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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

in which we learn a little bit about bloody egg chutes, lumpy udders, and herd dominance

Bad times in the animal kingdom.

The Gold Laced Wyandotte has thrown her egg bed, which is a colloquial way of saying she's prolapsed, which is a fancy way of saying her insides (the egg-making ones) want to be on her outside. I blame Morganna the Kissing Bandit (the beheaded rooster, not the buxom human female). I have no reason to suspect him, but he grossed me out and he's not here to defend himself. Maybe he romanced her too vigorously and broke her inside. I'll have his head for this! Oh, wait . . .

In other news, Traci has a raging case of mastitis. She's prone to it, and when she kidded this year it flared right up. I think she remembered the pain of past years and that's why she's been so skittish about letting her babies nurse, which just aggravated it. I hoped they would be determined enough to get the job done anyway, but yesterday I decided I had to take matters into my own hands. After trying by myself and being constantly kicked for ten minutes I had to get John to come help me. We knew she had to be in extreme pain, because she doesn't misbehave in the milk stand, and never kicks. So John held her leg while I milked what felt like a fully inflated basketball for about a half hour. She actually screamed in pain a couple of times, and, as a woman who had mastitis with three of my children, I empathize. She has a lump about the size of a pecan right where her teat joins to her udder--no wonder she tried to bite and kick me.
I got almost a full gallon of undrinkable milk, so I'm going to freeze it and use it for soap. This has increased my interest in getting another doe, because I don't feel good about breeding Traci again. We'll retire her and let her live out her golden years here, I guess, because her personality is so important for the conduct of the herd as a whole. She is so calm and mellow that she tends to help everyone else relax and behave better. As much of a noisy dingbat as Edna ordinarily is, she's ten times worse when Traci's not around. Edna would be a terrible herd queen for this exact reason. She will bawl herself hoarse just for the fun of it, and a jumpy, nervous dominant doe heightens everyone else's agita. Then you've got yourself a pasture full of irritation.

3 comments:

All8 said...

Poor baby! I empathize having had it myself a few times.

I had my FIL administer the antibiotics to my pet cow because I didn't have any idea and I couldn't bring myself to do it when I did. (It still makes me {{{shudder}}} thinking about it!) Poor bovine things.

Sarah said...

So sad for Traci. As a currently nursing mother, I'm actually experiencing empathetic pain for your goat. The very thought of her pecan-sized lump? I practically teared-up. Is that weird?

Kacy said...

You have a lot going on.