We’ve been mostly dead all day
This week was awash in Old Yeller-esque farm lessons. I went away for the weekend and the lambs were in perfect health. Apparently the small lamb got sick immediately after I left and was on death’s door by Sunday. She had pneumonia. Keith called to prepare me for her inevitable death. As a last ditch effort, he administered antibiotics. When I got home Sunday night she struggled to stand and greet me and couldn’t. It was hard to watch, and we thought she would be dead by morning. The next day, she wasn’t dead, only mostly dead. I fed her and played with her throughout the day and she slowly got less dead. By Tuesday she was kicking up her heels and singing in a clear voice. PHEW.
Today, Thursday, March 6th, 2008, I can finally say that I have seen a goat projectile vomit 6 feet up a barn wall. That’s what we spent our evening doing last night. Beezus, Ramona, and our Goat Penis on Loan all escaped from the barnyard yesterday, and Beezus proceeded to eat half an azalea bush. Apparently azaleas are deadly to goats. I looked up “azalea” in the goat book and the entry just said, “Azalea: deadly.” Period.
Beezus started rocket vomiting by 9PM and threw up all over the other goats, the walls, herself, the food trough, the water bucket, etc. Her body expanded with gas and then she would grind her teeth and let out a horrifying scream as she farted raunchy explosive farts that were almost visible. We couldn’t help but laugh at the farts, but the rest was hard to watch. She was in agony, poor thing. We went back in the house to search online for an antidote (not anecdote, that’s what this is) and found a recipe for rennet, brandy and Maalox. For reals. The goat lady who was writing about it said she didn’t know why the brandy works, but it does. Okay, whatever. Keith was off to the store for Maalox and I prepared the rest. We couldn’t find regular brandy, so we used some orange infused brandy liqueur stuff. NasT. We spent the next hour force feeding the nasty solution to Beezus with a plastic eye dropper thing while she writhed and screamed on the milking stanchion. We finally put her back in her stall, tipsy from the brandy and looking miserable. We thought we would find her dead by morning. The books said that azaleas usually kill goats if they eat more than 3 ounces.
Well, she’s still alive today, but looking pretty sick. She isn’t eating anything, and still vomited all day. We’re not sure what to expect.
I also freaked out momentarily because I milked Beez after she escaped, but before she had any symptoms and fed the milk to the lambs. After I realized she had eaten something poisonous, I thought I had issued the lambs a death sentence with the tainted milk, but they seem to be fine.
So remember when I said that one time a long time ago before I got engaged to Keith that I didn’t ever want to live a farming life because of the fragility of everything depending on the weather and the health of animals and whatnot? I think I’m over it. Life’s fragile no matter what your occupation.