Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I talked to someone who reads my blog each day and was informed that I need to blog more often, maybe six times per day. I am a pretty decent typist and can usually think of something to say but I don't think that I can come up with six blogs per day because of the constraints of time and my memory. You see, I can think of things to blog about while I am out doing things but somehow I forget what it was by the time I am sitting in front of a computer. Now if I had me one of them there handy, dandy hand held computers I might do better.

Time is in short supply around here anymore. I have heard a man that I greatly respect say that everyone has the same amount of time and while I know that is true, it really isn't a logical conclusion. Everyone is given 24 hours per day but not everyone has the same responsibilities.

Responsibilities are the time thieves that make a difference in the amount of time that a person has. The amount of time that you devote to those responsibilities determine how much free time that you have.

For people who live in a house with a small yard to mow, may find that they have plenty of time to devote to other endeavors, like entertainment or hobbies. I tend to get a little annoyed at people who say they are bored or don't have anything to do. I always seem to find plenty of things to do, there are just somethings that I don't want to do.

We have 30 some odd horses that require care, 7 goats, 13 chickens, 2 dogs and 1 cat. They all have to be fed everyday, one goat has to be milked everyday. We have a yard that needs to be mowed and pasture that has to be mowed. We are fortunate to have both of our children living close by and so we have our children and grandchildren at our house quite often. I have a swimming pool that requires constant care during the summer months. Stalls and buildings have to be kept manure free and hay has to be bought and picked up then stacked in the barn. Fence is always in need of repair.

My husband is working two part time jobs, so he only occasionally gets a day off, he has been working six days per week, he does get Sundays off but we go to Church twice on Sunday. We have four Church services per week that we attend. In addition to that my husband is teaching a Bible Study one night per week.

When the neighbor calls with a problem we always try to be there for them. Just the other night a neighbor called because him lawn mower had quit and he needed to borrow a mower, my husband had tons of stuff to do but he dropped everything and took our mower to him. Then he came back and hauled two loads of manure over to their house for their garden.

I am not complaining and do not want anyone to feel sorry for us because we chose this life and enjoy it but I am venting. Sometimes I feel like my husband is stretched beyond his limits and then gets criticized because he doesn't want to do certain things or go to social functions. The thing that really gets my goat is how other people judge you.

My husband's favorite saying is, "Everyone is right in his own eyes." Everyone thinks that they are busy and I have heard people say, "Well, they think they are busy but they don't know what busy is, they should have to follow me around for a few days."

I personally don't do as much as I used to do because I can't with my back the way it is but even if it weren't for that, I know that growing old tends to slow you down. When we were young we were looking for something to do all of the time, now we are looking to get rid of as many responsibilities as we can. I currently have enough website and halter work, more than I need. I don't feel like I can get anything else done. Which would be great if I were making decent money but I'm not.

Don't judge other's lives. Don't think that you know what others are going through. You aren't them and you have no business making a judgement about someone whose moccasins you have never filled. Vent over and this subject is laid to rest.


I don't have anything in particular that I am going to blog about this morning, so I will just ramble. This morning was just beautiful, I was away from home most of the day yesterday, which is unusual for me but it always makes me enjoy home more after being away. Today is warm after a very cold night last night, I had to cover my rosebush to protect it from the frost of last night. Here it is, the end of April and I have to cover a rosebush, that is Indiana weather for you.

Speaking of Indiana weather, on Monday evening while we were feeding, it started to sleet. Then the sleet changed to snow mixed with rain, but the sun was shining and I took this picture of the rainbow that presented itself.

Rainbow in the snow with UFO

Now while cold temps, sleet, snow, rain, sunshine and a rainbow all at the same time at the end of April is not all that unusual for Indiana, that Unidentified Flying Object in the picture is. The important question here is, what exactly is that in the right hand corner? This is definitely a UFO, if I ever saw one. I don't know what it is, I even digitally enhanced it for your viewing pleasure.

Unidentified Flying Object

Not to fear though as warm weather has returned to Indiana and my Son can now go camping and enjoy his short vacation. I told him that he was the one to blame for last summer's drought because he didn't do any camping. All he has to do is mention the word camp and the sky will darken and rain will start pouring. This Spring was just a little different for him, he took off work and the temperature immediately dropped to almost freezing for two nights.

Now back to this morning, as I said, it was just lovely. The birds were singing and the temperatures have returned to a more Springlike feel. When I went out to take care of my menagerie, I just needed a sweatshirt and the rooster was standing on one of the gates crowing, a perfect picture that took me back to my childhood.

Did I ever mention on here how weird it is to have a dozen or so chickens following your ever step? Their feet make this strange clicking sound as they trot to keep up with you. I try to feed them as quickly as possible to avoid their wrath.

