Thursday, March 6, 2008

March 6th Farm Update: In Which I Learn to be Careful What I Wish For

Dear Friends,

My farm update is a bit late this week for a very good reason. Absolutely nothing has been happening on the farm! No new kids, no funny-in-retrospect disasters, nothing worth reporting. I found myself putting off the update because I had no idea what I would talk about. "This week I fed the animals twice a day, carried a lot of water, got completely drenched once in a sudden rain storm and checked the barn for babies every six hours." Boring! We have a bunch of new members and I was just about to start making stuff up.

Well, I didn't have to. I spent most of today with Kathleen of Textile Travel. She was on the Island to check out some houses to rent for the trip she is putting together to our MV Fiber Festival (more on this later) and I thought she might want to see our little ones, so I swung by the kidding barn thinking we would spend 20 minutes admiring the cuteness. As soon as we walked in the barn though, I noticed that Basil's mom, 13, was covered with something red. Really bright red. So bright red that for a moment I thought "How on earth did she get into a can of red paint?" Then I realized it was blood. Lots and lots of blood.

Of course I didn't have the medical box with me, never seem to in an emergency, so I had Kathleen hold her while I ran out to my car for the only piece of fabric I could find ( a polar fleece hat) and Kathleen's bottle of water. After I got some of the blood off I found a puncture wound, and, God forgive me, I thought that Biscotti had attacked her.

For those of you that are new, Biscotti is one of our Maremma livestock guardian dogs and she is an absolute angel. She was born on an angora goat farm and has spent every day of her life with sheep and goats. Biscotti has never so much as looked at one of our animals sideways. I call her a heart with feet. But I couldn't figure out what else could have happened to 13.

I kept cleaning the wound and quickly realized that it wasn't one wound but many. Her face was absolutely shredded. They were claw marks. This was the work of Dan Rather, the insane rooster that I blogged about here. He still had blood on his talons! 

I put 13 into a kidding pen so I could give her the medical attention she needed.  I took these pictures after I cleaned her up and disinfected her wounds. 

I considered giving her an antibiotic shot, but she is nursing Basil so it really wasn't a good option. I'm just going to have to keep an eye on her and make sure all those little cuts don't get infected.

I'm sorry to say that Dan Rather is no longer with us. I didn't kill him or anything but I did evict him from the hoop house. It was one thing when he was attacking me but I can't let him hurt my flock. They are completely defenseless and it's my job to protect them. So Dan Rather is now a free agent and I wish him nothing but the best.

I think we may have a couple of new kids soon. 25 and 11 are both looking like they may be close. I don't know if you can will be able to tell in these pictures but there is a certain hollowness above their back hips that nannies get when they are about to kid. 

I'm heading back over to the barn with my fingers crossed in a bit. I'll let you know if we have any new arrivals.

Sedress emailed me to ask if we were able to extend our stay in the kidding barn. We were originally supposed to be out of the hoop house by March 1st, but Andrew has been so accommodating. Someone else wants to use the hoop house to start some seedlings but Andrew has juggled things around to let us stay at least another two weeks. So keep your fingers crossed that these nannies start kidding. The longer the new babies can stay inside after they are born, the better.
We have had beautiful weather this week (except for the rainstorm that drenched me!) and 50 degrees and blue skies are definitely something I could get used to! Unfortunately, the weatherman is predicting SNOW for the weekend. ENOUGH ALREADY WITH WINTER! 

Now, about the Fiber Festival. Textile Travels is putting together a great package for the weekend. Kathleen rented an awesome house and it's basically going to be a knitting house party! The trip is going to include ferry tickets, a couple of meals, lodging and some other fun activities. It sounds great. So if you are still looking for accommodations this might be a good option. 

I am not going to be talking about the festival so much in the update anymore. I don't want the people who can't make it to feel left out so I will post updates and new info on ravelry and on the official festival website Hopefully those of you who can't make it to the festival will be able to come to the fall Shearing Day Celebration or come anytime you can make it this way. You are always welcome to come visit your fiber!

Have a great week and check back here for updates every couple of days,

P.S. This is sooo embarrassing but my email program had some kind of a hiccup and I've lost the emails from the three people who won calendars by emailing me with baby names.  I know that RebeccaBlood was one of them but I also lost the addresses to mail the calendars to. Blame is on kidding! Could the winners shoot me another email? 


Writer bug said...

OMG! Poor 13! I can't believe Dan Rather would do that. The bastard! (Though it did make me laugh when you called him a "free agent" and said you wished him well. :)

Rebecca said...

That's horrible! I'm glad you stopped by the barn when you did. Get well 13!

--Deb said...

EVIL rooster!! Poor 13! That's just terrible, but I'm with Rebecca. So glad you stopped at the barn!

(Oh, my, so many exclamation points.)

Diane said...

I guess roosters need attention too!
Let us know how 13 is doing, Susan!

Jenny said...

Oh my goodness! That just broke my heart! Poor 13, thank god she has you to take care of her. Though, I have to say, I didn't know you had a rooster named Dan Rather, so for one second, I thought you really meant Dan Rather, and I laughed at the ridiculousness of it. But seriously, EVIL rooster!

I got my certificate yesterday, btw, and I'm so excited! :)

SeDress said...

Any idea why Dan would have attacked one of the goats? And why Biscotti wouldn't have then attacked him?
I think you need to get #13 a proper name as soon as possible. I'm not normally superstitious, but let's not take a chance. [Knock on wood].
On another note: for those of us sitting in an office, or elsewhere far removed from the farm, even the mundane news is still interesting. Lot's of people could cope with the occasional emergency. It takes true character to go back day after day and do all the small routine things that life demands. Kudos to you for taking such good care of 'our' flock.

Joan said...

Poor 13, hope she's feeling better. Nasty Dan Rather, he defintely deserved being banished.

sarah said...

Oh, poor 13. That rat bastard Dan Rather. I hope she'll be okay!