So last week I had an idea of how our days would go and then it all changed…
We agreed to watch a family’s place and take care of their animals for the week while they were out of town for the week. We went over Sunday afternoon to get instructions on how to take care of their animals and as we were walking around the owner told me that one of their goats was unexpectedly pregnant. When we got to the pen with the goats it was apparent that it was actually in labor. It was bitter cold so we hastily helped them create a safe warm place for her to labor. Thankfully the goat had her kids that evening before the owners left. She had 3 kids but only 1 lived. They had to take the kid indoors so it wouldn’t freeze to death.
Monday morning we came to start taking care of their place after picking up our new baby chicks from the post office. I tried to get the baby kid to go to its mother but neither of them took interest in the other and it was too cold to risk leaving them to work it out so we decided to take the baby goat home with us.
I called a couple of friends and got some great advice on caring for these animals. I began milking the goat. (I had been trained by one of my friend’s to milk a goat a couple years ago but I’ve never done it on a regular basis.) Unfortunately, we did not have access to a stanchion and this goat had never been milked before so there was a steep learning curve for both of us. My oldest daughter (15) tied the goat and helped hold her while feeding her apples and carrots in an attempt to distract her so I could milk. I started getting 3 oz the first time but was able to 16 oz per milking by the end of the week.
Once home we fed the baby goat her mother’s milk. My 10 year old daughter even got up at 3 am for the first 3 nights to feed the baby during the night. I was so proud of her! Not surprisingly everyone feel in love with the baby goat! Even the baby!
Why is it that in order to become stronger you must feel weaker? My body and my hands ached and struggled through the physical aspect of the week. My character became stronger as I had to push through and keep trying even when it was harder than I expected. Our family had to pull together and work as a team to stretch to accomplish what was needed.
Was I able to keep up with everything — No! We took the week off of formal school lessons but what we learned was more valuable than any books learning. But some of our normal systems paid off greatly. On the Saturday before this all happened I carved out some time and did some investment cooking. This proved invaluable in getting meals on the table in the midst of the crazy schedule and weariness. Our house did a bit messier but we were able to bring it back in a relatively quick fashion. I had planned posts about our new routines but was not able to get them finished for last week but now I feel even more confident in our methods which I hope to be able to share with you in the next few days. And now heading back into our regular schedule (that I was previously overwhelmed by) I know I can handle this!
The funny thing is I remembered our midwife telling us about a house visit where there was a goat in their house and she drew the line there and said NO goats were allowed where a baby would be born. Thankfully I am not concerned about having a baby at the moment BUT I never imagined I would have a goat in my house!
Always an adventure at our house! I love my life here in Montana! We would never have such stories in our old life!
Thank you Lord for the opportunities for growth and adventure!