While I was typing this I heard the Chickens start yelling and throwing a fit. I ran outside and there was another fox in the stud pen. He just looked at me and I had to stomp my foot and holler at him to make him run. He ran into the mare and foal lot where one of the mares chased him into the woods. He stopped on the other side of the fence and looked at me, so I ran in the house and got my rifle but he was gone when I got back. Unfortunately he will be back, I will have to start regular patrols again.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Calico Watch

The watch has begun for Calico, she is one of my young pregnant does. I am not sure when she will kid because I just turned the buck in with my yearling does in December and didn't actually see him breed any of them. She should be due sometime in May but she doesn't look like she will even wait until the middle of the month. She is very big, so I am sure that she will have multiples.

The other two yearling does are hardly even showing yet, so they may not have been bred at the same time that Calico was. I am afraid that they will wait until the hottest part of the Summer.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Goats for Sale

One Black Doeling and one Dun colored Buckling, these twins are from good milking bloodlines, mostly Nubian with a small percentage Boer.

$45 for the doeling and $25 for the buckling (or wether), born April 2nd.

These have been sold!

Goats for sale

Doeling for Sale

Milk Goat

Buckling for sale

Buck for sale

Twin Kids for sale

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Another Review

One of my family members is in Iraq, he had just barely gotten over there, when his house caught fire with his wife and young son asleep inside. His wife woke up and got their son out and the fire department managed to save the structure. They have major damage with tons of clean up work to be done.

They had insurance that was purchased from a company that allowed wood stoves, that is why they had used this particular company. They thought that they had protection for such a time as this. But it doesn't seem to be working that way. The insurance company is not wanting to pay off for this fire that started in the flue.

So, this poor Soldier's wife, who is having to endure the loneliness and worry of having a husband in harm's way and having a child who feels abandoned by the Father whom he adores. Is now having to deal with homelessness, seeing all of their belongings mostly ruined and having to deal with a heartless insurance company.

They have tried to find a Lawyer to represent them in this disaster and have finally found one that will listen to them for $250 per hour, however, he is being retained by the offending insurance company, just like all the other Lawyers are. It would be a conflict of interest for him to go after an insurance company that is paying money to retain him. These insurance companies are pretty slick and sleazy that way.

Sure this mother and child will be taken care of by family and friends. Their Church family is offering to do the repair work but they shouldn't have to do it, that is why this family has been paying premiums to this insurance company.

The Husband/Father/Soldier has been notified about the fire but they are mostly keeping him in the dark about their struggles with the insurance company, because he shouldn't have to be worrying about that right now.

I am just a little surprised that there is no organization out there to help Soldier's wives with problems like this. They have even contacted the insurance commission and while they do sympathize, they haven't done anything about it and no attorneys have offered their services.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Insurance Review

A few weeks ago my Husband was returning a hay fork that he had borrowed to a neighbor's house and since it was so close, he just threw it in the back of the truck without tying it in. Big mistake! You know that most accidents happen close to home.

He was within yards of the neighbor's driveway, when someone backed out in front of him, he swerved to the left and ran into a ditch to avoid contact with the offending car. However. the hay spear went right through the back glass of our truck. The driver of the other vehicle was very nice and apologetic, they went ahead to the neighbor's house to call his insurance company and explain the situation to them and that was the end of that.

His insurance company's adjuster met with my Husband the very next day to look at the truck and told him to go ahead and get it fixed, which my DH did, because you can't just go around with a missing back glass. We also got an e-mail from the company telling us where we could follow the progress of the claim online. We honestly didn't think that they would pay off, since there was no contact between the two vehicles and he didn't have the spear secured properly.

We put the new window on a credit card because we didn't have the cash available at the time. But within just a few days we got a call from a nice man who told us that the check for the window was in the mail, sure enough it arrived the next day. We were very surprised and pleased.

Who was this insurance company, you may ask. It was Progressive Insurance. I believe that when an insurance company reacts to claims in this manner they do nothing but increase their client base. When you feel that you have been treated well these days, then you are going to tell your friends and neighbors. It is getting to be so rare anymore that you are treated right and someone isn't trying to rip you off, that you certainly want to sing the praises of those who are just and fair. We feel like Progressive stepped up to the plate and handled this fairly and didn't penalize my husband for avoiding contact with their client's car.

I have been very positive in this blog about the Progressive Insurance Company but I am going to be very negative in the next one that I write about a different Insurance Company that is being very difficult to deal with.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Egg Production

For some reason our egg production went down yesterday. We have been getting 9 eggs per day and that dropped to 5 yesterday. All three of my Banties laid on Wednesday and only one laid yesterday. But I don't understand what happened to the other three eggs from my Rhoadies and Barred Rocks. They are always so faithful.

I never did find my missing Barred Rock or any evidence of what happened to her. If she did hide a nest, she did a very good job of hiding. One of our neighbors reported seeing an Eagle again but we haven't seen it, that doesn't mean that it wasn't here and carried off my hen.

One of my hens has been laying eggs in my Granddaughters playhouse out back, but didn't yesterday. I have a feeling that I am missing something, they are probably laying somewhere but I just don't know where. That is the problem with free rangers, they can provide you with a constant Easter Egg Hunt.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Disbudding is the goat keeper's least favorite thing to do. But in fairness to the goats that we raise and to increase their value to both us and the people that may end up with them someday, they need to have their horns removed. It is a nasty job but someone has to do it.

