Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sick Kid

Ever had one of these in your house?
How about one of these?

We've had an interesting week.  Our recent cold snap has wreaked havoc on the kids.  We lost Rocky a few days ago.  Curled up in a ball one morning, dead.  Bullwinkle seemed to be ok for the most part.  Cold, obviously, and not too energetic, but still eating well.

Until yesterday.

#1 brought him in the house first thing in the morning.  He couldn't stand up, was terribly weak, and wasn't eating.  I think he had frost bite in his front legs.  #1 milked Mama, and through the day we took turns squirting syringes of milk into his mouth.  It wasn't looking good.  Even once he had warmed up, and got the shine back in his eyes, he couldn't stand.  We brought Mama in in the afternoon to try to nurse him, but he just flopped at her side.  They called out to one another, and she stood over him protectively, but he wouldn't nurse.

#1 milked Mama again at dinner time- she is NOT a fan - and we continued using the syringe to get a bit of sustenance into Bullwinkle.  After a long nap in the evening, he woke up renewed at about 10:30.

#2 had given him 3/4 of a syringe when he clammered to his feet.  He fell back down, his front legs unstable beneath him.  And then he stood up.  He stood and took another two syringes of milk.  And he called his Mama.  I sent the boys out to get her, and by the time they got back he was wandering around the sunroom.  They had a happy reunion, and he nursed until his belly was sated.

I had to hold him back as the boys took Mama back outside.  He seemed to think he was fine now, and wanted to go with her.

He woke up screaming for Mama at about 3am.  He climbed the steps into the kitchen and marched around as if it had always been his territory.  I fed him two more syringes and #1 sat with him until he drifted back to sleep.

He was up again before 7, and marching around hollering for Mama through the kitchen.  He woke the dogs, who all came to my room to make sure I knew it was time to get up.  He really didn't like being left alone.  He hollered through the kitchen wondering where everyone had gone, and into my room.

Ok, I'm up.  I'd rather be woken up by a noisy kid in my bedroom than a crying kid (#1) in my sunroom.

#2 took him out to Mama to nurse, and brought him back in about 20 minutes later.  He was really cranky about being brought back in.  Although he seemed fine at that time, I didn't want him to get too chilled and take a turn for the worse again.  His second bout outside seemed to wear on him more, even though he came back in hollering for Mama again.  He's sleeping peacefully now, in front of the sunroom fire.

He curled up there on his own.  I hope he's comfy.

We're not out of the woods yet, but things are definitely looking up.  He'll be sleeping in the house again tonight.  Tomorrow the temperature is supposed to start rising, so hopefully he'll be ready to join Mama outside again soon.


  1. Soon, very soon. Imagine having to bring all the livestock inside to keep them alive during the cold. Can you keep the kid in with the cow. I remember the cow kept the hens and water warm. My hens would make themself comfortable soon if they could. That fire looks great. I'm cold! I am so sorry you lost the other kid. Keep us posted.

  2. I'm sorry about your loss. We lost our pot bellied pig in late February after 3 weeks of trying to nurse him back to health after hypothermia (even though his house was never below 65!)

    You are such a great mommy to let the little one in to stay warm. I wish we had our Squiggy back. :-(


  3. We put Mama in the rabbit room in the chicken coop to have the kids, and for the first few weeks. No rabbits right now, and she's shorter than the cages. Dori was still in the main room as the heat source over night. The other goats all wanted in, but Dori can get pretty nasty with them in confined spaces. We let them in through the day time. Then Nelly (last year's calf that thinks Mama is her mama)started crying outside the coop door at all hours. We figured that all of the goats plus Nelly could provide roughly the same amount of heat as Dori, so let them all in to stay. That was working fine until last week. We had a few nights that were around -45°C, and days around -30°C. We didn't lose any chickens, which have always been the first to freeze solid in a cold snap in the past, although the water buckets were freezing overnight. The big thing is we just don't spend enough time outside in temps like that to notice minute character differences. Rocky passed without anyone really noticing there was anything wrong with him, and at first, we thought he might have been squished or injured. #1 caught Bullwinkle's condition quicker because he was forcing him up on his feet every time he went out. Bullwinkle is doing better now. He's still in the house, but other than a bit of a scratch in his throat he seems to be doing ok now. We're feeling more hopeful now. Thanks for the support, and sorry for your loss too, Meg.