What a crazy few weeks it has been. We bought 3 goats, had 4 puppies born and have 9 new baby chickens. Definately not for the faint hearted.
But lets start at the beginning… For the past year we have been actively researching and visiting farms here in Northern Thailand to gain wisdom for the opening of The Little Farm Thailand. One of those farms we visited was the Narrow Gate Farm – about 30 minutes away – and they specialize in Goats – Milking Goats. Seeing as God has not yet provided the land we need to start the farm, we decided to try and be a bit more sustainable on our current block of land – by buying a milking goat! So when researching goats, we found out that they are companion animals – so you must have more than one. We then contacted the Narrow Gate Farm and they were selling 3 goats. 2 Saanen goats that were not adjusting to being relocated 6 months ago – both quite underweight and possibly a bit sick. The other goat is a Nubian (I think), and was in the process of weaning a kid – that means milk! So in our ultimate wisdom we bought the 3 of them – logic being if one died we would still have 2 right??
So it is now 2 weeks post purchase. The black Nubian is Charlotte’s goat – and her name is Black Beauty. She is a tame girl and we are milking her morning and night. She welcomes pats and is mostly happy to be milked. It was very interesting researching how to make a milking station from scratch, and then learning to milk. Nothing like learning on the job (total pro now though). One of the Saneen goats was extremely frail and had a bad cough when she arrived. We called her Kitty (as in Kitty Cat Nine Lives) in the hope that we would be able to help her recover. For the first week she improved and was running around and eating up a storm. Then her friend (the other Saneen) Harriet Lynne (named by a miss Tina Cairo) started showing signs of weakness, walking in only circles, acting depressed and tilting her head. We talked with the previous owners and they suggested that she may have a brain worm – as a few of their goats in the past had suffered from it and had to be put down. So we started aggressive treatment for all 3 goats as these worms can get into the brain, spinal cord and lungs. 4 days after the treatment started Kitty started going downhill. Within hours she could no longer stand and was finding it hard to breathe. We tried everything, but had to put her down as she was suffering. We think that she may have had worms in her lungs and that when the medicine killed off the worms she got a serious infection and got septic. It was a horribly long night for John and I and the next morning we were almost tempted to throw in the towel. So very, very sad. Kitty was such a sweet goat.
For the next day or two I was terrified to go out to the goats pen. I was worried that I would see the other 2 girls getting sick and it would happen all over again. However, they both seem to be eating more and besides mourning their little friend, they appear healthy. But apparently we won’t know if Harriet has beaten the worms for a few weeks yet (full treatment is over 3 weeks). But realistically John and I have dealt with enough drama to last us a while, so we are praying that there are no more health scares with these 2 goats ever again….EVER. Ha dream I know.
As a bonus from all of this drama, our friend who is a licensed “not quite vet” has been ever so helpful sourcing the right medications, teaching us how to administer them and being a shoulder to lean on. He is also joining our farm! Fantastic news for us. He has a great knowledge of animals, breeding, crops, organics and has great contacts in all areas. This was a real emotional boost for John and myself, especially as he might be able to help with finances to buy the land. What a win for the little farm. We are praying we will have land by the end of the year.
Onto family life. Angie and Dave are here and we love it! They are what I call “such fun!” We spend our days off bicycling around our area, drinking coffee and exploring the local area. It is such a blessing to have family here to be a part of our lives – I’m taking full advantage of the free babysitting, chats on the deck and just having English speakers around the house. It really is the small things in life that matter.