Horns are dangerous for several reasons, but my main reason is that I want my goats to be safe around my grandchildren. Horns can also get easily caught in fences and goats do love to stick their heads into some strange places and at times I don't know how they will get their heads free even without horns.

So, my little Onyx and Jasper were dehorned on Tuesday morning. This process is called disbudding because it is the burning of the horn buds. They should be done as soon as the buds are clearly visible, this is at about two days old for bucklings and a week old for doelings.

The time got away from us because of all the things we had going on. We were way late in getting this done this year. They were two and a half weeks old which is nearly too late to do this successfully for a buckling.

The process consists of taking a very hot tube shaped iron and placing the horn nub right inside the tube and burning a circle around the horn base to destroy the horn root. We use the Rhinehart X-30 Dehorner that we bought online at Jeffers Livestock Supply.

We first place the kid in a box especially designed for this propose to shave all of the hair away from the horn area. Then when the iron is glowing red, I hold the kid's head still, while my husband applies the hot iron to the bud. He applies pressure in a circular pattern, clockwise, around the horn base while I count off 10 seconds.

When the iron is removed, I blow on the area to quickly cool it off. We then inspect the area to see if we have a perfect copper colored ring around the entire bud and to give the iron a chance to reheat before going to the next horn. If it isn't an even ring, we will come back later to even the ring out. When both sides are done we then burn or nudge the top of each horn bud with the hot iron.

This is a very stressful thing for the kids to go through, but they always return to play as soon as the are released from the box. So I am not sure that it is extremely painful for them. Goats have pretty hard and thick skulls. Usually they cry just as much about the shaving experience as they do for the burning but this year the babies didn't seem to mind being shaved. I think that the whole thing is harder on us than it is on them.

Shaving the Kid's head
Jasper in the Box

Horn area being Shaved

Shaving Onyx

Copper Rings

All Done!

Goat Kids at play
Back to Playtime.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

All Done

My computer is officially backed-up. That very painful job is completed. Now if I can just do that every time I add new pictures, videos, get new emails or write a new Word document, I will be safe. Yeah, right! Like I am going to do that. But seriously it would be easier to back up just a few new items than to back up the whole system that tied up my computer from Sunday night until Tuesday night. That is way to long and I need to get a faster USB port.

I am feeling much better, by the way. I am still not 100% but better than yesterday. I still have the sore throat, swollen glands, headache and general body soreness, but the fever has not come back.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mustang Results

I finally found the results of the Midwest Mustang Challenge listed here:

Freestyle Winners

Overall Scores

We haven't had the opportunity to talk to him but it looks like our favorite Trainer, Mark Burnette and Mustang Sally didn't make the top 10 winner's list but did finish up at number 13 in the total scores in this competition of 50 trainers.

I have also searched through some blogs of other trainers and found out that Mustang Sally sold at auction for $2700.

One trainer even said that Mark should be a comedian:
Jessie and Remington's Blog

Who Won??

I have been trying to get information on who won the Midwest Mustang Challenge in Wisconsin and can find nothing. I would love to know who the top 10 horses were.

You would think that their website would have been updated during the event or at least by now, it is the 22nd for Pete's sake. Who is in charge of updating their website? I would have thought that the Midwest Mustang Challenge event would have been big news somewhere online.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Backing Up

No, a major earthquake didn't bury me in rubble. I am still here but not doing so well. First off my computer quit on Sunday, I was online and looking at a site that I visit very often, when the screen went black and then the blue screen of death showed up. I powered down, then waited a few minutes before trying to restart.

She did reboot and I was thankful but I knew this was a sign that I should backup my system. I have a Maxtor hard drive for that purpose but I am very lax in taking the time to do it. So, on Sunday evening I started the back-up and here it is 24 hours later and we are still backing up. The whole process will probably take around 36 hours. So, here I am typing this blog on my antique laptop with Windows 98.

I started this blog on Monday the 21st and am finishing it on Tuesday because I had been just a little sick for the last 3 weeks but nothing too serious but it got serious on Monday evening. I had had a slight sore throat and had been very tired for quite awhile but on Sunday evening I developed a nasty headache and the glands in my neck became swollen and painful. On Monday morning, my whole body ached, my joints and muscles hurt. I asked my good friend and RN about it and she said it sounded like Mono, I thought that I was too old for that but I did have the symptoms.

I eventually got a high fever and was not able to hold anything on my stomach. I couldn't take anything for the fever or the pain because I couldn't keep it down. I am better right now but my DH says that I am definitely jaundiced. The fever and headache are gone and I can eat again but I still have the soreness, fatigue, sore throat and swollen, sore glands. I just hope that the fever doesn't return tonight.

