Sunday, May 6, 2012

I'll Have Another

"I'll Have Another" is the name of the horse that won the Kentucky Derby yesterday. You can tell Thoroughbred owners are running out of names. Unlike dairy goats that carry their herd name and so only need a name unique within that herd, Thoroughbreds do not have herd names. There can only be one Secretariat, War Admiral, Citation and... I'll Have Another.

On the other hand (hey, that sounds like a name for a race horse!), there can be many goats named, say, Princess Leia. I had one of those myself: Fink Family Farm Princess Leia. She had daughters who became various Princess names until I ran out of ideas and named her last kid Princess Two. Princess Two just had two doelings a few days ago. What to name them? Princess Two for a Dollar? Princess Two Much? Actually, I don't have to worry about it. I sell nearly all the kids sans names and whatever I don't sell, my grandson Ian is happy to christen. His names are interesting. I remember one he called Pizza Hut. I sold her. And then there was Junior who turned out to be a female instead of a male and is now known as Junior Miss. But I digress...

What I started to say was I'll Have Another day like today, please... sunny, warm, restful. Very different from all last week which was cold, wet, and anything but restful. It was, for starters, my week to trim horse hooves... one horse per day is all I can manage. Trimming hooves is a good way to find out if one of my horses has pain. Horses won't favor a foot until it's really sore: in the wild they'd be preyed upon if they did. But when you lift up one foot, the other three have to carry the weight and if one of those hurts, the horse is apt to try to get four on the ground again. Jessie Anne did not like putting weight on her right rear for very long. It was her leg that seemed to be bothering her, not the foot, so I rubbed that leg with liniment and gave her lots of rest times. Nightingale, Jessie Anne's daughter, is happy to have me hold a leg up for her. I think she puts all her weight on the leg I'm holding. She is a very heavy horse. But all four horses are now good for another couple months and I was happy to see their feet looked healthy with only a minor complaint from Jessie Anne.

Then came the goat birthings. For some reason, both does needed help getting their kids to enter the outside world. Maybe they knew how cold and wet it was. However, they did arrive safely and the mothers are fine. I was the only one traumatized with worry... along with guardian dog McCoy who didn't like me messing with the pregnant goat and now gets upset when a kid cries, so upset that he attacks whatever is handy. Here is one of Princess Two's babies the day after birth saying hi to her protector across the fence.

Also last week was my deadline for the monthly column I write for a dairy goat paper: United Caprine News. My column is called The Kidding Pen and is purported to be a humor column. I was hard pressed to make a funny story out of my goat birthing and guardian dog frustrations. So I just took lots of photos of the new barn progress and managed to tie that in, sort of. I'll Have Another chance to be funny next month.

Here are some of those photos I took. These are the outdoor portions of the new barn's kidding pens... to be occupied next kidding season.

The buck and pig pens are on the opposite side of the barn from the kidding pens. Their outdoor runs are yet to be created and fenced. McCoy "helped" with the pig pen decoration.

And here is the goat palace as of now, with the old barn behind the new kidding pens; buck and pig pen are on the left (west) side of the new barn. While I was "playing" with horses and goats this week, Johnny was working hard on the barn.

I'll Have Another update when the barn is finished and the goats moved in. Ah, but I can't resist one more photo of the lovely milk room, which I'm sure I've already photographed and blogged about. It is accumulating dirt and construction stuff now, but it is a marvelous milk room, fit for a Goat Palace.

It was a stressful week but now the horses' hooves are trimmed, the goat kids are here and healthy, McCoy is somewhat calmed down, my column deadline was met, and today was warm and sunny and stress free. The 2012 running of the Kentucky Derby yesterday was exciting and marked an upbeat end to my stressful week. I hope "I'll Have Another" does have another win at the Preakness in two weeks. With a name like that, he deserves it.

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