The last of my secrets….I’m free. Love me, hate me, ….your choice

After I buried the little one, I was standing there with the shovel in my hand holding it upright. It occurred to me what a picture it would make. If taken from a distance looking toward me, you would see a field of flowers with a very sad lady holding a shovel standing next to a tiny grave. A tiny grave nearly obscured by the brown eyed susan’s, the flower cemetery. The hay field the girls live in is full of flowers and assorted weeds, some of which are booger bears for fiber animals. There is bermuda grass here and there, and there will be more once the shredder shows up. I’m hoping he shows up before the babies deliver, so I can see them!

This is all the hay fields. Nothin but flowers, weeds and a few twigs of grass.

My friend suggested putting them all in a closed in area each morning and feeding them a little, then walking behind each one and feeling the udders, to see which are hot, therefore ready to give birth. It’s an excellent idea, that I will implement in the future but this close to kidding, the less trauma the better. That would scare these girls. They hate being chased into a small enclosure, which is what I do when I need to catch them to shear or do feet or meds. Every farm is different, as is every farms setup. For that to transpire, it would require the help of another. Some day, there will be a better catch system in place with chutes and it will flow smoother to allow me to catch on my own.

The girls house, at naptime. More shelters to come.

Olive Oyl was the first goat here to give birth in the pasture instead of a pen. I was there just a few minutes after the drop. I woke up to it and it was glorious. I walked out there and gave her encouragement. Olive Oyl’s placenta blew in the wind, still attached, like a kite reaching for the sky. I’ve never seen anything like it. As evening wore on, I did have to carry the baby to the goat house. I had to stop every 20 ft or so to let her see the baby, cuz she just stood there and cried, even though she saw me pick up the baby. The point is, we got to the house, she got her baby, and Sweetpea is rambunctious as ever. That baby trucked after her mom everywhere, even in the cold and rain. She grew strong, very fast, in my opinion, because she was raised wild, sort of. They are in a 6 acre area. The down side of pasture birthing is there is less of a chance for me to bond with the wee ones.

Olive Oyl’s placenta, missed the actual flying in air part.

My friends advice is good, but after all this loss, I’m feeling the call to nature. To freedom. Since the baby is dead, maybe I should move the new girls now, into the girl pen and put Gandhi and Lovey in the 1 acre pasture with the Munchkins, where the yearling boys have access to the entire field because I leave their gate open. I am only able to do this because of the new fencing. The same new fencing that caused this mass pregnancy in the first place. I haven’t decided for sure to move the Pretties now, still pondering the ins and outs. I tallied it up, with who I think is pregnant and based on their experience whether I think they will have 1 or 2, and the final best guess for coming babies is……20. As of half a day ago, I had 6 already, now it’s back to 5. That would mean 25 babies this year when I really only intended to breed 3 girls, which would have been 6 babies.

In the girls pens, I will make an extra enclosure with whatever odds and ends I have, attached to the goat house, which by the way is a carport with a round horse pen surrounding it and extra horse panels to make the catch pen. I will be creating kind of like a new mom area. Or, I may just split them up into pens as they become available. So hard to decide. I’m going on and on about the future, because I’m still dealing in the past. It’s not good to be in the past. Just this morning, is the past. My heart is having a hard time with that. The old me could easily fall into depression now. How easy would that be, I mean, I’ve just buried 3 babies. Bella, because I didn’t get home in time and she got fluid in her lungs, Kya, who I was too afraid to upset the Herdqueen and give her baby a bottle and she got so weak and couldn’t withstand a wham from one of the girls, that’s my guess, and now Cherub. Sure, I saved Lovey, but that hardly seems enough.

I could so easily slide down that wall, crawl down that hole, or under the covers. I could stop. I could stop it all. But that’s no longer me. I no longer would truly consider such a thing. I might however, get in my car and go. That is always a mind option of mine. Not for long, just to clear myself. I can’t do that right now though, that’s for sure.

