Sunday, 24 May 2015

Sipping on the homemade champagne

elderflower champagne May 15

A bit of a relaxing evening tonight. We have cracked open a bottle of our homemade elderflower champagne (2011 vintage) to celebrate Pinkie's on-going recovery. We still have over 30 bottles to consume before we make this year's champagne next month.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Standing on her own feet

goats May 15 42

On Wednesday evening, we attempted to get Pinkie standing by using a makeshift sling. This was a last resort for us. She had not stood for 9 days and if we failed to get her on her feet, she would have no future. Our attempts failed. We returned home very upset knowing we would have to call the vet in the morning to put her to sleep.

I returned a couple of hours later to lock up the henhouses and check on Pinkie. There she was standing on her back legs! Perhaps we wouldn't need to make the call after all. Perhaps we could take a decision in the morning as she was at least trying to get up.

So in the morning I checked on her. She made repeated attempts to get up. In the late afternoon, she got onto all 4 feet and even took a few steps out of the goathouse. She was on the mend!

There is still some way to go. She has, after all, had a major operation. But the only call I expect to make to the vet now is to say that Pinkie is getting better.

This is the first time we have tried to breed the goats. We have learnt a huge amount, even if it was the hard way. We will decide whether or not to attempt to breed Pinkie again in the future, once we know her condition after recuperating. One thought I have is to consider getting another Golden Guernsey nanny, possibly a kid born this spring, to keep with Pinkie. Our plan had been that we would keep a nanny offspring of Pinkie had the birth been successful. But all this is for decisions over the next few weeks. At the moment we are just pleased Pinkie is recovering.

Meanwhile, she is producing lots of milk.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Dead hive removed

dead bees May 15 1

We carried out a hive inspection over the weekend and as predicted, the problem hive had died. It was full of dead bees clustered together. We had a close look at the bees and they did not appear deformed. That should mean it wasn't an infection or varroa parasites. It may be that it starved to death. This sometimes happens even though there is food available elsewhere in the hive.

The dead hive has been cleared away and will be used for the next swarm. All other hives on the apiary were checked and were in good order. We added supers to 2.

Pinkie is eating but not standing

Pinkie and Jonathan May 15

Pinkie is eating well, indeed very well. She is producing milk which I am drawing off (not the easiest job as she remains lying down). She munches her way through lots of crisp, fresh grass. This morning I found she was especially keen on dock leaves. However, we are still to get her to stand. Yesterday she did manage to get onto her back feet for a few seconds but her front legs weren't able to get her up fully. We will try again later today.

She remains comfortable and alert but her not yet standing is a real concern to me.

goats May 15 37

There was one sack of dried nettles left in the shed from last year. We have fed them to Pinkie. She rather likes them as well.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

A great day at the Whickham May Fayre

May Fayre Chase Park Whickham May 15 2

We had a successful day at the Whickham May Fayre in Chase Park yesterday. We sold lots of eggs and preserves. We also had lots of people asking us about how Pinkie is doing. She has quite a following now!

Pinkie update

goats May 15 31

We have made some progress with Pinkie though there is a big question mark over whether or not she will pull through. After the vet's visit on Thursday, she started eating grass and leaves but wasn't interested in prepared food. This continued through Friday but yesterday, Saturday, she started eating flaked maize and wheat. We are yet to get her on her feet. That is the big challenge and until we have achieved that, I can't say she will pull through.

goat caesarean May 15 2

This is Pinkie a couple of days ago. You can see her operation stitching. And here's a closer look:

goat caesarean May 15 1

Friday, 15 May 2015

More hens

chickens May 15 1

We have some more hens! Another 7. They are only a couple of months old and 5 of them were hatched by a friend from our eggs. The other 2 are gold tops (they are the 2 birds on the left above).
They were swapped for our 3 Welsh Harlequin drakes. I'm really pleased about this as we have been wanting a new home for these drakes but we wanted them kept together as they are a close knit group of 3 brothers. Now they are off to a good home.

The 7 hens have fitted in well. They needed no encouragement to roost in the hen houses overnight.