Now back to my computer problems, remember that doing a backup of your computer is very important, when I got that blue screen on Sunday, I was terrified. I have so many pictures and videos of the Grandkids on there and they would have just been lost if that hard drive had not come back to life.

My desktop is a Dell and it is getting some age on it by computer standards but it has been a great computer that has not given my any problems whatsoever. It has also given me a sense of false security because I think that it will always be there and that is just not possible. The moral of this story is to back-up you system, even if it does take 36 painful hours when you can't use your computer! When this backup is complete, I will probably take the hard drive that has the backup on it to my neighbor's house for safe keeping.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Wabash Fault Zone

Many friends that I asked didn't feel the second earthquake that we experienced yesterday because they were either walking or riding in a car at that time.

My young Grandson and his classmates felt it because they were sitting at their desk but their teacher was standing and moving around and didn't feel it. They alerted him and he told them that they could lie down on the floor if they wanted to, so they could feel the vibrations.

I heard on the radio that this was indeed a second earthquake and not an aftershock. This second shaking started as soft vibrations that built up to a 4.5 magnitude quake for only a couple of seconds and then returned to just soft vibrations that lasted quite a while. It hit at 11:14 a.m. according to the United States Geological Service.

The article below gives information about the area that we live in. We are a part of the Wabash Fault Zone, they don't know if this is related to the New Madrid Fault or not. The Wabash Fault runs almost parallel to the Wabash River in Southern Illinois and Indiana and could be a northern extension of the New Madrid Zone but that seems up for debate.

The article says that the reason the quakes in this area are so far reaching is because of our old bedrock that they compare to a bell that carries the seismic waves like sound for a longer distance than the California quakes reach.

California's bedrock is young and fractured, the waves do not carry as far, like a cracked bell wouldn't carry the sound waves as far. So California Earthquakes are more localized. Our bedrock carries these waves well over a thousand miles because of its age and rigidness.

The strongest quake produced by the Wabash Fault was a magnitude 5.3 in southern Illinois in 1968. The New Madrid fault zone produced quakes in 1811 and 1812 that reached an estimated magnitude of 7.0. The Wabash faults have the potential to do the same. Some experts say that the Wabash could produce a quake that could devastate the region.

Scientists say Midwest quakes poorly understood - Yahoo! News

A map of the area where yesterday's quakes were felt:
Yahoo Map Image

Lots of maps of the New Madrid and Wabash Valley seismic zones:
New Madrid and Wabash Valley seismic zones

Friday, April 18, 2008

Another Quake

We just had another shake up. I was wide awake this time, it happened at around 11:26 AM. I was on the phone with my daughter-in-law when it happened, didn't last long, just a few seconds but was strong enough to knock stuff off of my desk.


Wow! Strange to be woke up by an earthquake in Southern Indiana. There I was, sound asleep when the bed started shaking and everything in the room started rattling. I was drowsy and thought that I was in a horse trailer for some reason and something was shaking the trailer. It seemed like the horse trailer was rocking. It went on for a long time until I was finally wide awake and realized that I was in bed. It seemed to go on for a full minute but was probably more like 30 seconds. It all happened sometime between 5:30 and 6:00 this morning. When it stopped, my husband came into the room and asked if I felt it, I said that I had and he said that it had to be an earthquake.

The news has just said that it was a 5.4 magnitude, that was centered in East Central Illinois. They say that animals react to earthquakes but my house dog didn't even wake up and I didn't hear any of our outside animals make a sound either.

Someone on the radio just said that this was a shaker and not a rolling earthquake. That rolling earthquakes do more damage. The last earthquake that I experienced was a roller. I was actually on my knees, in a basement, on concrete in our Church prayer room when that one took place and I could feel the rolling under my knees. It felt like one knee would rise then fall before the other one would rise and fall.

Today is the 102nd Anniversary of the Great San Francisco Earthquake, how weird is that?

Thursday, April 17, 2008


I slept through the night for the first time in ages. I feel much better this morning. Although my back didn't like it much. I found that my back doesn't hurt as badly when I get up several times during the night. Just like my back doesn't like to sit in a chair for more than 10 minutes or stand on my feet for more than 5 minutes. I guess maybe I should set my alarm and continue to get up during the night.

I want to thank all of my friends who called, left comments here on my blog and sent me e-mails of encouragement through the last two weeks.

I have had people ask, why we just didn't put her down in the first place. Well, if we could have seen the future and had known that her kidneys were defective, we would have. But we have pulled high risk foals back from the brink before and so we couldn't let her go without exhausting every avenue of treatment. As long as there is hope, I find it hard to give up on them.

We had a foal years ago that was born to a mother with no milk, she was a fescue baby. This was back before the fescue problem had even been identified. We had just bought the mare and didn't know she was bred. The baby got no colostrum, it was also back before any of our local stores carried mare milk replacer, I don't even know if there was such a thing at that time anyway. I am really telling my age here. But anyway, we put her on Carnation calf milk replacer.

