I hope you had a wonderful weekend, dear reader. Here on the farm, things were quiet. I firmly believe that quiet is a good thing. My bib overall-wearing, fat-fingered buddy informed me that with said little fat sausage fingers, he typed in the wrong dates for our goats to deliver. Our girl, Big Red, is not due until this Saturday, and the other girls are due just a few days after her. Having a bit more time to prepare for baby season is a relief. We now have a few more days to get our kidding kit together and inventory what we need.
I pride myself on preparedness. Eric and I like to be prepared, but our preparedness focus differs greatly. My emphasis on preparedness falls heavily into the category of emergency preparedness. For example, I want to have a well-stocked pantry, at least three months of household supplies at the ready at all times, and at least three months of pet supplies for our four-legged companions. I often buy in bulk and purchase enough supplies for a year. I buy flea and tick medicine for the boys in twelve-month increments. I always have three bags of dog food on hand; one in the dog food container and two on the shelf. As for daily necessities like personal hygiene products, laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, paper supplies, and canned goods, I have at least a three-month supply stocked and ready. When the pandemic hit, we went to the pharmacy, picked up a three-month supply of my medications, went home, and closed our doors.
This way of shopping is more expensive upfront, but the convenience and relief of always having supplies on hand is a comfort to me. I understand that not everyone can store a year’s worth of items, has the money to invest upfront, or wants to feel prepared, but when the pandemic hit, my way of doing things made sense to me, and it worked for our family. I did not worry about toilet paper or running out of anything. We closed our doors, hunkered down, and waited for whatever was to come.
My bib overall-wearing buddy puts his focus on other aspects. He focuses on safety, security, fuel, animal feed, and long-term provisions. We have an unspoken agreement that I care for the household needs, and he takes care of everything outside the house. He maintains the vehicles, ensures enough feed and hay for our barnyard family, collects seeds, maintains farm equipment, and keeps an inventory of tools and supplies. We have struck a balance, and our system works for us.
My approach to kidding season is much the same. I will make sure we have a large tote filled with clean towels, iodine in a spray bottle for belly buttons, bottles of antibiotics, baby bottles should we need to bottle feed, hypodermic needles, propylene glycol, Goat MCP for the mamas, vitamin B complex, thiamin, and probiotics. I will also make sure we know where the kid-pulling snare is if we should need it, as well as the drenching tool for the mamas and the smaller adaptor for the kids. We also keep a tubing kit on hand in case one of the babies is too frail to drink on their own. Over the years, we have had to learn things the hard way. Every year I think I am prepared for almost any situation, and every year something new arises. We have a great support system in our friend Jenna, and our farm veterinarian is excellent about making a farm call if needed.
I always feel a bit anxious during kidding season, but you know what they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Since teaching at the Abraxas Treatment Facility, my motto has been that it’s better to be proactive rather than reactive. Who knew that working with criminals would carry over into farm life? Life prepares us for what comes down the road, even if we can’t see what awaits us.
Eric and I will spend this week making sure we are prepared for the baby season. It’s an exciting time for us, but it’s also filled with a bit of apprehension. We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the new little ones. Let’s face it; the baby season is the year’s highlight here on the farm. There isn’t anything cuter than baby goats. Like proud parents, we will share many baby goat pictures and videos. Ultimately, all the preparedness, stress, anxiety, lost sleep, and work will be worth it. A successful kidding season is a reward for a year of hard work.
Stay safe, be smart, try to be prepared, trust everything will be fine, and keep washing your hands.