Thursday, April 26, 2012


Right on schedule Buttons went into labor ( April 25 and for once I had it right on the calendar). I kept an eye on her for a couple of hours but when she started pushing but nothing was happening I knew something was wrong. I did a cervix sweep to see if that would help things but after 15 minutes still pushing but nothing. William did a check and found one of the baby goats crossways with the other two trying to get over top of the first one so they were all tangled up. William spent 2 hours untangling the BIG kids and making sure he had the right feet to the right body before helping it down the birth canal and out into the world. The one that was crossways had to be pushed back and turned around. Buttons was a sweetheart and actually listened to us and did what we ask. I know it sounds crazy but when we ask her not to push and try to relax she would stop pushing and just lay real still. When we told her we needed her to push she would brace her feet against the wall and push as hard as she could. After the babies were born I had to suction 2 of them because they had a little fluid in their lungs they were standing trying to nurse. Buttons looked at me and then turned and gave William a kiss. People may think goats aren't smart but I am here to tell you they are very smart, understand what you are saying, and appreciate any help given. Momma and babies are doing great. Buttons is sore after all she has been through so I am making sure she gets pain meds and antibiotics. A few days in their private stall and they will be rested and ready to join the herd. Buttons had 2 boys and 1 girl. No names yet but soon.... I hope.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Where My Time Is Being Spent

Don't you just love the only girl hugging her brother while napping! Tinker spends more time away from her babies during the day.

Bella still stays very close to her pups. If they aren't nursing she is washing them.

Though I caught him with his eyes closed, Tinker's puppies are opening their eyes and starting to crawl around.

Bella's are still small but adorable.
I spend a lot of time between Tinker, Bella, and their puppies. You know you can't just cuddle one and not the 17 others. It just wouldn't be fair and who can resist all those soft, furry, little cutie pies!

And I also have been having to spend time feeding the "vultures". You risk bringing you hand out minus fingers when you reach in to get their feeders. They may be small but don't let size fool you. In a matter of minutes every grain of feed is gone in all feeders. Tomorrow they get moved to their own "big chick" pen. They will have more space along with roosting poles they will quickly learn to use. The only bad thing is I will have to go IN the pen to feed and water them. I hope I don't look too tasty but if you don't hear from me the "vultures" ate me!

Some of my time has been spent with Mary. Mary was a little lamb but now she is a 2 yr old ewe. She belonged to the neighbor that we tried to help with one of her ewes that was in labor. She only had this one left and it was lonely. She ask if we would give her a home so she is living with the goats and seems content. We put a collar on her but haven't taken the rope they had on her off yet. The first day she was naturally shy but today she ate out of my hand and followed me around while I fed the goats and dogs. She didn't have a name so I named her Mary after the nursery rhythm. Instead of Mary having a little lamb, she was the little lamb once upon a time. Going to find her a little ram lamb to get attached to so when he grows up they can have their own little lamb.

 And of course all my extra time is being spent checking on Buttons. She is due to kid tomorrow but all the signs show she might go into labor tonight. The baby monitor is on and birthing cabinet stocked and waiting. She actually looks small in this picture but is huge. Am hoping for triplets but we shall see. Meanwhile I am on baby watch. It's not like I don't have a abundance of baby animals around here already. So that's how I have been spending my time, what about you? Don't forget to count those blessings!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Momma Bella and Babies

Bella started having her puppies around 12:30PM and averaged one an hour. She is now the proud momma of 5 boys and 4 girls though I am not sure she is finished yet. I sat with her until an hour ago. She seemed okay with my coming inside for a much needed shower and a bite to eat. I have the baby monitor on so I can listen to her and the puppies. Will go out again soon to check and also make sure momma and babies are okay and settled for the night. Bella is being the perfect mom. Those babies have had more baths than any puppy ever. She even cleans them while they are nursing! They are all chubby and of course adorable. Will post more pics tomorrow along with updated ones of Tinker and her babies. Lots and lots of puppies around the homestead!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I'll Be Back