We didn't have the internet then and we didn't know anything about raising a foal on a bottle but we did know how to raise calves that way, so that is how we raised Bambi. She was just a little, half pony, half horse, sorrel filly.

She got septic, navel ill and her all of her joints swelled up. All of this happened during the coldest part of winter. I remember crawling to the barn on the ice to give her bottles. She got to the point that she couldn't stand or get to her feet.

She got scours, got dehydrated and even got pneumonia at one point. We just pumped her full of antibiotics and somehow pulled her through it all. Looking back on it now, I cannot believe that she survived but she did and went on to become a riding horse and the people that bought her from us even raised foals with her. She lived to be an old horse but did get arthritis when she got older.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Lost The Battle

Miracle survived to see her two week old birthday, but passed away 6 hours later. I knew she was in serious trouble yesterday morning, she had stopped urinating and wouldn't eat at all. I called the Vet and he was out of town most of the day, he finally called me in the late afternoon when he was on his way to Brown County. I told him to call me when he got back and if she was still alive, I wanted him to come down.

He got here at about 5:30 and tubed her to put some mineral oil down her and 18 oz. of milk. He was hoping that maybe she just had a bowel problem but we both knew it was her kidneys that had shut down. She wasn't running much of a fever and her gum color wasn't extremely bad. But she looked very bloated, even though she wasn't showing signs of colic. She was having trouble breathing when she laid down, so she was staying on her feet all of the time. He changed her antibiotic and gave her banamine.

We took her out and let her walk around the yard all evening, she did some exploring. My neighbor came by and couldn't believe that we were concerned about her, she was acting so good.

When we gave her the banamine shot at 2:00 AM, neither one of us thought that she would be alive this morning but she was and she was acting a little better. I fed her with the drench gun, then came in and went to sleep, the last time that she would suck a bottle was yesterday morning at around 8:30. When I woke up, I really was expecting her to be alive since she had survived the night and was acting better. But she was dead. I am very sad, we have been through so much together and she has been such a fighter.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


In the midst of all of this chaos, Ruby was born very early on Monday morning. She is a huge AQHA chestnut filly out of our Chestnut AQHA mare, Flashy Sugar Star (Sissy) by the Red Dun reining stallion, Pepi Holidoc. When she was born we didn't even need to raise her tail, with her size and big bone we were certain that she was a colt. We were both shocked when we finally did look and found out that she was a filly.

Her entrance into this world was uneventful and she is about 3 times bigger than Miracle, she even looks like she might have been sired by a Belgium. The other thing that is just too strange about the size of this filly is that her Mother just barely looked pregnant. We would never have dreamed that she would have a foal so large, big boned and muscular.

Ruby has a star, strip and snip on her face. She also has some white on her feet but we are not yet certain how much. She could have four white feet but the hair on her legs is such a light color at this time that we can't tell for sure.

She is a foal with an attitude and loves to show everyone just how much power she has. She is very playful and she is a kicker.

Monday, April 14, 2008

More Bad News

Things were going reasonably well until today. Miracle's bladder infection has turned into something much more serious. Her kidneys seem to be shutting down. She has lost her appetite, I have not seen her urinate at all today and her belly looks bloated.

She isn't running a fever and is still getting up and walking around some but is very shaky on her feet now. I don't know what tonight will hold, I will still get up to attempt to feed her but I don't think that I will force feed her at this point. If she is still not eating at 3:00 AM, I may try to force some pedialyte down her.

I am sorry that I have not been blogging regularly but Miracle has been my focus for 13 days now. I keep hoping that I can post something more positive but every time I am encouraged, I get knocked off of my feet again.

I have been doing a lot of research on twins and have found out that first 72 hours is the most critical and that most problems show up within the first 10 days, but we are already past that deadline and something new and serious has come up, so I can't say I am very happy tonight.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Can't Catch A Break

Miracle was just doing wonderful and then she went been down on us again. She woke up this morning and took three bottles in a heartbeat. She took her last bottles at 9:00 AM then when I went out to check on her at 10:30 AM she was lying flat out on her side panting like a dog and chilling. She was too weak to lift her head.

I took her temperature it was nearly 104º. So I went to work on her, I had my DH prop her up onto her stomach instead of the flat out on her side position with a bale of straw and put a blanket her. She wouldn't take a bottle or hold up her head, so I used the drench gun on her. I gave her a mixture of strong black coffee, molasses and some whiskey that I got from my neighbor.

Then I did two things that I was not sure was the right decision but I was desperate, I had my husband give her a shot of LA-200, a long lasting antibiotic that I use on my goats, even though she is on some type of medicine for the bladder infection that the Vet gave us. I also gave her some children's liquid ibuprofen. I don't think you are suppose to give it to animals but that is what I had on hand.

I very slowly gave her pedialyte drenches several times, letting her rest about 30 minutes between each drench. Then I drenched her again with the equal parts of the warm coffee, molasses and whiskey mixture.

I let her rest and waited to see what would happen and I finally started seeing her breathing start to slow down and she started lifting her head. Before long she was on her feet. She was slowing improving throughout the day but then had a little relapse this evening but not nearly as severe.