No. I’ve got responsibilities and little mouths to feed and no one but me knows who they all are. They’re my babies, of course I know. Cathy knows some, and my husband knows a couple. My son, my daughter and her friend, also know a few. I don’t tag my babies. I probably should but it’s just another thing I’m opposed to. If they have to go out of state and require one, fine, I’ll do it, but until then, no. I try not to cause them pain, and since I don’t go to shows, it’s not really necessary. Anyway while I’m at it, since I’m fresh in grief and feeling a twang of lemon in my mouth, I told you I wouldn’t tell the eyelid theory then. I will now. I’ll be brave. After making so many friends, I hate that I may lose some by telling my truth. Why am I keeping it a secret? Because I fear judgment. On the other hand, not all people want to pump chemicals into their goats all the time, so I should explain my new understandings. My intention is not to ruffle feathers, it is to get this monkey off my back. After today, all my secrets will be out and you either still want to be my friend, or read this blog, or you won’t. So, the goat world believes that if you pull down a goats eyelid and it is pale, then the goat has worms. I disagree.

It’s kidding season last year. I have a mom whose baby is crying until he goes hoarse. I call my friend and she comes. She says the mom has mastitis. Then she looks at the eyelids. She said she was close to death with worms based on her eyes. Then she looked at the baby and said the same thing. She told me to take them to the vet in the morning and I did. She was right, Hannah had mastitis. The fecal samples however revealed something else. He said they were the cleanest samples he’d seen in his entire vet career. 2-3 eggs, at most for those 2 and then I took 4 samples from the Beautifuls and some of them were in the teens, the others around 5-6 eggs. I told him my theory, and he said……do what everybody else does. He couldn’t believe that it worked, so he said that. That’s what he said. He said it just wasn’t logical, yet the results were before him. Go figure. So, that is why I don’t do the eyelid test. See what I mean? These are hardcore long held beliefs that are hard to let go of.

And here is my theory, my big bad secret… If I live in a sterile world, how am I to build immunities? If I drink spic and span water everyday, how am I protecting myself? If I take heavy duty chemicals every month to get rid of ‘possible’ parasites inside me, I am being poisoned. For my own personal self, I don’t use antibacterial soap. Some bacteria is required, beneficial. So, I worm my goats once a year. I use a float valve water system with fish to eat the junk and I don’t give any of my animals vaccines. No cdt. If an animal gets hurt, then I would take him to the vet for a tetanus shot. If a goat appears sick, I worm it. The vet said 99% of the time if a goat is sick, it’s worms.

Therefore, I believe in treating symptoms, instead of chemical prevention. This is controversial. I have only had one death on this farm due to worms and it was because I under dosed her. I know, I’m repeating myself, but for clarity sake, they say to give Triple the dose for a cow. That seems outlandish to me, but if it would have kept Duchesse alive, and had I known it in time, I would have done it. Silly me, I followed the label instructions. The outer bugs are a different problem altogether. It’s very obvious to the eye and regular pouring of chemicals down their backline is the only thing to make the goats comfortable. These bugs are way worse than fleas.

Can you not see that I love my goats? Can you not see the dedication? I’m tired of feeling dirty for having this secret. It’s out there now. Wow, 2 secrets revealed. I’m getting brave. Ha, I once went up to the guy that supposedly had been hired to kill me by my abusive ex, and said…have you been hired to kill me? No answer. Have you been hired to kill me?…‘I was never paid.’ I always knew that was either the dumbest thing I ever did or the smartest thing I ever did. Since he didn’t kill me, I’d say it was among my smartest, eh?

And as promised, I have 2 more secrets. I once held a job that most would not approve of. Is that enough or must I , well darn. Ok, I was on welfare with a baby. I got a job and stopped welfare. Two months later I lost my job due to my muscle disease and they wouldn’t reinstate my benefits. I ended up an exotic dancer. My baby was fed and clothed. Done. How I did that, with a muscle disease, is another story. The other is, I use alternative medicines, and that should be sufficient explanation. Alrighty then, that’s it. All my secrets have been exposed. Once again, I will wait with bated breath to see if I am approved or deemed a bad goat rancher.