Sorry I haven't posted more adorable puppy pictures and they are adorable little things. I am finally doing the flower bed project for one of Williams customers. I have a small and big one in their front yard and 2 medium size in the back of which one will be made into a herb garden. I am having to get up extra early to feed and water before heading across town for the job and then make sure I stop working in time to hurry back across town to feed and water in the late afternoon. That only leaves evenings for my other chores and projects around here. I promise to be back in a couple of days with puppy and chick photos. Our incubator chicks are growing like weeds and eat like vultures! Running late....... Count those blessings!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Yesterday morning we were trying to get feeding done early so we could head to Tractor Supply. We were in charge of having a petting zoo for the day. Bella was waiting for me at the gate but no Tinker. Tinker is always the first one to greet me. She also wants her food first. I knew something was up and went to check on her. She was in labor! I rushed to finish feeding and watering while keeping check on her. I helped William load up the animals he was taking for the petting zoo and then ran back to sit with Tinker. She was so pitiful!

After a couple of hours of on and off labor I grabbed the leash to see if she wanted to go for a walk. She got right up and took off down the driveway. We got about halfway down when she was ready to turn around and come back. She drank some water and got back to having contractions. Again they stopped so I gloved up and got the lubricant to check her. I did a two finger sweep around her cervix that was so dilated you could hardly feel it. Tinker let me check her with no problems. She seemed to be saying do something but that seemed to do the trick. She started pushing and boy puppy #1 came quickly.

Every twenty minutes or so another puppy arrived without a moan or groan from Tinker. She was quick to clean each puppy and get them started nursing. After a few puppies were born she was having problems pushing without laying on a puppy. I would take the puppies out till the next puppy was born and cleaned up then Tinker would take a puppy from me with her mouth and put it back where it belonged and I placed the rest. This went on till late evening when Tinker had 8 puppies. 7 Boys and 1 girl. She got up, ate, and drank a lot of water, then went back to snuggle with her babies. I cleaned things up, came inside, and took a shower. Later that night I heard a puppy crying (baby monitor) and went out thinking she was laying on a puppy. There were now 9 puppies! I double counted in case I had miscounted but no there were 9. Tinker had one more boy. Grand total of 8 boys and 1 girl. A better momma can't be found. This is her first liter and she is a devoted momma. She growls at any animal that comes close to her pen and even growls at William when he checks her puppies. Guess I helped her enough during labor she doesn't say or do anything if I pick up the puppies. They are all chubby with big heads, 2 look like Tinker and 2 look like Falcor. There are 3 white with some brown spots and 2 that are brown all over with a little white on their feet or bellies. Can't wait to see their eyes open and running around giving Tinker lots of mommy duty time.

Tinker and babies are healthy and happily napping.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Around The Homestead

Still no puppies. Goats are so much easier to get a due date on. With dogs I don't know when to start counting the days because Tinker and Falcor  "locked up" 5 different times. I wrote down the first two but then for some reason didn't write down the other dates. I did go online and research and found lots of things I didn't know about dogs. You can take their temps (rectal) in the morning and evening the last few weeks of pregnancy. Dogs temps are normally between 100 to 102 but their temps will drop below 99F about 24 hours before starting labor. Tinkers temps have been right at 100 until this morning when it dropped to 99.8. Tonight it has dropped down to 98.1. Here is to hopefully having puppies by tomorrow. I know Tinker is ready and so am I. I am tired from all the checks during the night.

A cold snap is heading our way. Suppose to have freeze and frost warnings tomorrow night. Figures that now we have green tomatoes on some of the plants and lots of blooms on others cold weather would show up. But I expected it since I jumped the gun on planting this year. The weather has been hot so I couldn't help myself. Will make sure everything is covered good tomorrow night and hope for the best. I even have green beans, squash, and cucumbers up.

