Saskia Symens

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since Aug 02, 2011
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France - zone 8
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Recent posts by Saskia Symens

Hi R Ranson,

We only have small predators, the largest being foxes. The area the goats were in is out of reach of stray dogs and is fenced ca 1.5m high. Since there are plenty of rabbits around, a fox wouldn't reasonably attack a 6 month old kid: at two months they're already big enough not to be on a fox's menu.

The kid was castrated at 2 months of age in July by a qualified vet (operation).
No change in diet that I'm aware of. The kid was in perfect health, cheerful as always, no symptoms of any kind that I could detect.

The blood coming from the tear duct leads me to believe the death was due to head injury. There are no predator marks on either the kid or the mother, in fact no marks of any kind.
Neck, head, eyes, all intact. No blood in the mouth or nose.

I asked the vet about possible causes of death. Based on my description she also excluded death by predator or disease. She said she had had a billy goat dying from a skull fracture following excessive head-butting with another billy goat.

My son and I buried the carcass together this morning, a painful but necessary ritual to allow him to say his goodbyes.
Necropsy is out I'm afraid.

Thanks for taking an interest,
I found our castrated 6 month old kid dead near his stable this morning. I could find no injuries on his body, bite marks or anything. A little blood was seeping from his eye (where the tear duct is located), but his eye was intact. No other traces of blood. He has always been in good health and was happily following and prancing around his mother all day every day. Just the two of them (The billy goat is stationed somewhere else because he is too rough with either of them).

Now I'm a little freaked because I don't really know what killed it, and we are all obviously very sorry over the loss of the kid (he was as sweet as they get).  
There are no predator signs, no heavy objects lying around that he might have gotten on his head. He and his mum never headbutted.
We DID have a big storm last night. Is it possible he fractured his own skull against a wall because he panicked or something?
Has anyone ever had an experience even remotely like this?

I was/am totally new to kidding... Our dwarf nanny gave birth this afternoon to a cute little kid baptised Brownie by my sons. I was quite worried during the whole process and had the vet on the phone three times to make sure everything was proceeding as normal. Everything went well. They're secure for the night, and I can relax now...
I do have a question for the community, though: I'm wondering if it's possible there's a second bun in the oven. How can I be sure? There were no more contractions after the delivery of the afterbirth, but her belly still seems fairly big. How far can two kids be apart?
Thanks everyone!
Matt Powers has written two books called the permaculture student 1 and 2. Book 1 targets primary school audience. 2 would be more for middle school students. Imho worth checking out...
edited: sorry, thought middle school was 14+. For kids of 12 book one would do splendidly...
2 years ago

I finally realized the copyright issue is not sitting right with me. I thought about it some more... I first assumed the wiki hosted would operate under a GNU or at least GNU-like license. I thought that is how wikis operated generally. I see I was wrong about this. Fair enough, I can acknowledge my assumption being off and I should have checked and all that.

But even so, now that I am wiser, I'm still not ok with putting up my pictures and even text on the wiki if another person then gets the copyright of them (What copyright? Could you specify? Can't I use my own pictures or the text I contributed anywhere else?) and there is no kind of GNU-like guarantee in place prohibiting commercial reuse and stuff...

7 years ago

permaguy wrote:
So whats new with your goat ?

Thx for asking!
The goat went back to its previous owner for the time being: She wasn't used to being alone, so cried incessantly. We got her a mate, and then she was alright, but then they both pretty much immediately discovered a kind of circus jump which made their chain ring fly off the pickets. And after a whole morning of trying all kinds of things to keep the ring down, weighing it down and lots of goat chasing (once pulling one of them off the kitchen table where she was gorging herself on dried garbanzo beans  ) I sent them both back.

Meantime I have had the pickets modified by a welder, so the ring still turns freely (they can't strangle themselves) but it can not come off any more. I'll have them back end of the month probably, after my permaculture course.

Yeah, raised beds, I'm going to try one. Not much pine around here (waterlogging in winter probably). Some conifers.

How is your garden doing? I'm going to have a good pumpkin and Jerusalem artichoke harvest, but not much else!
7 years ago
OK; thank you for clarifying Paul...
7 years ago

Hugh H. wrote:
If you directly quote anyone from these forums or anywhere else, you need to attribute it to them.  That is just for direct quotes (in quotation marks) only.  If you are paraphrasing their idea then it is a good idea to add a reference to the forum post or webpage.  I've added these points to an 'Editing Guidelines' page on the wiki.  We can add any other contribution guidelines here.

Hugh, I understand where you are coming from, but I'm not convinced about either the need or the usefulness of this, since quotes are all from the forum, that is a public space. You don't even need an account to view the forum pages, so who knows what  we write here will and will not be used for? There is certainly no copyright issue, and by contrast, people writing on the wiki pages directly are NOT identified as authors, so there is a consistency issue if you start doing that. (Of course it is different if we start quoting other sources, then we do need the references!)

A second point against referencing forum talk is I think it is not advisable to "over organize" stuff, in order to keep contributing as easy for people as possible. If the administrative overhead is too big, and people need to first wade through pages of guidelines you are very quickly going to end up with just one or two extremely dedicated people, and everyone else (including myself) will have given up because it becomes too time consuming to put anything up at the wiki...
Most people are willing to devote a couple of minutes to the wiki to help it along, not necessarily more... Since we would very much like to keep the wiki growing, taking advantage of the wealth of knowledge of all the people on the forum, I think we should do everything in our power to keep things simple...

Oh, and I couldn't find the wishlist you talk of, Hugh, from which page do you link to it?
I moved the editing guidelines to the Survival Section
And I added some gruesome slug pictures  ( )
7 years ago

auntythelma wrote:
If your comfrey has purple/pink/lavender flowers and the leaves have ribs that continue down the stalk of the plants stem, This is a safe edible and medicinal plant. The comfrey that grows wild and has yellow flowers is a more potent version.

But i have read many herbalists accounts confirming that comfrey is safe for regular use. The tea is so delicious and sweet cucumber.

Yes, mine has purple or pink flowers, so I'm safe... How do you make the tea? Just steep the leaves in boiling water? Dried leaves?
7 years ago
Thx pignut for the feedback. You think the trees will be able to stand the manure come transplanting time (november)? In fact you're saying I could have done this without manure? It's true brambles are a huge success here  , and nettles in some patches, another nitrogen lover...
The donkey solution would be good if I had donkeys: my terrain is really too small to keep them. And I don't want to buy in extra straw and hay... I might try a couple of pygmy goats...

Brenda Groth wrote:
my garden has a fence around it and some arbors, I'm growing 8 varieties of raspberry, blackberries, morning glories (annual), melons, squash, cucumbers, kiwi, grapes, cl roses, clematis, currants etc ON the fence and using it to provide a windbreak to my garden..there are some areas that the fence protects things like wild plums, hazelnuts, blueberries, juneberries, serviceberries, gooseberries, honeyberries, etc.

I think I can grow most of these once there is some shade from the trees. Any berries and currants in full sun die here, except the darn brambles, of course . The annual cucurbits should do well even without protection. Heat loving climbing beans also... I think pignut is right and I should make trees and shrubs the first priority...

Thank you both!
7 years ago