Monday, January 4, 2010


I am writing this post on little sleep and frayed nerves,so bear with me.This blog is about homesteading,the good the bad and the ugly.I would not change how we are trying to live for anything.That being said,many people have the dream of homesteading.I would like to say if you are not a tough as nails person this may not be the life for you.If you have visions of huge organic tomatoes and overflowing abundance of veggies well,I am not saying you won't get that but realistically it might be a struggle.You have droughts, late freezes,early frost,bug invasion.Oh and making that organic compost take hours of shoveling the good stuff! The good stuff is poop,just in case you haven't made it to your farm yet.Still, when you get a good year it is all worth it.Your animals are another story.Even if you manage to keep them safe from the coyoties,neighbor's dogs and all the other natural predators,well sometimes it still just doesn't work out.I consider myself tough.I have been through many trials, stood facing the wind and held my ground.Still,sometimes this place wears me down.Not enough to quit mind you,but enough that it adds to my growing crown of wisdom,that's gray hair to you non-bible quoting folks!And too, the lines starting around my eyes...sigh middle age.Actually getting older does not bother me,I quiet enjoy the growing wisdom and sense of peace that comes with the gray hair and wrinkles.
Yesterday afternoon I noticed Sweet Pea was going in labor.These were to be our first goatie babies born on the farm.It was,like most farm happenings,at an inconvenient time.We had to leave and go to the hotel by the airport as Hubby left this morning at 5.Sweet Pea seemed to be doing fine and I expected to have baby goaties this morning when we got home.When got home at 6am and excitedly rushed to her stall only to find her laboring in the corner still,no babies.I knew this was bad.So I decided to do an exam,I found a huge hoof and head that was wedged so tightly against her pelvic bone I could not budge it.Our vet is closed on Mondays.I quickly look up vets in the next town over.We hurriedly get all the other critters fed and watered,Sweet Pea loaded in the carrier and on the road to be there by 8 when they open.We get there and even thought they are open they have no vet until 9.They tell us there is another clinic 5 miles away that has a vet in office now so, back on the road.The young vet examines Sweet Pea ,who is doing remarkable well, and tells me what I already pretty much knew,the baby was huge and there was no way it was going to fit through her birth canal and it was most likely dead. Our options are two,cesarean or euthanasia. Sweet Pea is just as her name describes sweet as the day is long ,but she is an unregistered goat.The vet assured me she could still breed,but needed a buck that threw twins......I know what seasoned farm people would say...maybe it was the lack of sleep and that The Boy,my only child, was standing there with one of his beloved goats,but I couldn't let her be put down.Don't get me wrong,I am not one of those keep suffering animals alive people.I believe all suffering animals with no hope should be humanely euthanized.I also know money wise this goat is not worth the vet bill,but it is worth it for my child's heart.I hope The Boy likes beans,'cause that is what he is getting to eat all month.Hubby is still in the air,I haven't broke the news yet of what I decided...hope he doesn't change flights and come home to ring my neck!I should be able to pick her up a 4,I wish the baby would have lived,it would have made it a little better.
My eye started itching and burning like crazy on the way home and of course I scratched and rubbed like crazy 'cause I have the will power of a 2 year old.Now it is beet red and swollen ,I probably got some goat cootie infection in it.To make matters even worse around here the weather people are saying 17 degrees for Thursday night! This area is not set up for those kind of temps.Our houses are not underpinned,our pipes are not wrapped,our wells sit out in the open and our animal's shelters are get the picture.Sheesh ! I always say our life is an adventure and it is, but I am sure ready for my roller coaster to reach the top!


IanH said...

Melodie, hang in there! Life on an Acreage or farm is definitely not always easy! It is still worth it over the crazyness of city or town living. It is the far better place to raise children. As Red Green would say "hang in there we're all in this together"

Pricilla said...

I am so very, very sorry. Was she bred to a full sized buck?
I was told the doe determined whether it was twins or a single..

This is just so sad...goat hugs from all of us.

Texan said...

Oh Melodie what a ordeal! I am so sorry you guys lost your kid...I know you all were very excited. I am glad your Sweet Pea survived.

