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 30ยบ 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!
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