Am trying to cook meals using veggies I froze from the gardens last summer. Wanting to clean out the freezers so I can fill them with this years bounty. Still have a few cans of tomatoes, pickles, kraut, and collard greens from last year along with lots of jams and jellies. Hopefully the gardens will produce plenty to can again this year. Everything I can freeze or can is that much less I have to purchase at the grocery store. I am also cleaning up the pantry and making a list of things needing replaced or added. Hurricane season will be here soon and though they are calling for a quiet hurricane season that is when the big ones have hit NC. Doesn't hurt to be prepared.

Sunday is the celebration of life for my neighbor Vickie. She was Ms. Fran's daughter. I will be reading a poem and doing a eulogy. Her daughter Katherine (Pebbles) is working hard making sure Vickie has a beautiful celebration service and I know it will be very special.

Saturday we will be at Tractor Supply again. Haven Animal Rescue is planning a big event. They are doing adoptions and we will have a petting zoo. There will also be music and food so if you are in the area please stop by and say hello.

Buttons is HUGE! Thank goodness she only has 2 weeks left. Am hoping she has 2 or 3 doelings this time.  Then kidding season will be over until next year. Bella is due to have her puppies around the 20th. Will have to keep the thermometer handy and can only imagine how unhappy Bella will be with me.

Herb garden is fantastic! I have never had a herb garden look so good. I purchased a mortar and pestle set  over the weekend. It was a Easter present to myself. It is heavy but I love it! Made from lava rock and will be used to crush my herbs and spices. I have been looking for one for over a year and finally found one I really wanted. It will last me a lifetime.

 We hatched almost 200 chicks from the incubator! They are in containers in the livingroom right now. After the cold snap passes will move them to a brooding house outside that has heat lamps and windows we can adjust for the right temp and air flow. Baby chicks sure are messy!

This morning I was raking from under the rabbit cages when I heard a duck crying. Went to look and a young hawk had actually flown down into the pen trying to pick up a duckling. We see hawks all the time but we have so many huge oak trees giving a canopy over our pens it is hard for a hawk to fly in and out so have never had one try. I scared it off and William came out with a gun but it never came back. We are allowed to shoot if they are a danger to our animals but cannot keep feathers or have it mounted. No problem as I wouldn't want to do either. Don't want to shoot it so hope it doesn't try that again.

Well it is time to check on Tinker. Have a wonderful night and don't forget to count those blessings.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy

 Finally named Gerda's baby girls. The black one with frosty ears is BeBe and the white with gray spots is Sissy.
Can't believe I haven't posted in a week but blame it on the weather. It has been so nice I am out in the veggie gardens, herb garden, or greenhouse every spare minute. The trees all have their leaves and our oak trees are already providing our canopy of shade I enjoy so well in the summer. The dogwoods have bloomed and gone already as well as the azalea blooms are almost gone. We have tiny tomatoes growing on a couple of tomato plants with others full of blooms. Herbs are doing fantastic. Tinker is due to have her puppies in a couple of days. This being her first she is nervous and doesn't know what is going on in her body. She weighs around a 130lbs and is trying to be a lap dog and sit in my lap the past couple days. I sit and brush her while talking to help calm her. Hopefully after the puppies are born she will feel lots better. Buttons still has to wait a couple more weeks before her kidding time is here. The chicks in the incubator are starting to hatch. Heard lots of peeps this morning. They were due to start hatching tomorrow. There were around 300 eggs but hope they all don't hatch! Tessa the turkey is sitting on eggs as well as Bonnie the goose. Have 6 ducklings with another duck making a nest with a few eggs. Will leave her and see if she sits.Am very thankful for crockpots and slow cookers. I start dinner in them right after breakfast so I don't have to come in early to start dinner and can get more gardening time in. I have taken on a small job for a couple days. I will be digging up and redoing some flower beds for one of William's customers. Will have to work on them in the late afternoons and evenings after I feed the animals but looking forward to making beautiful flower beds and getting paid to do it! I am also going to make them a herb garden next to their back porch. Saturday will find me at Tractor Supply selling baby bunnies.If you are in the area stop by. I promise not to talk you into a bunny. LOL Well my lunch break is over and its time to take care of the animals and get back to gardening. Have a wonderful day and don't forget to count those blessings!