Here at Cooper Run we survived the deep freeze, and the thaw … and the deep freeze again. Winters can be long around these parts, and we are used to the snow; but this winter has seemed exceptionally harsh. While the snowfall has been below average, the temperatures have remained brutally cold week after week, with the occasionally warm-up thrown in. Just a few weeks ago we saw the temperatures dip as low as minus 25 (with a minus 50 degree wind chill), followed by temperatures in the 50s and downpours.
The extreme temperatures forced us to take extra precautions with the goats; making sure everyone had plenty of fluffy bedding, checking for drafts in the barns and even running heat lamps when necessary. We expected most of our goats to kid in early spring, but our newest addition, Jill, was bred before she moved into the herd and delivered two baby goats on January 22 as the thermometer read minus 4 degrees.
Between night checks the propane heat lamp we lit in the barn went out. Once we found the kids, they were still wet and extremely cold. We rushed them inside to a warm bath and were able to get them warmed up and dried off. Almost three weeks later, the pair is doing well. The girl has been lovingly name Janus (after the nasty, cold winter storm she was born in) and the boy we call Joplin. Again, we couldn’t help ourselves. As a result of their time in the frigid temperatures, both suffered some frostbite on the tips of their pendulous ears and despite our efforts to treat it, it appears they are going to lose the very tips. Joplin is also having some weakness in the joints of his back legs, but seems to be improving day after day. Both are quiet entertaining and spunky.
While the weather most certainly didn’t cooperate, I couldn’t be more excited about entering our first kidding season on the homestead. Janus and Joplin are great first additions and we are anticipating early April when the rest of herd begins to kid.