Friday, February 12, 2010

Balls, Cannibals, and Enemas

Goat Update
The twin goats born yesterday were not doing so well this morning. Their body temperature was in the low 90s. The farm manager gave the goats a bath to bring up their body temperature, tube fed them, and gave them soapy water enemas to clear out the backed up poopie. As I mentioned yesterday, if they don't excrete the jelly shit, it makes it really hard for them to metabolize any nutrients. He also said he wanted to avoid tube feeding at all costs because the chances of them regurgitating (and inhaling the vomit) is pretty high. He would have given them a shot of glucose and other nutrients, but we were not stocked up yet, to get the nutrients directly in the blood stream. That way they get instant energy to keep warm.

After the bath, he put the goats in a cardboard box with a hair dryer to warm them and help increase their body temperature.We monitored the little goats through out the day and took their temperature (rectally) and it was up to 100F. But they were still not digesting the milk given to them. We tried another round of soapy water enemas, and the poop was freely flowing, and put them back in the box. In the afternoon, we brought the goats back up to the barn to be with their mothers.

Fact: Kids (aka baby goats) sound almost like human babies when they cry.

The male kid latched on to his mother with no problems, but the female (who was the runt of the liter) was barely able to stand. I held her and felt for her mamas tit and tried to put it in the kids mouth. She would not take, and it was awkward trying to hold her, open her mouth, and shove the tit in their. When we checked their temperature an hour later it had dropped again to 90s so we needed to put them inside the box for the night if they had any chance of surviving. I hope the little girl makes it.

Piglet update

For any squeamish man out there reading this, it's about to graphic. Today we emasculated two piglets. First, we knew that we would have to get the piglets, and ourselves, as far away from the sow as possible. The moment she hears her babies screaming, she is going to be pissed. We seperated out the males, and grabbed one by the legs. It immediately started squealing. The mama was snorting and grunting and you could tell she was not happy. We moved far away as we could and shut the gate between us, her, and her pen. One of the interns held all four legs and exposed the sac area while another farm worker took a paper towel covered in iodine and wiped the area. With a sharp scalpel he mad an incision on one sac and popped the nut out and cut the attachments. He repeated the same thing for the other nut. It was quick, with little blood, and aside from the high pitch squealing was not so bad to watch. Although, I don't know if I have the guts to do it myself. I couldn't cut my dogs nails as a puppy because she screamed so loudly.

Apparently two rabbits gave birth yesterday after I left. I was not aware of this when I feeding and giving them water. I looked into one cage and found a half eaten baby rabbit. I then looked into her kit and found two other little rabbits (they look like mice or rats when they are born) and it wasn't moving. I wasn't sure if I should take them out of not because I didn't know when she had them, so I thought maybe they are still alive. When I checked on her later, the baby rabbits hadn't moved and looked still pretty dead. It was a little eerie seeing these tiny creatures that look nothing like rabbits just lying their dead, or worse, half eaten. They definitely don't look as cute as baby goats or pigs.

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