Easter was a beautiful day with family, visiting the petting zoo. Shiloh always loves getting treats from Papa, and I think Tater weighs more than both of the girls.
Ember has had a rough week. It all started Thursday, when the ketosis started. She was so large with her pregnancy, she couldn't eat enough to keep up with the needs of her body and babies. I put her in the barn, and checked on her frequently, thinking she would deliver at any time. Friday evening, I had to run a few errands and was gone longer than expected. Naturally, that's when she decided to have the kids. When I went to the barn at around 10 pm, she had delivered. It looked like it had happened no more than an hour before I arrived. The babies were still wet (she hadn't bothered to clean them). There was a little black buck with white on his ears just like his big sister Sasha, and a black and tan doe. Lying beside them still in the amniotic sac was a third kid, stillborn. I wasn't there to witness it, but I believe it was gone at birth. We quickly grabbed some towels and dried the kids, and helped them learn to nurse. The next few days were spent working to get Ember back to health. Having Ketosis (panting, sweet breath, laying down, not eating) we had to work quickly. I gave her boluses of Calcium, molasses, propylene glycol, and vitamin B shots. Then, on Sunday came the fever. I started her on PCN shots and Banamine. Sunday night I called the vet who recommended getting a stronger antibiotic, which was started on Monday. She is doing much better now, eating well and standing, and seems to look happy again. The fever may have come from one of her udders, which is still firm and swollen and not producing much milk. I think she may have injured it from pressure laying down when she was sick with ketosis. The babies are nursing on her, and being supplemented with a bottle until everything is back in working order. Hopefully that will be soon. I've been with them so much these past few days, they seem to think I'm their mommy too.
Do you think she's pregnant? Due March 23, 2016
The soap from last weekend has been cut. Now, we let it cure for 4 to 6 weeks. Most of the time, I try to avoid the gel phase in my soaps because when using goat milk, the gel phase causes the soap to become a dark orange color. Gel or not gel does not affect the quality of the soap, it only affects the color and length of time it needs to cure into a hard bar. Not gelling is initially a softer bar and takes more time to cure in order to evaporate the water in the bar. The method I've been using to avoid scorching the milk and preventing the gel phase is as follows. First, the goat milk is frozen in ice cube trays and small 8 ounce baggies. The lye is added gradually to the frozen milk, stirring as it thaws. Once the oils and lye/ milk mixture are combined, blended and poured into the molds, I place it in the freezer for several hours. Certain additives such as honey and some essential oils will accelerate the heat. I purposely allowed the wine and cocoa soap to gel since it had a lesser amount of milk and using the wine made it very hot. The other three, however, were put into the freezer hoping to preserve a lighter color. Chopped dried Chamomile was added to one for a yellow color, and the oat and honey recipe contains, of course, honey, adding to the darker color. I was not happy to discover both of these gelled in the center in spite of my freezing efforts. The soaps are still fine, but they will have a darker circle in the center. I'm anxious to see how they will all look after several weeks of drying.
Rainy days are a good time to make soap. I made 4 new batches, and used up all of my frozen goat milk stash. It looks like no more soaping with goat milk until more is available, which should be soon. Ember is looking VERY pregnant, and due to kid in about 2 1/2 weeks.
In addition to making soap, Connor and I hauled a load of square bales up the hill, trimmed all the goat's hooves, applied organic fertilizer (fish emulsion) to the garlic bed, and gave Callie a much needed bath.
The latest creations are drying and will be ready very soon. As you can see, I'm getting braver and experimenting with layering and natural clay colorants. All of these are hand made using goat milk from Ember and Alita and other natural ingredients. The only 'unnatural' ingredient I have used is the occasional fragrance oil. Most of the time I stick to essential oils, and sometimes no scent.
Todays soaps are still hardening in the molds.
My name is Christy Franklin.