She is taking her bottles again and my DH said that he will help me feed her tonight, so that I can get some rest.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Not Enough Time

Sorry that I didn't blog yesterday but I just didn't have the time. Spring brings a lot of extra work around here. I seem to be feeding the bottomless pit named Miracle constantly. If you have ever seen how a foal nurses it's mother, then you know that they eat continually. She is yelling at me all of the time for her next bottles. Plus the fact that her milk has to be warmed up and all of the bottles washed after each feeding, a task that I am getting tired of already.

She developed a bladder infection yesterday, so that meant a trip to the Vet to get medicine. She wouldn't eat for awhile and had to be force fed again, I hate that. She was fine this morning and her appetite had returned to full force.

Then there are my other responsibilities, everyone that has a website with me always want lots of updates in the Spring and I get tons of orders for rope halters in the Spring as well. The sad thing is that I sit around here all winter without much to do, then when foaling and kidding season starts and the weather warms up enough that I want to spend some time outside, I have all of this extra work to do. Not to mention the fact that the Grandkids like to come down and play outside during the warm weather. Morning still needs her dressing changed regularly and the goat has to be milked.

Lack of sleep is making me grumpy...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Back To Normal

My whole life has been obsessed with Miracle for the past week. But life has continued without my 100% attention.

My twin kids are growing like weeds and I am using the same naming theme for them that I am using for the foals, I named the black doeling "Onyx" and the dun colored buckling "Jasper".

I am trying to sell both of the kids in order to give their milk supply to Miracle. I was not planning to keep them anyway, because I don't need anymore goats and I was wanting to use the milk for us. But now I need to use the milk for Miracle.

I am also missing a hen, one of my Barred Rocks didn't show up to roost last night. We looked for her then and again today and can't find her. Either something has gotten her or she has gone broody and hidden a nest full of eggs somewhere that is very private and we can't locate it. I really didn't want any baby chicks this year unless it was from my Mille Fleur D'Uccles.

We had a visit from the neighbor's dogs today and I know without a doubt that they would be chicken killers, if given the chance. Angel stood her ground and barked at them but they didn't seem afraid of her because there are two of them. I went out with my BB gun and took a shot at one of them and she actually acted like I hit her, unbelievable because I can't hit anything with that gun. We talked with another neighbor tonight and he said that those same two dogs have been chasing his calves.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Great Day!

Miracle had a great day today, she has eaten well all day and has acted almost like a normal filly, maybe not like a week old foal, but at least like a 2 day old foal. She is about to turn one week old, the time has flown by and been a blur for me. But just maybe we are over the hump.

We kicked Dandee and Sapphire out of the barn today and then late this evening we took Miracle down to their pen for a visit. Dandee nickered when she saw her and even let her nurse. I was a little surprised that Miracle even remembered how to nurse. She ran and played while she was outside and even kicked at my husband.

I measured her intake today and she is taking a little over one and a half gallons per day at this point, I am sure she will increase with each day.

Sorry this blog was so late but we were completely swamped today and I am exhausted.


Monday, April 7, 2008

Back Up We Go

It has been a long old day, pretty as it was, I didn't get to enjoy it much. I forced fluids into Miracle every 15 minutes, mostly pedialyte, then later this evening I started giving her milk again. I gave her Pepto-Bismol every hour until all signs of diarrhea were gone.

I just gave Miracle her 1:00 AM feeding and she took two bottles or about 18 oz. I see no sign of fresh diarrhea. If her appetite continues to improve she will eat us out of house and home. She has been so weak today that we haven't been able to put her in with her Mother.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

And Down We Go

I want to get off of this roller coaster, I never did like them. Miracle has developed diarrhea and I just can't seem to get ahead of it. She was doing great this morning and really downing the milk, then the diarrhea started. I acted quickly with two tubes of CRS Gold Foal Paste and Pepto-Bismol, but she dehydrated very rapidly, became weak and won't eat. I am forcing fluids down her now every 15 minutes. I have been giving her nutri-drench and pedialyte, but am just not seeing any results other than the diarrhea has just about stopped.

Roller Coaster

This Roller Coaster ride sure has been exciting. We seem to have climbed back up to the top. Throughout the day Miracle continued to improve and the fainting episodes stopped.

She slept for many hours and then in the late afternoon she was on her feet and ready to eat. She stayed up for an hour, then laid down and slept for just a little while, then jumped back up to take a bottle with much urgency. She is just gulping those bottles down now.

The change in her is remarkable. We took her outside for a walk last night and she really enjoyed that but Dandee wasn't too happy about it. We are feeding her a bottle of my precious fresh Goat's Milk that I have been looking so forward to, every two hours and putting her in with her Mother every four hours. Cinder has much more milk than her babies need, so that has worked out great for us in this situation.

