Tag Archives: homesteading

Goat Drama

In the past month, we’ve had a bit of goat drama in the soap opera that is our life. 

First, there was Lil’ Blackie. He picked up a mesquite thorn in his hoof, which was removed promptly, however maybe a piece got embedded deeper because over the next few days he went from limping to listless to unable to walk. We started an antibiotic treatment which seemed to help some of the swelling, but after a week, he was just getting worse. After a night of little goat crying and what seemed to be lockjaw paralysis, and talking to Azul the vet, we decided the best course of action was to end his misery.

Stinky Chivo has been the leading actor in our drama life lately. With his ladies in heat, he’s become mighty aggressive. On several occasions, my husband has had to wrestle him into submission to tie him and come in smelling to high heaven. 

Stinky then decided to take the show on the road. The other day, when he was supposed to be grazing, he took offense at the shoveling actions of some workers on the other road. They tried to scare him off by throwing buckets of water on his head. That just enraged him more. My son and one of the workers manhandled the beast and retied the raging goat. As soon as he saw he couldn’t butt heads anymore, he went back to grazing peacefully.

Usually, when our macho goat gets this aggressive, we trade or sell him. This year we’ve run into some difficulties since the normal animal market in Puruandiro has been suspended. Furthermore, the young heir apparent, the next oldest macho in the herd, is still too young to assume the throne. So we’ll just have to restrict Stinky’s movement until the estrus cycle is over. 

We’ve also been inundated with coyotes in La Yacata. They are always present, but their nightly howls have become direwolf in nature. It freaks Cocoa out (and me too if I’m honest). This morning, my husband reported that a coyote had nearly made off with one of our babies. Coyotes being wiley and all, Cocoa didn’t even notice it until it had already lunged. Fortunately, the goat-napping was averted although the little one lost her tail, but it served to remind us that the goat herder needs to keep a close eye on his charges. 

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Rainy Season Babies and Stuff

Despite having limited outside options because of the rain, our little ranchito is growing by leaps and bounds.  We’ve had two new sets of kids. The first set was another Biggie Small pair. The solid black male was literally twice the size of his black and white sister. The other set were both girls. All of the wee ones are doing fine and enjoyed their first foray to greener pastures yesterday with the herd.

Mama and babies with the Puppers looking on

The quiquiriqui (little hen) hatched some eggs this week too. Three little chicks the size of your thumb were born. One seemed to have been born malformed. There was something wrong with its leg and it died later that day. However, the other two little pinguinos (penguins) are doing fine. My son is a nervous wreck over them. He gets panicked when mama hen leads them out on an adventure. He’s concerned the Puppers might scare them and that Cocoa might chase them. Cocoa isn’t allowed outside unsupervised right now for that reason. He’d cause too much pandemonium. 

My husband decided to sell Rojo, which sort of surprised me. It’s true we don’t have enough space for a young stallion, however since Rojo was born on my husband’s birthday, he’s had a special fondness for him that I thought might cause him to want to keep him. We still have Lady and it seems as if she has just begun her first heat cycle–so removing Rojo from the premises was a good move. 

Rojo hasn’t gone far. He’s moved up the hill with Azul the vet. And my husband still sees him on the caminatas (group horse rides), which have now become a weekly event. Although with Lady in heat, I’m questioning his decision to participate this week.

Lady has moved into Rojo’s stall, which is more sheltered from the rain than the back pen. The Puppers have moved into Lady’s pen to keep out of the wet. We’ve had torrential rains most of the week and some flooding in the backyard.

My husband also sold the truck, which we affectionately named Butch, to another neighbor. He and I still have our motorcycles and my son has his bike, so we aren’t stranded by any means. My husband is looking for a replacement vehicle, but nothing has appeared on the horizon just yet.

We’ve also discovered that Fuzz Lightyear is blind or partially blind in one eye. He has had no eye injuries or infections since we took him in, but he’s always been a bit of a clutz. Now that we know, it’s obvious that limited vision in one eye would make him less than graceful. His impairment has become more pronounced in the last few weeks. Honestly, the vet in town isn’t skilled enough to do much to help Fuzz, so we’ll just manage his condition the best that we can. 

And the construction project on the new lot is coming along, slowly but surely. The idea is to have a small front room with a cooking area and the rest of the lot dedicated to plants, plants, and more plants. My husband has already moved a few of our smaller fruit trees over and planted some corn, beans, and squash to take advantage of the new dirt fill. 

So it’s been quite a week as you can see!

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Breaking Out of Quarantine

Tuesday evening last week we had unexpected visitors. The police arrived at our door at 9:30 pm. We were already tucked in for the night because you know, social distancing and stuff means we stay home. My husband tried to talk to them from the second floor window. Cocoa was having none of that and his hysterical barking meant no one could hear themselves think.

Therefore, my husband put on some clothes and went to the front door. I couldn’t hear what was being said since Cocoa would not be calmed. A few minutes later, he came back in and said they needed to talk to me. So I put on my robe and grumbled my way downstairs to the door.

