Woah, I don't know where to start, so many things have happened in the past couple of weeks!
Bunnies: Brownie had given birth to six kits and was loosing weight rapidly. One had to be euthanised as it wasn't thriving at all, and another fostered onto Wanda. Still no improvement, and she wasn't eating either. On Good Friday I picked her up to give her a proper check up and was mortified to find her just fur and bones. Immediately I took the remaining four and put them into Wanda's nest, to make sure that by night time feeding they would have the same smell as the others. Then checking Brownie I found a big lump under her chin.
First I thought an abscess, and with Ross' help tried to lance, but it wasn't anything external, so stopped before I did any harm. Surprisingly, she was so quiet and holding still for me, "as if she knew I'm trying to help her" Ross remarked. Next I googled Abscess and homeopathic treatments and found some that I had at home. As it was the holiday weekend, I thought I give that a shot rather than wait and do nothing. She seemed to perk up for a couple of days, and then relapse.
By the next Friday, another friend thought it might be the thyroid gland, as she was only nibbling on apples and broccoli. Googled that, and found inconclusive info. Talking to the vet nurse I came to the conclusion that it would be a very expensive undertaking to establish what exactly is ailing her and then whether she could be cured. At this moment in time we cannot afford to spend hundreds of dollars on one animal and I decided it would be best to release her from her suffering. If she was suffering: she is as lively and sprightly as ever, still keen on cuddles and keeps grooming herself and nibbling on food. Tonight was going to be the night I'd do the deed, but she has eaten all her pellets in her bowl, and devoured her allocated apple.
Of all the "utility" animals we have on our little "farm" she's the only one I feel I have a connection with, and as much as I have to respect our financial situation, I don't want to end her life unnecessarily. So, my decision for today has been to make her a lovely little home, all to herself, where she can stay for the rest of her natural life. As long as I don't feel she's suffering. I won't be able to breed of her, but the last litters have produced several girls, so we will keep a few to replace her on the duty.
Chickens: I knew I had a hen sitting on a nest somewhere in the bush, but every attempt to locate it had failed. One night I went in the hen house for eggs, it was getting dark already, and saw two hens: one sitting in a box and one sitting in a corner on the floor. Worried I had an attacked hen I gently picked her up to discover 11 fluff balls under her. Removed the whole lot to a safe rabbit hutch that night, as the weather was about to pack in again. This morning I found that the other hen, that had hatched 5, had lost another chick over night. Even though they are now 3 weeks old, I will have to lock them up again over night. Blimmin' hassle, as it means another set of water and feed bowls needing to be set up. And again, another southerly front moving in.
Piggy wiggy: in the last week Thumbelina had been doing some SERIOUS digging and so I had called our neighbours if they could help/ advise me regarding ringing her. Sure thing, and didn't hear from them. Until Saturday: "I'm on my way to the beach and thought I'd pop by and we quickly do her ring!" OooooKay! I wasn't prepped mentally and was dreading the prospect, but it needed to get done. Not made easier by Ms.9 insisting on watching. Organized ear muffs for us both and waited for our neighbour. He came, we sorted what to use, wire, and went down to do it.
//Insert loud constant expletives//
I will NEVER, EVER do that again! If I can't keep pigs and raise them to butcher weight without having to ring them, I won't be keeping pigs!
We had to employ the sit-on-it method to restrain her, and I had to use all my strength and weight to keep her 22kg of muscles reasonably still. And as for the screaming? Even with ear muffs it was unbearable! Our friend put three wires in, and by the third one she was sooo livid and moved soo much , he pierced himself. I managed to hold her for the whole ordeal, but in the process pulled a neck and shoulder muscles and strained my arm muscles painfully. Not as painful as her nose of course, but I'm still drugging myself up during the day to be able to move around and do my usual stuff. I gave her lots of milk to drink afterwards, and have been giving her lots of good tummy rubs. I hope I'm back in the good books with her. In the next good weather period I'll move her sleeping drum into the other paddock and open her fence so she can go out and enjoy the fresh tall grass!
And the turned over soil will get planted with winter veges! Gotta see the positive wherever you can.
Goats: on Friday, the 13th, Riley came back for another visit. He had had a bad bout of worms and was looking quite skinny. The girls were VERY keen on seeing him again. For the first two days he was just eating and eating and yesterday afternoon I was able to observe him being his old self again! Marked the date in the calendar, and if Poppy doesn't get back into heat in the next 20-27 days he should have done the deed alright. Tui is in the paddock with him as well, but doesn't seem to be in heat properly yet, as he is ignoring her. I'm not too worried if she doesn't get pregnant, as I want to keep milking her til I can milk Poppy again.
And on top of that, this morning my friend's car didn't start this morning.Our other neighbour is a mechanic, had a quick look and reckons some connectors need replacing.Getting that organized and sending her back home in our car. So now I'm stuck with the kids here and no car. I just hope it'll be bad weather and we have to find stuff to do in the inside. Lego!
I'm knackered! Mentally and physically! And haven't even started on my raised vege beds yet!!!
TTFN and hopefully a few quieter weeks.