Humble Garden

ReSkilling for future food independence

Archive for April, 2010

Fetlocks, newborns, new gardens

Posted by Nika On April - 16 - 2010


Kidding Drama

Things have been very busy around here due to it being a long drawn out kidding season. We had girls who got pregnant over several estrus cycles so the babies were kidded out over quite a long period.

We ended up with 10 kids I think. 6 of them are female which we will keep (and have all been disbudded now) and the 4 males will be sold.

This brings us to something like 22 goats total, lots! We have been letting the babies nurse but tomorrow we will separate them and start milking. At first the milk goes to the babies and then we will wean them and have the milk for ourselves.

All the babies kidded out well and healthy except for the very last one (figures huh?).

The last baby was a singleton of average size but her legs were really long. Because of this the baby had been very cramped in utero so her fetlocks had contracted. What this means is that, as you can see in the photo below, her little hooves were forced back under so she was walking on her little tiny newborn knees.

Humble Garden 2010: close up of splint

This doesnt need to be a permanent defect and can be fixed by using splints to force her legs into the correct position and allowing the tendons to stretch a bit and begin to mineralize from the milk she drinks.

The following photos show how we made homemade splints from cut up milk jugs, rags, and duct tape.

Humble Garden 2010: sealed with duct tape

Above you see the splint as we put it on the fetlock below her knee. We tested to see if it fixed the defect.

Humble Garden 2010: testing but not right

It didnt work out as I wanted because she was just bending badly at the knees. We put on a second course of splint, up above her knees so that her leg dynamics were more about using the hoof correctly.

Humble Garden 2010: more support

You can see below that it worked out better with the second course.

Humble Garden 2010: seems to work

Humble Garden 2010: Baby O meets Rosie the kid

Humble Garden 2010: Baby O meets Rosie the kid

After a few days we removed the splints to test her out. We found one hoof well positioned but not the other so we replaced that splint.

Humble Garden 2010: Update on Rosie, weak fetlocks

Above, you can see her lounging (she is a great lounger). She is very tenacious and stubborn and has a distinct personality. We named her Rosie.

Humble Garden 2010: Update on Rosie, weak fetlocks

Above, you can see Rosie nursing from her mom Spelt.

Since these photos we have been able to remove her last splint and now she runs and frolics and is growing like a weed!

Spring Cleaning

We have put in some new fencing and segregated the goats from their usual pens so that we can clear out all the muck. This will require disassembling the pens and using a tractor to rake out all the stuff!

Goats go psychotic and loco and get super angry if they get rained on so we have build temporary rain shelters during this time of cleaning. The one you see below is one of two, the second (not shown) is much bigger.

Humble Garden 2010: temporary shelter

New Garden Beds

Below you see a panorama photo of our early spring garden (older beds on the right) that shows the tree clearing (background) and new raised beds on the left.

Humble Garden 2010: new garden beds

The photo below shows a closer view of these new beds.

Humble Garden 2010: new garden beds

They are amended with a LOT of llama manure and will be planted with a mix of perennial and tender annuals.

Planting has to wait until at least after this weekend because we are looking at night freezing and snow (sighs).

About Me

We are a family of 5, including Nika, Ed, Q (14), KD (7), and Baby Oh (4). We garden 1024 square feet of raised beds plus assorted permacultural plantings. We also have 13 LaMancha dairy goats, 40 chickens, and one guard llama.



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