Turns out they were delivering a summons for me to appear at the ministerio publico on Thursday. I tried to ask what it was about, but they didn’t have any idea. They said if I didn’t appear, they’d come and take punitive action. I said I didn’t have any problem appearing on Thursday. It was my day off. 

So I fretted and speculated what this could be in relation to. Couldn’t come up with a thing. I woke up Thursday morning frazzled at 4 am and couldn’t get back to sleep. At 6, my husband heated a pot of water for my bucket bath. And I grumbled some more. The water delivery was scheduled for 9:30 am and since I had to be in town by 10:00 am, I wouldn’t be able to wait for it. So it was a bucket bath for me.

I zooped my butt to town on my moto and parked in the centro near the Chinese restaurant (so I could pick up an order after this appearance thing) and walked about a block to the ministerio publico. I signed in. I showed the guy at the front desk my paper and he sent me up to the third floor. I approached another guy at a desk and asked where I was supposed to be. He handed my paper off to another woman, who handed it off to yet a third, then went into an office to talk to a woman behind a desk. 

The girl came back out and asked me to wait downstairs in the seating area until they were ready for me. Since I was 15 minutes early, that wasn’t a problem. I brought my kindle. Eventually, I was called back upstairs and met with the woman in the office behind the desk. She looked to be about 20, but as she was the lawyer she must have been older than that–right?

Anyway, the reason for my visit was to inform me that the main office in Celaya had “misplaced” the original certificate that was involved in a court case several years ago. As a representative of the Asociación de La Yacata (I’m still technically the treasurer), she wanted to know if a new certificate could be issued. I said that I didn’t have the authority to do that. Any issuing would be done by Super Prez. 

Fortunately, he was also “invited to appear” that morning at 10:30 am. He also arrived 15 minutes early, which meant we didn’t have to wait for him. The situation was explained again. Super Prez said that instead of issuing a new certificate, we would provide a copy of the original that we had on file. The lawyer then went to the other lawyer for him to ask his client (the lot owner) if that would be acceptable. So we waited for that. 

In the meantime, Super Prez and I caught up on things. He had a construction digger stolen last year and was hoping this summons was to say that it had been found. It hadn’t been. Then I mentioned the rodeo across the street from La Yacata was going to have electricity run to it in the next few months. Representatives from the rodeo association had approached Azul the vet (who also has lots in La Yacata) to ask if we wanted to piggyback on their installation, for a fee mind you. Azul had come to me with this information and now I was sharing it with Super Prez. He said he’d look into it more, but the most we could hope to get out of it would be a post or two closer to La Yacata, which is something anyway. The rodeo is LITERALLY across the street–so it wouldn’t be out of their way to add another post or so to the project. We wouldn’t get electricity because that would require everyone that owns lots (all 700 of them) to agree to pay a portion of it and that’s never gonna happen. 

The other lawyer came back and said a copy would be acceptable to his client. So I would appear again in the office on Friday, with the copy, for the official handover. Not like I have other things to do or anything….like stay away from people. I seriously interacted with more people in one day than I have in weeks. Yes, they all had masks on, but there must have been 20 people in the “interrogacion” room. The lawyer’s mask kept slipping down her nose. GERMS! GERMS! GERMS!

Anyway, we were free to go after that. When I got home, my son was a bit stressed. The water delivery had arrived but one of our goats went into labor at the same time, so it was chaotic. The dogs get riled up when the truck pumps the water and the goat was hollering. My son took care of the firehose while my husband delivered the goat. It was an odd situation. Baby #1 arrived just fine. A second placenta, still intact, appeared. My husband didn’t think there was even a baby, but he took a second look, and lo and behold there was. It was half the size of the first baby. He tore the placenta open and helped out there. 

Notice the size difference!

So what I think we had was the goat was pregnant twice so the kids were different gestational ages. I read about this phenomenon (superfetation) just a little bit ago where this woman who was pregnant with twins got pregnant with baby #3 on her next ovulation cycle. Both the new kids are girls. The premie is weak, naturally, but giving it all she’s got. 

The day wasn’t done with us yet. The horses were out in the front pasture, which has a barbed wire fence around it. Red got loose from his mooring and jumped the fence. Lady was not to be outdone and jumped too. I saw both horses and their award-winning performances from the upstairs window. My son had to run out and round them up.

But we had the dilemma that the new momma goat and her two mismatched offspring were in Red’s stall. It took some doing to get the family moved to the rabbit area in the back. The roving borrega complicated things. The Puppers were befuddled. The mama was unwilling. The kids did not enjoy flying. Lots of squealing going on. Finally, everyone was settled, including the show jumpers. 

Friday came, and I headed back into town to deliver the copy of the certificate that was in the La Yacata files. It took all afternoon, but it got done. I hope I can stay home for a while and avoid people. 

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Read about more animal adventures!

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