Life, death and losing weight.

I know the title sounds dramatic  – but week 14 of my FWT? odyssey has been just that.

The other half was away for a week and then everything began to go wrong. Fair enough, Monday was set to be a busy day before I had even started as quite a few orders had come in over the weekend, I had to carry out some important household repairs and had a Poetry meeting in the afternoon and WI committee meeting in the evening.

Luckily I had taken time out on Sunday to get most of the orders packed so when I received an email that told me I had to get to a shop, which had stocked my annmade slate-ware on a sale or return basis, some 13 miles away within the hour to collect the remaining goods as they had gone bankrupt, I was able to put the parcels in the car and set off immediately.

The goods collected and the parcels posted I just had time to check on the livestock before getting lunch ready. All was well. After working on making a shower waterproof and fixing a few other items I headed off for Poetry meeting and arrived back a few hours later to find that one of the nanny goats had produced two kids. Early.  Just dropped them and moved on. She wasn’t interested in them, despite their pitiful bleats – and they were so small, but I thought that perhaps this type of goats had much smaller kids. Grabbed up, rubbed dry, cuddled to get them warm, placed in the straw ready in a house, my 85 year old father and I then tried to lure their mother with tasty tidbits out of the field, away from the herd, and into the goat-house. She really didn’t want to come! She didn’t want to leave the others.

Eventually we got her into the house and by kneeling on the floor and supporting the kid with my hand under its small body, its spindly legs seemingly unable to hold it up, I managed to get the stronger of the two kids to suckle (The nanny was not keen on this either, kept flicking her leg out at the kid) The other was too weak to suckle – so a small amount of milk was squeezed from her mother’s tiny teats into a syringe and squirted into this baby goat’s mouth.

This to be repeated at intervals until it had enough strength to have a go at suckling with support.

Now you have to understand that we have kept goats successfully for over 25 years – just different goats – larger ones, milking goats with large teats that are easy to milk! We know how to look after goats, but this mother wasn’t keen on being a mother and even needed the distraction of food to allow her youngsters to feed.

I kept this routine up until by the third day she started standing to let them feed, they were both strong enough to get a feed and they seemed to be able to feed themselves having both been observed doing just that. I was confident that they were going to make it after all!

The next morning the weaker of the two was found dead. Well, this happens, if you keep livestock you have to expect some casualties (as a farmer friend of my father’s used to warn). The second kid would have a better chance, I thought, and so was shaken when my husband found this one cold and dead the following morning as well. Perhaps they were never destined to make it and who knows, perhaps their mother knew this from the start, but you can’t help feeling saddened.

On a happier note the other goats have produced since and we now have four very pretty goat kids to show for it, two nannys, two billys, and I can now see that those first kids were very undersized compared to some of the later progeny. Here are two of them, a girl and a boy – about 2 days old!


And as for ‘losing weight’ well,  this should be the week 14 round-up!

All in all, I really didn’t have any time to spare to write up my meals or my exercises before I fell exhausted into bed gone midnight. In fact, as this goat drama coincided with a family drama (where my father fell over and hurt his back, meaning I had to take over the night care for my mother on top of running the household and my slate business), I was so run off my feet that I didn’t even have time to do the exercises on those first three days (though I did plenty of exercise involving running around with half bales of hay and straw, and 25kg sacks of animal feed). However, I did get back on track and the results on Sunday morning showed another 1lb drop and half an inch off both measurements at waist level. So, my apologies to my cheerleaders for the lack of up-dates, but we are still on track, yay!

My thanks go to those lovely people who kept re-tweeting and sharing the wonderful Win a KINDLE draw that I am running on this blog especially on the days I had time only to make an odd tweet about it late at night. Please keep sharing!

Have you had times when everything seems to whirl out of control, how did you keep on track? I love to hear your comments!


10 thoughts on “Life, death and losing weight.

  1. Crikey Ann, what a week. At least it can’t get much worse! You seemed to have coped admirably, so you don’t need any advice from those of us whose only answer to a crisis is another bar of chocolate!
    Keep plodding on, you’ll get through it.
    In admiration Joan.

    • Hi Joan, This is only the half of it – too much for a blog, honest! (I may fill in the extra bits when I see you next) And the chocolate (plain) did get a bit of a hit, I can tell you!

    • Thank you, Ellen. It was great to see them doing the ‘bouncing around’ thing in the sunshine today, and you have to say to yourself ‘that’s nature for you – not everything survives despite our best effort’.

  2. I think you may be right about the mother goat knowing the kids would not make it–sounds plausible. So sad though. You have to be a strong person to raise animals. The heartbreaks and joys are worth it, I’m sure. So glad that through it all you are still progressing toward your weight goal.

    • Thanks for your comments Cora, both about the goats and the weight! One of the joys of rearing animals comes with seeing the healthy ones enjoying themselves in the sun!

  3. What a week you’ve had. I have to admit that when my weeks go like this (i.e., nothing according to plan — crisis-management mode) the first thing to slide is my diet. That’s why I’ve not successfully lost and/or kept off the weight. My doctor continually reminds me that what I put in my mouth is absolutely the only thing I can control. But I haven’t given up yet. Thanks for taking the time to tell us about the things that keep you from writing up your menus and exercises.

    • Hi Julie. Thanks for the commiserations. I know what you mean – having been on diets before – however, I can truthfully say, that as this is Not a Diet – more a noticing what is being eaten plus these short hard exercises to burn extra energy – then the diet can’t slide as I’m not on one .. which means I can’t say ‘oh heck, I’ve ruined my diet I might as well give up / start again next week’ as I used to say. The difference in mind-set is subtle but I’ve found it interestingly positive. Missing the exercises though was not good – I actually noticed how much heavier the 15kg weight felt after missing just one snatch session!

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