Given the same exact situation you had, I would have made the same decision you did. With your son in the equation, it made that a bit of different type decision than just what is the cost effective thing to do. Heck I don't have children and if that was my Sugarcube.....sometimes our hearts just demand we do what we do :O)....

We are in the same boat with the temps coming, In the teens at night for a few nights. I am going today for yet more hay. Its all I know to do, pile it so deep I have to look for the goats in it. Hope it keeps them warm.

We tried heat lamps in the goat barn, 3 sided goat barn sighhh to see if that would bring the temp up at all in there. I went out to check it several times, the answer is no. Unless we close off the front some way the heat lamps do nothing. Chickens are back in the greenhouse where they will stay this week.

Hope your eye is getting better?

Again I am just so sorry, you have just been thru it girly.

DebH said...

I send a huge HUG!! You did the same exact things I would of done and I commend you for your strong heart. What doesn't kill us makes us Stronger??!! I probably repeat that phrase twice a day. Please know I send you some courage with this comment,,,you are in my thoughts.

Melodie said...

I love Red Green!That but a smile on my face! You are right,despite the hardships ,I wouldn't want city life for anything.

She was supposed to be bred to a small buck,I am wondering if she didn't get a midnight visit from a larger buck as the girl I got her from had several different sized bucks.
The vet said that babies get big as singles,but this baby was huge.I am glad we have our own buck now.

Thanks,I knew my fellow goat bloggers would understand.I talked to Hubby and he is not upset with me ,just glad we saved her.
The weather is worrying me too.Our chickens are good,I am not so sure about the turkeys and I have a sheep that looks ready to give birth soon,and of course the pipes.I am pretty sure the goaties are good,they sleep 2 each in little houses that stay really warm stuffed with hay.

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

so SweetPea had a C-section? only one baby? My SweetPea had a C-section and one doeling lived and one died, vet bill was $700. Who was the sire? a dwarf buck?

You did the right thing although you couldn't financially afford it, just one of those "family" things.

I just posted about being debt free but I had to pull out the "just-in-case" credit card for the operation and then paid it off later.

Give us an update after you get some rest. Take care.

Melodie said...

Thanks.Price wise we are faring a little better,I was quoted 500$
The sire was supposed to be a small dwarf Nigerian.My heart tells me that was not so,especially after I felt it's head and saw its hoof.It will not put us in the poor house but we will have a frugal month.

Melodie said...

Deb H,
Thanks,I say that often too.I know all will be OK,a nap and good meal makes a lot of things better.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for all that you are going thru. I recently lost three kid goats but I tried really hard to save them. I ended up with a 1500 dollar vet bill that I am just now paying off. You have a good husband who is a wise man.

Melodie said...

Thanks,it is hard to loose our animals,I think that is the hardest part of homesteading.My Hubby is a keeper,he is a good guy.

Texan said...

Hey way on where you grew up! I was in North Central part of the state... Ida not to far from Heber Springs... Wilburn School...

I am so glad you have your baby home...I would be doing the same thing...put that baby in a crate :O) in the house...that works :O)...the house smell will recover once she can go back outside... :O)...

Carolyn said...

I am so sorry. I had a cat that liked to hide in the engine of my dad's car to keep warm. One day he forgot to jump out and on the way to the gym my dad saw him drop out of the engine in his rear view mirror.

Needless to say the poor cat was almost gone. But dad took him to the vet and paid $400 to get him all fixed up (This was 20 years ago.) So it was a lot of money for us. I see now what a saint my dad was for doing that for me.

Ruralrose said...

This is the story all homesteaders can tell. You can never go wrong putting your money where your values are, you are an excellent mom. And if I may say so this story shows the depth of your character as well. Each year will pass with hardship lessons, and we can move forward knowing what to do so they won't happen again. This is normal, I feel kindred with you that you would share such an intimacy. This is what success looks like, don't let guilt take away what you have accomplished as a woman. Peace

Melodie said...

thanks for sharing your story,your Dad sounds like a great guy.

Thank you very much.It is nice to have the support of my kindred spirit blog friends as we are the alone in our homesteading choices here.