Miracle can see into our living room and she hollers for a bottle every time we pass by the window. We are hoping that she keeps her attachment to Dandee, that is why we are putting her in with her to nurse as often as possible. But she just isn't getting everything that she needs from Dandee even though Dandee is a great milk producer. Mares are not really designed to raise twins.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

New Problem

Not a great development today, Miracle keeps collapsing, like she is passing out or just falling to sleep suddenly. She gets up occasionally but it sleeping most of the time. She will get up to eat then collapse before she gets done. We are also having a hard time waking her up at times.

The good news is that she is taking a bottle very well now, so that simplifies things quite a bit. We are just letting her sleep until we see her up then give her a bottle and help her lay down without falling.


I thought that the names Sapphire and Topaz were cute for twins, but I just have to change Topaz' name to Miracle, I have no choice. She survived the whole twin experience and that is just amazing in itself but surviving what she went through in the last couple of days is nothing short of a miracle.

She is so much better it is just miraculous. She is walking and nursing on her own. She can stand up by herself but she is having problems laying down, we have to help her with that.

She was so bad Friday morning when my DH went to work that he had really given up hope. A couple hours later I heard some noise, went to check it out and she was sitting up. She had no muscle control just two hours earlier, her little head was just dangling when we tried and failed to feed her.

Now she was struggling to stand on her feet and I had a problem, she was flopping around all over the barn and was going to injure herself. So all I could do was just stay with her and protect her as much as I could.

Finally she wore herself out and went to sleep, I ran in the house and called my husband in a panic, he was just floored when I told him what she was doing. Next I called my Son to come and get hay out of the loft and build her a padded cell.

When I hung up with my Son and looked back out she was standing and looking at me, I was more than shocked. As soon as she stood up Dandee started talking to her and she started towards her mother, when she got to the gate I just opened it up and let her in. I stayed right beside her to steady her but she went right to that udder and made an immediate connection, I couldn't believe it!!

My Husband told me later on when I told him on the phone that she had walked to her mother and nursed, that he had come very close to just putting her down Thursday night.

She has continued to make progress all day. We can't leave her with her mother and sister, of course, so we are having to take her into their stall every two hours to nurse, then put her back in her padded cell. We are not completely out of the woods yet but things are starting to look much brighter.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Limp but Alert

Topaz survived the night! She had been totally stiff all over but now she is limp. She can't hold her head up and she can't suck now. But she is still swallowing well when I squirt the goat's milk in. I always start out with some nutri-drench before each feeding.

She nickered at my DH twice last night, that is an improvement. She had stopped nickering all together. One eye looks really bad from rubbing on the straw while seizuring, but we are praying it isn't damaged too badly. I must admit that I didn't think she would survive the night, I know the Vet didn't.


Topaz has stopped seizuring, but all of her limbs became stiff and immovable. The good news is that she came around a couple of times and took a bottle, I got about 4 oz. of goat's milk down her twice, two hours apart. I have also squirted nutri-drench in her mouth several times and she has swallowed.

My DH has to lift her up and hold her in a standing position, so that I can feed her every two hours and the last time my husband said that she was much more limber and relaxed.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Topaz is having one seizure after another but I have been able to get some nutri-drench and a little milk in her, she actually sucked a bottle between seizures.

We have to give her another steroid shot tonight and in the morning. She is still alert, has pink gums and startles at noises. But the Vet doesn't give her much of a chance.

Head Trauma

The Vet says that Topaz has head trauma, which was what I was afraid of, he thinks that either the mare was having a hard time keeping track of both of them and stepped on her or the other foal kicked her in the head.

He put her on steroids and said that she has no infections and is not dehydrated, but we had to separate her and I am going to have to bottle feed her, if she survives.

The Vet said that this is only the sixth set of twins that he has seen in his career. It will be such shame to loose Topaz to a head injury when she has beat the odds on everything else.

Not out of the Woods

We are not out of the woods yet with Topaz. She has been doing wonderfully and my husband said that we were out of the woods with her. She was running and playing this morning at 7:00 then at around 10:00 when I went back out she couldn't get up, I tried to help her but I just couldn't do it. She finally did get up on her own but she was wobbling all over and holding her head at a strange angle. I have called the Veterinarian and he is on his way.

More later...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Cinder my Nubian goat started the first stages of labor at around 12:30 PM. She delivered a set of twins at 3:00 this afternoon, this is her third set in the three times that she has been bred, each time they have been a buckling and a doeling. This is our second set of twins in one day, a first for us!

Buck Goat Kid

Doe Goat Kid

Nursing On Her Own

Our weaker twin, Topaz is now able to get up without any help and is nursing on her own. We still have to make sure that the mare continues to produce enough milk for two foals. She has always been a good milker, so we are hopeful that we won't have a problem there. We also have to make sure that Topaz passes all of her meconium (first tarry poop). Sapphire has already accomplished this feat on her own with no assistance. Topaz may require an enema.

Newborn Twin Foals

Here is a short video clip of our new twin fillies. Their names are Sapphire and Topaz, Sapphire is the black filly and Topaz is the bay filly. Pictures have been posted in the previous blog.


