Friday, 6 April 2012

Tall men and small goats

So, have you missed me??  Don't all shout at once .....

Well, what can I say .. it's been a loooonnnnggg week.  Ups and downs ... So, time for a catch up on all the news from the goat shed - long overdue!

Firstly - here's my main reason for lack of blog this week:

And before you all start to think impure thoughts .. No, I am not having an affair.  This is Tom.  He is our first student of 2012.  2nd year vet student from the University of Nottingham.  And what a fantastic chap he turned out to be!  He arrived on Sunday evening, stepped out of his car and got straight into feeding babies, helping with milking and happily chucking hay and straw around for the milkers. 

He was staying at my house for the week and so I didn't feel that it would be polite to set up camp in my front room every night in order to get a decent broadband connection, so I was resigned to the caravan for the whole week.  Totally unable to get a mobile broadband signal, I was therefore out of blogging range.  That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.  Those of you who have proper townie broadband have absolutely no idea how utterly frustrating it is not to have any kind of internet connection when you need one!

So, we are all still reeling from the sad demise of little Hugo last Saturday morning.  And as an added shock, we lost his brother the following day, also very suddenly.  I was at market and got a call from David to say that he had just dropped down dead after having his morning milk.  That leaves the sister - needless to say, we have all been keeping a very close eye on her this week and she has been getting special attention to make sure that she is OK.  So far, so good ..

We have had a few more births this week and Tom has been honing his midwifery skills.  He has successfully delivered several babies and also accompanied them to our vet for disbudding later in the week.  Here he is with David returning from one of their visits:

He was a great asset to the goat shed this week and we all thoroughly enjoyed his company. Francesca was grateful for the extra pair of hands with all those babies!

So, we have had 113 babies so far.  I know you may be suffering from a lack of baby pics this week, so here's a few to keep you going:

Although the kids in this pen have a low wall to run along, they love to have a new straw bale to jump on.  Just how many kids can you fit on one bale?!

The older kids in another area had the excitement of the grain feeder being put into their house this week - they are starting to nibble more at their hard feed and this is the best way of doing it.  And it gives them something to climb on:

Mid-week saw several of our little chaps move to their new house at Continuum Kent Life (aka The Museum of Kent Life) at Sandling.  We have been in discussion with them for a few weeks as they had approached us about having some of our little meat kids to bottle feed.  This is not something that we would usually do but, having met Phil and Holly who would be looking after them, we were more than happy to let them have a few little chaps. Here they are, preparing themselves for the journey to their new home:

Having bottle-fed kids is a new venture for Phil and, hopefully, one that will prove interesting for the visiting public.  David transported them over there a couple of days ago - here they are investigating part of their new house:

We are going to let them settle in over Easter and then go and visit them once the school holidays are over.

What else?  Oh yes ... Flora and her little foster daughter.  Well, Flora has got so much better that we decided it was time to try her back in the main pen with all the other milkers.  We moved her back in there yesterday and she is getting along just fine.  She has also managed to walk up into the milking parlour and seems happy being back with all her friends again.  Her little foster daughter (whom we have called Florie, after her foster mum) is now living with lots of other kids her own age.  She spent the entire day yesterday running around and playing with them - she was absolutely exhausted by the end of the day and we found her fast asleep at feeding time!

So, I think that's you all up to date now ..  Just for a change - here's a couple of pics of someone else's baby.  One of our blog followers, Richard, is now a proud father as well after his gorgeous British Alpine Tammy gave birth to a bouncing baby boy 'with a lot of assistance and wailing'!!!  Here they are:

So, it's Goodnight from me!  Back off up to the goat shed to see what the night brings.


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