There are days when despite all distractions and jobs off-farm, we are farmers. This happens when a goat kid dies and we cannot do anything to stop it, or when we are defeated, as when we look at beans that never flowered and wither in the drought.
But farmers also delight in the surprise of the unexpected arrival of kids.
In the midst of snow flurries today, we hustled to another farm to pick up a much needed big round bale of hay. We towed the 1000 lb bale on a trailer across gravel and paved roads, then into the pasture. We used the bobcat to carefully lift it from the trailer and deposit it in the pens, inside a hay feeder. All the while the wind blew the flakes in our faces.
Just when we thought we were finished and fingers were stiff with cold, we checked on our last four pregnant does. One had delivered kids in the windy weather, and they were awkwardly positioned, legs akimbo, outside of the barn.
Once carried inside to a cozy pen, the weaker of the two languished and we thought it wouldn’t make it. The doe had no interest the kid. It is the worst, most helpless feeling. Ultimately, despite the chance we would be head-butted by the doe, we both climbed into the pen. One held her body stiff and still by hand. The other took the weak kid and held it to the doe’s teats until it found them and finally took that all important first drink.
A few hours later, the doe seems to accept both kids, and everyone is sleeping. Happiness. -Jen