Happy New Year!

Here we are after three days of continuous snow and some very high winds. Actually some of the time it was rainy out as well so the accumulation of snow isn’t too high, it’s just really heavy! Will did a great job on the tractor with the snowblower this morning, partly pushing the snow and partly blowing it out of the driveway. I shoveled off the deck and the walkway to the front door three times between yesterday and today and it’s been clear for five hours now, so I’m happy. Mom and I put our snowshoes on and went for a walk through the fields. Well, it started out as a gentle walk through heavy, deep snow and then I thought it would be nice to take a shortcut through the woods. Now, Myrna, you don’t have to read any further because you know exactly what happens next! Yes, the shortcut wasn’t that short and ended up going through some challenging terrain. Mom is a true trooper, though, and made it through quite nicely. The goats had tried to follow us at the beginning but the snow was just too heavy and deep for them to go very far.

Poor Nick, the eunuch goat, has been feeling poorly lately. He looked pretty bad and was in obvious pain a few days ago (Jan 1) so I called the vet and someone came by that evening to take a look at him. He was suffering from colic: gas and bloating due to an overfilled digestive system that had stopped working. My only guess as to what got him in this condition was that he wasn’t drinking enough water but continuing to eat lots of hay. The boys don’t have a heated water bucket so I’d been bringing buckets of warm water from the house to thaw out their water. This worked in BC when we had short periods of intense cold but I have the feeling that it won’t work out here with our winter. Anyway, the vet gave him a shot of painkiller and then poured a mix of bloat remedy, mineral oil and warm water down his throat. We left him till morning with instructions to repeat the procedure if things hadn’t worked their way out by that time.

It’s been three days and he is still not back to normal. We’ve poured more mineral oil, water and water mixed with coffee grounds down his throat than anyone would want to endure and he has hardly eaten a thing. He’s passed a few little poops but nothing like the volume of fecal matter that your average goat releases on a regular basis. He’s not very peppy but is no longer showing signs of discomfort and seems to have some life in him, so we are all hoping that this will just take some more time. More water, more mineral oil and lots of walks around the barn (Will has been doing that with him) to stimulate rumen activity seems to be the remedy. The worst case scenario would be a twisted bowel and I think we wouldn’t be seeing any pooping, plus he’d be vomiting if that was the case. So it will probably just take more time and more administrations of fluids. The poor guy hates the sight of me now and once he recovers, will probably never let me come near him again, even if I’m not armed with the bucket and big syringe!

I got a pair of snowshoes for Christmas and have had many enjoyable hours traveling around the property and along the rail trail. We haven’t gone out looking for our skis yet, since the weather has been so bad, but will get to it soon. I sent an application into the SPCA to adopt a dog and am waiting to hear whether we’re approved or not so will hopefully be going into Moncton soon to see dogs. I don’t want to go in until we’re approved because if I fall in love with a dog, there’s no guarantee that it will still be there once the paperwork goes through. There are a few lovely looking dogs on their website so I have an idea which ones I want to meet, but we’ll see who is still there when we get there.

Will has registered for the ACORN (Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network) conference in March. It is a three day event which includes workshops on various useful topics (grazing management, organic berry production, compost making) plus lots of great schmoozing opportunities. It takes place in Charlottetown, PEI, so will be a chance to see a bit of the Island and get away for a few days, as well as meet organic farmers and learn stuff. Will plans to head out on the Wed., visit Vessey’s Seeds to pick up some supplies (seed potatoes), and then the conference starts on Thursday. He has a place reserved at a nearby B&B (half the price of the hotel booked for the conference – we have to save where we can!) and is all organized for a nice time. They are offering special two for one rates this year and if we had someone to care for the critters, I’d be going as well. Oh well, it will be my turn next year!

Not much else to report on the farm. It was a nice Christmas and New Year’s – lots of good food and good company. We’ve started our seed orders, too; we have this strange, probably misguided, belief that we’ll get tomatoes started and a coldframe constructed before the middle of June. I know the people who’ve farmed or gardened in this part of the world will be shaking their heads at this point but, hey, we have to have something to aim for!

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One Response to “Happy New Year!”

  1. Eileen Says:

    Get well soon to Nick!
    Have a good conference to Will.
    Happy spinning to you

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