Big Mama, despite her enormous girth, only gave birth to a singleton. Interestingly, the little guy looked EXACTLY like Brown Mama’s boy twin. (The girl has a white “toupee.”) Big Mama is extremely overprotective of him. Cocoa, who barks at everything, has made himself a mortal enemy here. How DARE he bark at her lamb???
Things were going well for about a week when suddenly Brown Mama died. The small flock was out foraging just on the other road and left unattended for about 15 minutes tops. When my son when to check on everyone, he found Brown Mama keeled over and swollen to twice her normal size. We think it was bloat that killed her. She might have eaten a poisonous plant, or the kid visiting with his parents on a nearby lot might have given her a handful of corn, or even the few kernels my husband doles out to everyone in the morning might have caused it.
So then we had two orphans that weren’t old enough to get all their nutrients by foraging. They refused to be bottle-fed by Papa Chivo (my husband), and we despaired of their future.
Thankfully, Big Mama decided to adopt the twins about three days after their mama’s demise. She’s a hefty sheep and seemed to have more than enough milk for her own and the two twins. The urgency has passed now that everyone can forage, although we are keeping a close eye on everyone since the rash of poisonings. It wouldn’t do for the lambs to lick something that could kill them.
Other cloven-hoofed news: Fuzzy Mama still hasn’t given birth, nor has Jolina, although both are mighty uncomfortably pregnant. The other nameless goat miscarried, and my husband sold her.
Then the Questgiver has been sent along to another realm to carry on his important tasks, whatever they may be. My husband didn’t like the way his testicles hung. Something about how that trait would be passed on to daughters and their udders would be uneven. I’m not sure that’s true, but I have no say on which animals stay and which go.
I’d really like for him to stop with the animals. They aren’t getting the care they need here anymore, and the outdoor area is riddled with fleas making everyone miserable. Be that as it may…
Here are some 2022 goat updates. The year has started out not too promising in the animal husbandry department.
Stinky Chivo got too big for his britches and had to go. He was fighting with all the goats. He was fighting with my husband and son. He was just generally too aggressive, which is par for the course as a male goat matures.
Unfortunately, his departure occurred after he got one of the little chivitas pregnant. She’s less than a year old and it was no surprise when she miscarried. Physically, she seems ok, but the night after her loss, she cried and cried.
Then Chente, one of the triplets, up and died. He’d been not as active for a day or two, but as he’d always been the weakest of the three, we didn’t think much of it. We thought perhaps it was due to ticks and did a thorough check of all the animals and a dusting of cal (lime) to smother any insects on the ground. Cocoa and another of the goats did indeed have ticks, which were removed. No other animals got sick, which was a blessing. But poor Chente.
Then Jolina FINALLY had her babies, twins as usual. Jolina is always a bit of a dud when it comes to mothering, although her babies are always super active. This set was no exception. They have proven themselves to be the loudest dudes in the herd, probably because Jolina doesn’t respond to their bleats, which get progressively more intense until Papa Chivo (my husband) rolls out of bed to make sure they are getting fed.
Both boys are healthy and as of yet unnamed. It just gets tiresome wrangling Jolina into position to feed them every few hours. Oh well.
Enjoy the ongoing animal adventures of one family when they move to central Mexico and try to figure it all out in Animal Antics South of the Border.https://amzn.to/36ZuYEy
Our mightily pregnant nanny goat finally gave birth at dawn on December 12, el Día
de la Virgen de Guadalupe. She had TRIPLETS spaced about an hour apart. My son took one look at them and declared them “unremarkable”. They are white, with no real distinguishing characteristics.
Since they were born on such an auspicious day, the smallest, of course, had to be named Lupillo, in honor of La Virgen. It’s still a common practice for babies born on a particular saint day to take on that name in our area of Mexico. All of my husband’s siblings were named that way. However, we couldn’t name all three the same.
December 12 of this year will go down in infamy as the day Mexican icon Vicente Fernandez died. So it was no stretch of the imagination to christen the other two goats Vicente and Fernando in his memory, shortened to Chente and Nando.
Chente was born with weak ankles. He had a set of pipes on him that let everyone know his frustration when he couldn’t keep up with his brothers. My husband crafted a set of splints to shore up his ankles and Chente was up and around in no time. After about a week, the splints were removed and I’m happy to report that Chente’s ankles seem much stronger.
This birth wrapped up the fecundity of the Flores Ranchito for 2021. It was a particularly difficult year on all accounts. I am hoping that 2022 will bestow blessings on our animal kingdom (and human inhabitants) beyond our wildest dreams. Or at least I hope we manage to muddle through again like we do most years.