Splat, Part 2.

We decided we should just let him go, and for a minute I agreed.

But then my heart took over.

I couldn’t do it.  Knowing mama was right there with her udder full, nursing her other two boys, I just couldn’t let him go.  Not yet at least.  I held Splat up to Willow, gently squeezing her teat toward his mouth.

When I attempt to get a baby to latch on, the right hand holds him under the armpits and any extra fingers grow longer to extend neckward, holding his head toward the flow of milk.  The left thumb and index finger tenderly squeeze the teat while the ring, pinky finger and associated side of the palm slightly cup under the teat to cradle the newborn’s chin.  The left middle finger assists wherever needed, sometimes with milking, sometimes with chin cradling, sometimes with flicking away a curious farm dog.

In Splat’s case, he did not latch on.  Despite milk being squirted toward his mouth and misfired up his nose, he did not have the gumption to do what his brothers had instinctively done.  Instead, the milk dribbled into my cupped palm where he slurped up a tiny dose of energy.  I laid him back down in the straw.

Twenty minutes later, training resumed.  His rubberlegs still did not support him in anything except prone snow angel pose, so I lifted him again to Willow.  A few more slurps from the hand, and the appearance of a bit more energy, it was a successful experience, but his future was still uncertain.

I had decided I would not commit to every four hours bottle feeding him, but would support him in eating from his mama during my waking hours.  I would let nature decide at night.

And, as it does every day, night rolled around.  At bedtime, our 13-year-old and I checked that the five other new bucklings were indeed latching on and eating from their mamas.  We gave Splat a drink, noticing that he was able to extend his front legs in a standing posture but the back legs were still uncooperative.  He was also trying to suckle.  He got more collostrum before bedtime than he had all day.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that he was at risk of one of the goats sleeping on him, stepping on him or just getting too cold.  We curled him up by his brothers and hoped for the best.

The next morning, I found it hard to wait for my 5:50am alarm to go off.  Splat had been on my mind all night.  It was a school morning, so there were breakfasts and lunches to make and children to drag out of bed and caffeine to ingest.  It wasn’t until the teenager was on the bus and the 9-year-old had eaten that he and I went out to determine what the night had decided.

Splat was alive!  He still wasn’t standing but had made it throught the night so I taught him how to drink from a bottle.  He drank willingly and later that day, stood under his own power.

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Every day on our farm brings new experiences, new decisions to be made and new approaches to implement.  We have to decide how much to nature and how much to nurture.  Now, two weeks later, it warms my heart to see Splat walk, run, jump, nurse and play just like his brothers. He’s still a miniature version of them, but he made it!

– The Goat Cheese Lady and Splat

P.S. As I mentioned in Splat, Part 1, we don’t keep the boys.  Of the six that were born on Splat’s birthday, we’ve sold two.  At the time of this writing, more have been born and are for sale, including Splat.  They are $75 each.  Let us know if you want a weed eater, a horse companion or a herd sire. These boys qualify for any of those jobs!  You can call me directly if you are interested or have more questions.  719-651-9819.

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About The Goat Cheese Lady

I am Lindsey. At first I was a city girl. Growing up, the closest thing I had to farm animals were a cat and a cockatiel. In 2009, Herbert (my husband) and I bought our first milk goat and I instantly became an urban farmgirl, attempting to balance city and farm life..before I knew “urban homesteading” was a thing. That’s when we began The Goat Cheese Lady Farm, hence The Goat Cheese Lady blog you’re visiting now. After moving to the country in 2014, I embarked on life as a rural farmgirl. We continued teaching farm and cheesemaking classes, raising more goats and began construction on our cheese creamery. But life had other plans and in 2017, we decided that, due to financial and health issues, we had to close the farm for business. No more classes, no more creamery, a lot less milking. We went back to off farm jobs, I as an Occupational Therapist, Herbert in construction with his business, D&A Home Remodeling. At that point, I made a silent promise to myself that I would corral my entrepreneurial mind and focus on a job for a year. Well, it has been a year and I am back. Not to classes, cheese, soap or lotion, but back to writing. I love it. I’m not sure where it will lead me, but that’s where I’m starting. I’ll continue to write as The Goat Cheese Lady for now, and whatever the future holds, I’ll let you know. Our two boys are 14 and 11 and continue to be louder than my sister and I ever were. We have two dogs, Montaña and Flash, a cat, Jumpy, a flock of chickens and three goats. Yes, we still have Lucy, the goat who helped us start it all and was milked by over 1,000 people. She’s retired but still the boss. Chocolate provides enough milk for our family with some to spare for the dogs. Soccer friends, school friends, coyotes and mice are frequent visitors. There are way too many flies and every so often we see an owl. I’m glad you’re here. Sometimes you’ll laugh out loud, other times you’ll be inspired to appreciate the small things. My hope is that, over your morning cup of coffee or your afternoon work break, you’ll enjoy the antics and inspiration that are my daily life. Lindsey
This entry was posted in Farm Life, For Sale, goats, Kidding and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Splat, Part 2.

  1. Marsha Lee says:

    I was so thrilled that Splat decided to get his guts up and join his brothers. Such a sweet story!
    Aunt Marsha

  2. Tricia says:

    Awww…I loved reading this story! I live in an area rich with farms & animals of all kinds (my faves are the Highland cattle – they’re so beautiful!) Though I grew up in a big city surrounded by concrete & people & noise I have come to love my life in this rural area. Just watching the animals as I drive by their farms makes me smile. Thanks for sharing your experiences raising & caring for these magnificent creatures.

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