So, bottom line. I have now offered you my proof that pale eyelids do not mean a goat is dying from worms. Maybe it works sometimes, I don’t know, I’m just saying….well, I’m just saying. As I’ve told you before, I’m not perfect. My house and place is rather messy and I do things differently. I believe differently. Why don’t I give vaccines? I don’t trust them. Plain and simple. There are a lot of things going on that no one knows about or comprehends, that scare me. Monsanto Crops are one. Laws prohibiting roadside farmers or farmers markets are another, and let’s not forget vapor trails. Like I said, the almighty dollar. So many children with autism,… vaccines? Who gets rich from vaccines? Someone does, I’m sure.

Once again, let me give you a roll count of the deaths, in case you are scared of buying a goat from me now that I’ve fessed up. Keep in mind, this is over a 3 ¾ year period. I got my goats in October of 2008.

Death #1. Baby Koko was 1 day old, a twin, a black twin in a sea of black babies. He ended up on the wrong side of the pen at night, not where his mom ‘parked’ him. 2011
Death#2. Lulu, heatstroke. 2011
Death#3. Duchesse, worms 2012
Death#4. Kya, my fault, herd queen, small twin, didn’t supplement, never again. 2012
Death#5. Bella, born with fluid in lungs, came home too late to revive, but tried for over an hour anyway. 2012
Death#6. Cherub, lung infection, and premature. 2012

Now, I do have a problem with mites and I’m working on that, and I haven’t eradicated the lice yet either. I didn’t understand that the repeat 3 times every 10 days, was very literal. Apparently the life cycle of the lice is 10 days and you repeat it to catch the babies and then the eggs, or something like that. I wasn’t strict on the 10 day part. Oh, and I was told to put the line down the back twice a year, this is a new treatment I’ve learned of. So, I’m not doing the back line drip of chemicals as I shear. I’m waiting to do each group in one day, so I can then do again in 10. All of this is probably very boring to most of you, but I figure if I’m going to tell a controversial method, I need to give as much background as I can. This is me. How I do things. I’m not saying the other ways are wrong, they just aren’t my ways. Nearly every time I trust someone else’s judgment instead of my own, it ends bad. So now, I listen to the advice, which is always very much appreciated, analyze it according to my goats and my circumstances and make the call that sits well in my heart.

Just heard from the Doc. So, blood work shows the liver is 3-4 times higher than should be. Also the thyroid is 3 times higher than should be. No cancers, but there is a kidney stone on the side I’m not feeling pain in, which means there are probably more that are moving around. The large one on the right is just sitting there, so we will do nothing until it moves and causes pain. I think that’s good news??? 🙂

Lovey and the Pretties got to graze today, first time for Yoki since she had Cherub. She is doing fine, and only cries for Cherub when she sees me. Lovey almost became a goat today. I was able to sneak away, don’t know how, and he grazed with Gandhi. Yay! Later though, he just followed me so I had to put him up so I could start dinner. Quite a few girls didn’t even get up for dinner time. I pay attention to things like that. Or if a girl is out in the field way way away from the others. Also, digging at the ground, getting up and down a lot and the biggie, constant looking at their back end or banging it with their nose, as if to say, what’s that and why does it hurt? I have a cow doing the bang your nose on your hip thing, right now. Her name is White Owl and she will be having a cow baby any time now. I’m terrified of the cows. I do check on them though, like yesterday, I drove way out to see if she was ok. Of course, I was on the other side of the fence.

Way in the distance, the white blob, is White Owl, waiting for her 1st baby to come out.

Yoki out eating greenies. Doing good.

Lovey stayed with the goats SOME, getting better.

My guess is that goat farmers around the world would agree with some or all of what I’ve said. It’s the American goat ranchers I’m hoping don’t blast me. Hoping………  Signing off at Curly Locks Ranch.

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14 thoughts on “The last of my secrets….I’m free. Love me, hate me, ….your choice

  1. Ms. Sheri, I don’t know a thing about goats, but ma’am it seems to me that you LOVE your goats with all your heart and passion. I am so proud of the new Ms. Sheri!!! This is so GREAT! You have a GOAT FARM!!! OH and I LOVE the name Curly Locks. I hope some day I cruise through your neck of the neighborhood. Keep on shinin’ that LIGHT of yours, sis!! shine shine shine!!! WE LOVE YOU

    • Bless you Fern! I love you honey! Ya, Curly Locks feels right to me but WordPress won’t let me change the old URL. Thank you for supporting me. You are dear to me and please come visit! Thanks again sweetie!