We put Dandee in the stall last night, we knew that she would foal soon. My DH had checked on her at around 3:00 AM and had come back to bed, he said that she wasn't doing anything. At around 3:20 I heard her lay down, so I got up and looked out and could tell she was in labor. I woke my husband up and we both got dressed. Under normal circumstances, we usually have plenty of time to dress and gather needed supplies but not tonight. By the time we got out there she had already delivered a normal sized black filly.

Dandee always gets very heavy in foal, she always looks like a blimp but she had been blimpier than usual this year. But we never once suspected twins, I was just afraid that she would have a very large foal.

When she kicked that normal sized (but smaller than she usually has) filly out on the ground and didn't even look like she had foaled, I said that maybe she was going to have twins, to which my husband replied, "Well, I didn't want to say it." Anyone who breeds horses knows that twins are a very dangerous and rare thing in horses.

Mares will normally abort twins or one will be still born prematurely and the other will be carried full term and deliver as a normal single but usually both foals will die and sometimes you will lose the mother as well.

Dandee was due yesterday, so many things just didn't add up here, she was full term and had a normal healthy foal but she was obviously still in labor and soon a bubble of placenta presented itself and I ran for a kitchen knife. My DH cut through the placenta and another bubble appeared immediately with two more feet in it. The second baby was born normally and quickly with no problems but is smaller than the first.

Both of our new foals are fillies, the first born is coal black with a blaze, two hind socks and two partial front socks. The second is solid bay with no markings whatsoever. The bad news is that they are Appaloosas with not one spot between them. But the good news is that our Appaloosa Stallion is a 100% color producer, so they will both roan out into colorful, spotted ApHC horses.

The second filly is small and a little on the weak side, she did stand and walk quickly with some assistance from my DH. But we did have to milk the mare and give her a bottle because she still has not nursed on her own.

Of course, Dandee has not been a problem in the least, she is a great mother that nurses other mares babies, so having two of her own is no big deal. She has tandem nursed before with a foal on each side and one of them was just a thief.

Dandee is a Quarter horse mare, a few years ago we had bred her to a paint stallion. she had a loud dun paint filly. One of our Appy mares had a Leopard colt, so here was Dandee, a solid bay mare with a loud paint foal on one side and a leopard foal on the other, that was quite a sight.

Here are the first pictures of our twin foals born at Pintura Springs.

Twin Fillies

Twins born at Pintura Springs

Appaloosa Twins

ApHC Twin Fillies

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Rain, Mud and Wind

My husband talked to a neighbor last night while hunting for my dog. Angel had disappeared, which is not like her at all. She never gets too far away from her goats. But when it was time to feed yesterday evening, she was no where to be found and didn't come when called.

The neighbor raises bottle calves and has an abundance of them, people just keep bringing him more all of the time. He has suffered many losses this year due to the weather.

He has very nice huts set up for them with lots of straw but he says that the huts have to have a door and he just can't keep all of this rain out. Then he brought to my husband's attention that with every rain that we are getting, it is being followed by lots of wind. This does dry the ground up somewhat but having a strong wind after a cold rain is very hard on young animals. His bottle calves are getting pneumonia and even with antibiotics, vitamins and minerals, he isn't having too much luck saving them.

Not having a dry place to bed down is hard on any animal but especially the young and with the weather that we are having there just isn't any such thing as a dry spot. Which brings me back to Angel, we had called and called for her and she didn't show up. I did think that I had heard her rabies tag tinkling a couple of times inside our barn/house. I looked around but didn't see her. My husband was very upset because he doesn't want a dog that runs the neighborhood. I just couldn't believe that she would leave the goats like that.

Finally later in the evening I detected some movement in the corner of our barn/house, back behind our lawn tractor. She was hiding in a nice dry spot, she knows that she isn't allowed in this barn. My husband had mercy on her because as he pointed out, she is just wanting someplace dry to sleep to get ready for her night watch.

Our goat/chicken shed is continually wet this spring, we clean it out and put fresh straw down but with the goats and dog tracking in and out in the wet and mud, it doesn't stay dry for very long. Goats are also very indiscriminate about where they use the bathroom, they just go wherever the urge hits them. So, with the lot being nothing but a mud pit and the shed not being much better, Angel sought and found a warm, dry spot for a much needed rest.

Another dilemma that we are facing is that we don't have anyplace to put the new foal and his mother to make room for the other two mares that are overdue to foal. Under normal circumstances we turn the mares with their new foals out on pasture as soon as the mares have had a few days to recoup. But this weather makes it impossible to do that.

My DH keeps saying that we are never having March babies again but I keep telling him that this is the first year that we have had these kind of troubles. Our neighbor with the calves has never had these problems before either. It rained here all night again last night and the wind is suppose to be strong today with the temperature dropping all day down to 30º tonight.

Additional thought:
I posted on the first day of March that it came in like a Lamb, yesterday was the last day of March and it certainly went out like a Lion!