Friday, April 22, 2011

Animal Babies

We finally got the last of our animal babies for this spring!!! The only other animal we might get are calves, but it isn't looking promising right now. The cattle market is crazy high right now, and it just doesn't make any sence to raise up our own when we can buy grass fed beef for about $3.00lb. Usually we can do our own for less, but not sure about that right now.

These girls are for my dd's 4-H project. The two on the outside are Kikos while the middle one is a Boar goat. All are in the meat goat class. Sadly the middle one died last week. We only had it a little less than two weeks and the last couple days we noticed that she wasn't eating as much and was laying down more than the others. She had a little bit of a clear runny nose, but they all did in the morning, and that was all that I could tell that was wrong. Until her last day, when her nose looked gunky and she had a bit of a cough. So I called the vet who wanted me to bring her in, but the trip did her in and by the time we got there, she had died. The vet said it was fast acting pneumonia.

Dd was really upset, but that is part of raising animals, so we just go on. We started watching the other two really carefully and sure enough, they had it too. So they both got shots (actually I've given them both two shot now, and they seem a lot better, so hopefully we have this beat). I really hate giving animals shots!!! I've had to do it with sheep (we had a long time ago), calves and now goats. But the goats are the worst because they cry and scream!!! Makes me feel horrible, but I know they need it, so I guess I have to do it.These little ones are Rhode Island Reds and we have a mixture of male and female. Around 25 in all. I was only going to buy female this year, but then made the mistake of reading about how chicken that you buy at the store are usually raised and slaughtered (though I know there are exeptions) and well, now we are planning to send some of the males off to be slaughtered locally so we can have chicken meat in the freezer:) We'll keep a couple of the males so that we can raise more babies later on.

And these are the first born of the spring kittens. They are 6 weeks old today!!! They were born in the barn wall, but we got them out a couple weeks ago and put them in this box. Momma is still kinda taking care of them, so we started feeding them just a little and giving them water. However, they are already starting to excape the box, so hopefully momma will keep an eye out for them so they don't get lost:) Yes, one of them has a yucky eye that just won't get better. Another one had a yucky eye too, but it cleared up. I may have to call the vet to see about some eye drops if it doesn't clear up soon. UPDATE: They are now out of the box and thankfully their momma is watching over them:)

And this batch was just born on Monday. I really didn't think this momma would take care of them at all as this is her first batch, she was hand raised (her momma disapeared when she was 2 weeks old), and she is under a year old. We haven't had good luck with the really young mommas, but she hasn't hardly left these kitten alone and is being a really good momma!!! And I'm so happy too, because so many of our cats are gray and white, but she has one down in that pile that is almost all orange with just a bit of white:)

There was one more batch of kittens, but they didn't make it. This was that momma's 2nd batch and she hasn't been interested in taking care of them yet. She's kind of a runty cat, so I'm wondering if that isn't the problem. She did start out pretty good as she at least birthed them all in one place this time, but then didn't feed them for more than a day or two. We usually try to keep them alive (though other than the 3 that were two weeks old we've never been able to get them to live). This batch was in part of the barn wall that we couldn't get to though, so sadly they all died (which they probably would have anyway, but we like to at least try).

Well, I think that is all of the new animal news around here for a while. They are all sure cute, but going to keep us a bit busy!!!

I hope to have a small spring-time stitchy finish to show off by the end of this weekend, so I'll update with some pics then:) And we are hoping to get most of the garden in this weekend, so I may have a few pics of that too. Busy, busy around here!! :)