We are BAAAAAK! All six goat yoga classes were sold out in a week. Today we opened two other classes: one on Mother's Day in the afternoon on Sunday, May 13 at 2 p.m. The other is an afternoon class on Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday, May 26 at 2 p.m. Our Yoga Instructor, Lauren Falasz, from Ahimsa Yoga Studio has graciously agreed to lead these sessions. Welcome, Lauren!
Goat Yoga Registration Begins!
The wait is over! Head on over to our Goat Yoga page to sign up for any of our spring session classes that run May - June, 2018. Only at GlennArt Farm and Garfield Park can you enjoy the rare experience of outdoor yoga in Chicago among gamboling baby goats!
Daily lessons with Goats
Dr. Aaron Vigil continues to be my hero. He made a trip from Warrenville to review Patsy's treatment. He gave her an antibiotic, and advised me to organize her treatment better. She needs only 6 ounces of electrolytes per day, not 16. He also provided a vet perspective of Patsy's sickness. Thank you, Dr. Vigil.
Try as I might to go to bed, I could not. So back to the internet to check on options. I trooped down to the basement to assess my box of treatments I had purchased last year. Praise God! I had purchased a rehydration "broth" called Formula 911. I also purchased the large syringe (2 ounces). To my horror I realized I had to administer more than 64 ounces at a time! For the next two days.
Nearing 11 p.m. I decided to at least started, got dressed (again), and mixed the "broth"—a powder that became an almost gelatinous mixture. Out to the garage. Patsy was not happy, however she obviously needed the liquid after 12 ounces, we both got better at the process. Her reaction reminded me of kids I have had to force feed in the past. They would not want the bottle, but needed the nourishment of the milk, then would greedily swallow the stuff down.
When I went back to check on her, she was eating hay, a phenomenon which I had not seen today. More work tomorrow. Most goats have about 3 gallons of rumen. She was looking a bit better.
Patsy still has that rather scrunched up look to her body. I need to sleep, however I will get up early and give her some more before breakfast. With a plan, tomorrow is more hopeful. One step at a time.
Goat Health: Patsy
One always wonders about what to do when an animal suffers. Patsy has been suffering diarrhea and soft poops. Goats cannot tell us if they are in trouble. We can only watch what they eat, and when. Then watch what comes out of their butts. We sent lab samples of her poops to Warrenville Animal Hospital. The labs confirmed the horrible strongyles parasite. So we gave her a heavy dose of fenbendazole. I hate that particular medication. She is still losing weight. She received Pedialyte for infants to restore her electrolytes. Today we purchased feed pellets for rabbits because they contain probiotics to restore her stomach health. One step at a time.
Patsy has always been more delicate since last year when she gave birth to twins, and did not have enough milk to feed them. We did not breed her again. In the photo to the left the size and weight difference show between Patsy and her twin sister Destiny. She has a kind temperament, however is pushed around by the rest of the herd. She has a good relationship with her daughter Oreo, who still is smaller than her mother.
Goat Health: Martha
So Marvelous Martha has slowed down. We noticed she has been slow moving on her feet. While she is happy to eat all she can get, her walk to the Waller Street Pasture shows us she is always the last in the group. Our calculation is that Martha is in her last six weeks of pregnancy. We eliminated all other possibilities. Martha suffers ill effects of stomach parasites, however I have been careful with feed, cleaning and medication. I consulted with Dr. Vigil, our vet, about my research based on the article below. With Dr. Vigil's advice yesterday, the care of our animals has become more detailed, especially with Martha. I massaged her back legs while she eats her grain. In goat care, the best we can do is watch, pray and do what is helpful to the animal.
Thank you Susan Gasparatto of Onion Creek Farms for this article:
PERIPARTURIENT EDEMA IN A HEAVILY PREGNANT DOE
Usually occurring during the last six weeks of a doe's pregnancy, periparturient edema is a very uncomfortable swelling and irritation caused by fluid accumulation within the tissues underneath the skin.
The first indication is usually the doe's walking as if her feet hurt, followed by a gradual swelling in the lower part of her front legs and progressing to the lower half of her rear legs. Initial symptoms are so generalized that you can can mistakenly diagnose laminitis/founder.
Unlike ketosis or other pregnancy-related diseases, periparturient edema does not cause the doe to go off-feed. She will be listless, preferring to sit rather than stand because walking is painful, but she will continue to eat. Moaning, groaning, and grinding of teeth are common symptoms.
Periparturient edema usually appears in a doe that is carrying multiple large fetuses. She may have kidded before without similar problems and she may never have it again in future pregnancies. The fetuses are taking more out of her body than she can replace, putting her in a nutritional deficit condition. Edema is accompanied by increased blood pressure, decreases in blood proteins, and blockages in the body's lymph system (one of the body's main filtration mechanisms).
First step in diagnosis is to do fecals to check for worms because a heavy wormload can bring on periparturient edema. Even if she has been recently dewormed, deworm the doe again. Do not use Valbazen or Safeguard/Panacur dewormers. The white-colored dewormers don't kill barberpole stomach worms (Haemoncus contortus) in most of the USA any longer.
Supportive care is about all you can do to help a doe with periparturient edema. Keep her as comfortable as possible, but make her get up and walk short distances several times a day, and provide her with proper nutrition. No special supplement or diet is required. Definitely do not dramatically change her diet.
When kidding (parturition) occurs, you must be available and ready to help the doe stand to feed her kids during their first 48 hours of life. After that timeframe, the swelling should begin to go away and standing won't be difficult for her. Milk production should not be affected by this condition.
In June of last year, we began to milk five does, resulting in 14 gallons per week. After five years of hand milking, I was terrified of a machine system. A former WWOOFER, Weston Deets, came and helped us set up the process. He showed us how to set up the machines, connect the inflations over the teats, and clean up the parts and process the milk.
While Weston helped us with the process, we did not realize that the compressor had a regulator that needed replaced. While we watched very carefully, we did not realize that the pressure on the teats was very high. After about two weeks using the machine, Patsy developed an immediate edema or swelling after being milked. We thought it was mastitis, and isolated her for a day. The swelling went down, however we started reviewing the instructions. I realized the regulator was not set the same as we had. Consulting with Hamby Dairy Suppliers, we purchased a new regulator. The pressure worked and no goat was left swollen again.
Although we made mistakes at the beginning, this system is teachable and quite easily learned. Our WWOOFer from Colombia provided us with help with milking. Fabian Cuta from Colombia proved to be a great volunteer. Fabian's other job was electrical mechanical engineering. Here is a video of his work:
Seeker, Wife. Mother, English Language tutor, goat farmer, friend
(Carolyn's dates & thoughts)
Girls come home!
applied for Funding WWOOFUSA
Root Riot Meeting at Glennart. Planning garden changes.
> Urban Livestock EXPO
Cheese Document plan EXCEL Program
> FIRST GGG Gathering
3/9/2017 Plant: Spinach, lettuce indoors
3/21/2017 First day of SPRING!!!!
3/22/2017 Plant carrots with garlic
4/1/2016 Plan/repair pasture fencing
4/5/2017 set up potato beds
4/12/2017 Kidding Season begins
> Plant potatoes
4/21/17 Milking season begins
4/25/2016 Set up fencing
> Kidding season continues
5/20/17 Spring Gathering
5/25/16 plant Sweet potato in beds watermelon. squash
5/10/16 Cheese making begins
5/15-7/2/16 Last two does duePatsy and Destiny
Sale of bucklings
> Sale of bucklings
> Weaning begins
> Cheese making continues
> Sale of doelings
> Cheese making continues
> Dry out the does
> Does to Wisconsin for breeding