That was the text I got from Lonnie (the husband) on Tuesday, January 29, 2019, at about 4:15 pm. I never get texts like that from him. I was at work but immediately called him, worried about what was going on.
"I already know the answer, but I have to ask..." he said when he picked up the phone. Our elderly, goat farmer neighbor Jerry had two baby goats whose mother wanted nothing doing with them. They had been born earlier that day to the first-time mom and their only chance of survival at this point was to be bottle fed and raised.
Jerry's wife is in the early stages of dementia, requiring a lot of time and attention from him. He also had his farm to manage on top of that. He confessed he didn't have the ability to do what these two orphaned babies needed. He called Lonnie in hopes that we might be willing to take on the challenge, knowing that it would be a tough road and likely that at least one, if not both, wouldn't make it.
"No question. We're taking them. I'll be home in 20 minutes." I told Lonnie.
Armed with colostrum replacer, baby bottles, space heater, towels, vitamin B complex, thermometer, and a motherly cat, we brought them home within the hour and began the process of trying to raise their temperatures back to normal range so we could try to get some colostrum into them.
The bigger twin was quickly more awake, more active, and more curious. It was his much smaller brother we were worried about. Glassy eyed, lethargic, tiny, and cold. I cried as I rubbed his neck and chest, hoping to increase his circulation. He was too cold, too quiet, and too small. But we refused to give up.
After an hour, they were able to feed. But we were cautious. There was a lot still to get through before we could relax. I stayed up all night with them that night, checking them for life and warmth, feeding little bits of colostrum as best as I could. It was rough.
But they survived the night. Obstacle one was over. More colostrum. got a play pen. Switched to milk. Another somewhat sleepless night. And suddenly... they were thriving baby goats!
More updates to come!