  2. I don’t know a thing about goat either, but is seems our believes are very similar :). I also don’t like the whole ‘vaccination culture’. I think it goes against nature and the survival-of-the-fittest thing. Not every newborn animal is fit to live, some die because they are to weak. It’s normal and it’s the reason why an animal species lives on. If we vaccinate every animal from the start, those weaknesses are covered up an passed on and that’s not a good thing. Plus, bacteria can get immune to antibacterials when they are used preventive, and then if your goat suffers a real infection the antibacterials might not work anylonger.. That’s just my view of course. And when an animal does get sick, of course you should try to cure it, but sometimes it dies and there’s nothing you can do about it. So yes, I still think you’re a good goat farmer 🙂

    • It ate my reply, so here goes again. Thank you for your understanding! I agree with you too. The worms become immune to the chemicals and then you have to change up to another kind, over and over. Plus, I just read that Fiasco Farms, the go to place for goat information, Does NOT vaccinate. Bless you!

  3. Sheri, my understanding is that the pale eyelid thing indicates anemia, which can come from worms, but can also be a result of blood sucking lice or other problems. I don’t think you would find the lice in the blood work, but in their wool. Hopefully, if you took your babies in to see the vet, they would have caught it if there was a problem with lice.

    • I hadn’t heard that Erin.The lice are visible so I would not need an eye test. I did the Permethrin down the back over and over for nearly 4 years. Not once did I shear a goat that didn’t have it. I’m using the new treatment I just hear about, the Eprinex. Hopefully, if done correctly we will be lice free, but I have to tell ya, I had just about given up hope on that front. What I’m getting at, is they have had lice from the day they got here til now, and they are all pretty healthy. Now, I’m trying to get them healthier.Thank you Erin! So far no one has unfriended me on FB. 🙂

  4. Thank you for your understanding. Yes, I agree. I almost added that the worming chemicals used on the goats as preventative, become useless with overuse. The goat becomes immune to it and they have to change chemicals. This repeats over and over. And funny, the place where everyone goes for goat information, Fiasco Farms, I just read that they don’t vaccinate either! Thank you,

  5. Sheri, I only worm my goats if their poops are getting clumpy. If their eyelids are pale, I might or might not worm them, but I do give them some redcell – which is made for anemia.

    I think you are doing just fine. I do make sure that my goats get at least the tetanus shot, because almost any injury can be an issue. I just this year started tagging my goats – mostly because it looks like the government is going to force us to tag – and I make sure each critter gets a CDT before I tag them.

    You are fine. Do not worry. 🙂

    • Beth, you are most kind. I’ve made quite a few friends latly i the angora goat world and I didn’t want to lose them, but I just got tired of feeling dirty, like I had a dirty little secret. Shoot, this made me feel dirtier than stripping ever did. Thank you for your support! 🙂 ❤

  6. Sheri you are not alone in your practices – I have raised animals now for 16 years and started with the common practices of tons of shots, grains and the whole nine yards. After truely researching I stopped all that and have created my own management and I have goats living into their mid 20’s having health babies. I thank you for sharing your truths with us and that makes me love and care for you even more. I too have and are having struggles that someday’s just seem too much but your strength has given me the will for one more day. Blessings, Hugs and Light

    • Grace, that is amazing! In their 20’s and having babies to boot? You go girl! I don’t feel so alone now, in my management choices. Heavy sigh of welcome relief. I love you too Grace. Gosh, we all need to meet up, have a, well, not a reunion, but a Union, of the group, so we can all meet and hug. 🙂

    • Oh, I didn’t know you were still there! So glad to hear, thought you had been put off by my admissions. No sorry’s necessary. Yay! Hope you’re having an awesome time dear! England. All those sheep! Are you in heaven?

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