-- Thursday morning while I was feeding, I saw 3 deer walk to the farm pond to drink and nibble on the green vegetation growing in the mud. I watched for a long time, while the 2 bucks played and the doe braved the deep mud for a good long drink. Eventually they walked over the bank and disappeared into the hayfield. It was a magical moment, but at the same time it was sobering: is water that scarce that they had to come so close to people for a drink? I occasionally see deer on the fringes of the hayfield, but never ever at the pond.
-- Tuesday morning I opened the barn door to find my does in the feed stall! Ack! They'd broken the wire latch and opened the gate. Most hadn't been in there for long, they were kind of looking around, checking things out, munching on a hay bale near the doorway. I have to admit that amidst my panic and my screaming, I wasn't sure which goats were farthest back in the stall (ie, had been in there the longest, eating lots of feed). They all took off to the far end of the barn in absolute fear of the insane screaming woman.
The first thing I did was close the feed stall's gate with TWO chains. Not one, two. There will be no more accidents.
Since I didn't know which goats had eaten what or how much, they didn't get their usual breakfast, just hay. I checked on them several times during the day. I gave them hay in the evening as usual, but again no grain. They had free access to baking soda as always - I checked the bucket and made sure there was plenty available.
By nightfall, both Treasure and Lavender were bloated. I gave them both a dose of Bloat Release and prayed for the best. Treasure especially looked like a balloon on legs and was drinking water like she couldn't get enough, so I knew she could be fighting frothy bloat. Bloat Release is a wonderful product and I've always had a bottle on hand for emergencies, but this is only the second time I've had to use it in several years. Now that I've used it I have ordered another. It's one of those things that you never know when you'll need it, and when you do need it, you need it right now.
Treasure was better on Wednesday. On Thursday Lavender was more interested in what was going on around her and in where her baby was. She was more eager to go out with the herd from the barn to their pen that morning. Last evening she was nibbling dried leaves and I think she's finally feeling better. I am so thankful!