January 25, 2009

Not Exactly Spring Fever

Many blogs I read have mentioned having a touch of Spring Fever. I am not quite there yet. Getting there, but not quite. Much of the day have my head buried in paperwork and tax prep, not much time to think about Spring right now I suppose.
Mother Nature just surprised us with a spring like day in the dead of winter. It was 60 degrees 2 days ago. A beautiful day and I enjoyed it greatly. Then Friday evening into Saturday morning came snow! Now it’s a wicked cold 12 degrees, don’t know what the wind chill factor brings it down to.
Crazy weather I tell you. I can’t and won’t complain about the ups and downs in temps as long as we don’t have sleet, freezing rain or much snow. And please, please, please no ice storms this year.
This kind of fluctuation in the temperatures is just down right uncomfortable and confusing to the animals. I check everyone daily for any signs of upper respiratory distress, colds and pneumonia, which can pop up easily. Colds and runny noses are tough to treat. We look at the mucous discharge (ok their snot), the color, consistency, plus consider the amount. We then factor in normal breathing sounds, if there is a cough, change in temperature and other overall health factors. A cold can change into pneumonia easily.

We have one old country vet who told us "runny noses will settle when the weather settles". Then another vet told us to consider all the factors I listed above. Just like humans if the drainage is greenish brownish in color is a sign of infection. So we then treat with an antibiotic.
Goat Facts
Respiration rates 12 to 15 breaths per minute, faster for kids.
Heart rate or pulse 70 to 80 per minute, faster for kids.
Rumen movements 1 to 2 per minute.

The Angoras and sheep in full winter coat enjoy the colder temps. When in the 40’s to 20’s they are loving it. The sheep especially, doing their little hoppy, skippy, bouncy walk. The Angoras get frisky and extremely playful, gamboling about their pen. When it was in the 60’s they were looking for shade and almost panting. It just can’t be good for them.
Each morning when I go out to feed, I look at the Angoras and sheep in full coat and really can’t wait to shear. I suppose this is my touch of spring fever for right now. I am looking forward to shearing. Spending the little bit of up close and personal quality time with each of the animals. Shearing, trimming hooves, looking at their overall condition and knowing they are healthy. I do miss being able to get out there and have hands on time with the animals.


Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

that's good info, I'll get Mike to read it too. Thanks.

Tammy said...

Here is hoping that this monster that is bearing down on us, will turn out to be 'just snow'. Agh. I feel a panic attack coming on everytime I hear 'ice storm'. Take care of yourself and be careful!

DayPhoto said...

What time of the year do you shear? Lots of farmers around here try to shear before lambing so the wool doesn't get in the way, but that makes for cold sheep in March. BRRRR.


City Mouse said...

Hope you're not getting this snow-to-ice thing that so many of us are experiencing right now. It seems like the weather systems and storms this year are huge! I find myself getting huge storms on the East Coast that friends in the Midwest experienced. Ah well. Snow and ice tonight.