get his milk directly from his mother. We weren’t even sure if Thistle would take care of him at this point.

Homeschooled Farm Girl went out several times on Monday and Tuesday, physically putting the kid on one of Thistle’s teats. Fortunately, he got the hang of it quickly. Even better, Thistle stood steady while he took the milk. By Wednesday morning when I came out for chores, he was on a teat and suckling all by himself. That was a big relief. The process doesn’t always go this smoothly.

Thistle-Kid 2016b

There was another potential problem, however. While putting the kid on a teat Monday, HFG noticed that Thistle’s birth canal appeared to have prolapsed somewhat as a result of the delivery. I looked at it, and agreed. The same thing had happened to one of our other goats; the vet was able to get it back in and sew it in place, and that goat was able to breed again without issue.

Tuesday morning, Mrs. Yeoman Farmer ran Thistle to the vet. By the time he looked at Thistle, the goat’s vulva had largely drawn itself back inside. The vet said it definitely had prolapsed, but was fixing itself — so wasn’t going to need medical intervention. He gave us some advice for getting her cleaned up and continuing to make sure it healed properly, and charged us just $25 for the visit.

Although it was sad that Thistle’s other goat kid was stillborn, that does mean she has plenty of milk for her surviving kid — and for our family. HFG has begun milking her twice a day, and we’re getting around a quart each time.

Thistle Milk

One last note about Thistle: a couple of years ago, she had a really nasty growth of some sort in her left eye. We took her to the vet (same one), and he said the eye was already ruined. The only real treatment was to remove the eyeball before the growth spread. Apparently, popping an eyeball out is a pretty simple surgical procedure (who knew?). He then sewed Thistle’s eyelid closed, to protect the empty socket. She was back with the herd in no time.

Does she look funny? Absolutely! But at least she’s now very easy to catch. All you have to do is approach her from the left rear. She can’t see you coming. She’s a very gentle goat, quite milky, and easy to milk. I’m relieved she’s doing so well after this latest scare, and back on her feet. Here’s hoping we get to keep our “one-eyed goat” in the herd for many more years.

Thistle-Kid 2016a

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