Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Following over 25 overdoses on Heroin in Huntington, WV

Following over 25 overdoses on Heroin in Huntington, WV yesterday alone, my newsfeed is full of folks with "answers" and opinions (we have around 50k or less residents).
Most have no idea what they are talking about in any capacity.
Please, Go home. Stop typing words out into the universe that have no merit.
All kinds of words from people who have no real of of the roots of the mess nor a scope of the complexity, despair and ruin of the "addiction" in Appalachia.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A Tragedy in Appalachia: Oxycontin and Opportunities (or the story of my Brother)

A Tragedy in Appalachia: Oxycontin and Opportunities

or more simply:

"The story of my Brother"

This could be your brother, your sister, your mother. . .

I have relayed various tragic details of this life of mine over the years.

This is a change from everything I've said to you before.

All I have written before tells a story that has resolved.

A triumph.

This story is ongoing. Sometimes it seems brighter. Sometimes it is so very bleak, I can hardly bear the weight of it.

Thankfully. Tragically.

Nothing in this world has broken me, left me destroyed and devastated like addiction.

Wait, please know, I am the furthest thing from an addict. . .yet I've felt it so close, I might as well be one.

I have lost a father, 2 brothers, a sister and a grandfather in my short 34 years. . .to fires and exhaustion.

Addiction, though.

I cannot even face it.

I have stood in front of a building holding my 3 year old sister in my arms, my 5 year old son by the hand. . .and watched flames consume the walls holding my 19, 17 and 14 year old siblings. I woke my 84 year old father up on my knees to tell him his last children were dead. I've wished so many times I was gone instead through these last 10 years. I said goodbye to Daddy two years later. I have had miscarriages and a baby born prematurely, unable to breathe on his own. I believed a child I carried would not live because of my own genetic failings.

I moved beyond molestation and rape. More than once. I have stumbled through having the brother I am telling this story about being abused, as well, when we were so young. And I was too little to protect him.

I've found a way to do something with these things, turn them into a reason to do things of value. They somehow have left good things in their wake.

But addiction. . .

It gives me little peace, no rest. No hope.
It renders me helpless, broken and desperate.

For 15 years. . .

It is a Death dragged out year after year: It goes on until I want to tear my clothes and scream for mercy. And still, it goes on. Without Mercy.

I am the oldest of my father's children during his last marriage when he was 58 years old.

My brother was born 2 years after me.

He was, from the start, nothing like me.

More than I was. . .

and sometimes less, depending on the matter.

He was beautiful, even as a little child. Everyone thought I was a boy, yet they thought he was a devastatingly beautiful little girl with shiny, thick hair and giant chocolate eyes. I was the homely child being loud in front of the lovely child over and over. Moving him out of the way. Again and again. I believed in "me" so much.

He was quiet, never challenging anyone, willing to follow me to the grave if I but ordered him to, and sometimes I almost did. He learned everything faster than did I. He grew tall and smart and funny. . .but not outspoken like his older sister. Not loud, not of the firm opinions, and without my confidence and ambition. Yet, he looked to me. I didn't believe in "him" like I did in me.

He could be found in my shadow saying, "Sissy, what now?" at every turn.

When my brother's story became too sad, I ignored it. Ran and ignored and tried to forget, but I cannot forget it.

He has slipped further and further away from the little boy full of promise. His lack of accomplishment will always dim my own, as I know how much more he could have done, if only. . .

West Virginia's hopelessness grabbed him, and he was weak. He didn't believe in John like I would have believed in him.

It began with Oxycontin, as it did for everyone in Lincoln county back then. Oxycontin eventually became impossible to acquire, so Opana and FENTANYL took their place. Methadone, Meth eventually turned to Heroin.

Anything, you see. It didn't matter, anymore.

Most addicts tell me they want to die. They know they cannot escape it, and they are just waiting for the last high to be the "last." To end it all. It is too hard.

I will pause here to tell you, we were a close family of fair privilege and intelligence and some vanity. We lacked for nothing and could have, individually, accomplished most anything. We were so loved by our family. We lived in an unorthodox way, but happily. wildly. originally. We had no "risk factor" beyond being born into an area swallowed up by hopelessness.

Folks like to talk about choice. What choice? Do you believe these people said one day, "I want to be an addict when I grow up?"

We've complained about poor choices while each year the number of addicts grow and grow.

My brother's body is covered in track marks. I've found him scratching in corners unable to speak, 60 lbs too thin for his 6'2'' frame. . .and yet he was unable to say, "ENOUGH!"

I would take his place. Any day. To give him a chance. What am I without him? We were so intertwined from our beginning.

Addiction is tangled in an extreme lack of hope and no confidence in one's self at the roots. I cannot imagine anyone choosing to be hopeless in these numbers, though. Something else is to blame.

Stop talking to me about choice when more than half of our population in some areas have become lost to Oxycontin then Meth and now Heroin.

Let's talk about the areas of this county that are a breeding ground of poor opportunities and sadness. Let's talk about letting humans become guinea pigs and cash cows for Big Pharma. Let us put some blame beyond the initial "poor choice" of the addict.

When I began this blog many months and months ago, My brother was still in jail, and I thought, "Please stay there, Brother, where I know you are safe. I know I will not lose you there. So stay, please, forever. Never leave."
I am not sure I could ever have brought myself to post this, forever it would have been a "draft," had two very different things not have happened this week.

Yesterday, 27 people overdosed in Huntington, WV within 4 hours of one another on heroin. . . and the "Let them die" and "Their Choice" posts flooded my news feed. . .

Only hours before, this brother messaged me that an addicted former girlfriend in Tennessee had a little girl born, maybe his. . .

The horror of what is taking place in West Virginia where addiction is rampant on every corner is beyond the scope of words or vision.

I have nowhere to turn and fail to see it. These people are loved by someone. Maybe not like I Love him, but someone loves them.

Someone does.

You only understand if you feel it to your core over and over like I have, I guess.

Opportunity, chance, charm, charisma and talent. . .lost in Appalachia.

People talk about Appalachia and Addiction,
and I am yet to hear anyone saying anything worth my while.

Someone say something of value.

Do something of value.

Get it right. Their lives matter. How about that?

Addicts' Lives Matter. Black Ones. Young Ones. White Ones.

It is as if everyone is crammed in a little room and afraid to talk of it anything but a choice.

I am not afraid, anymore. I cannot be. This is not just a continual choice.

The Hopeless culture here must end.

What if every first poor choice trapped us all in a cycle we could never escape? Thank God all of my poor choices didn't leave me trapped, for I deserve to be trapped more than he ever did. But I am free.

Someone must scream about it until the ceiling is shattered, until it stops. . .until we drag these human beings back from the brink and give them a vision. . .

"Where there is no vision, the people perish"
Proverbs 29:18

His life over ten years

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Miniature Jersey Cows: A Very Functional Farmstead Choice

I admit, I am biased. How can I not be when these lovely creatures live here?

Miniature Jersey cows vary in size and production level. 

They do not usually breed true in size, so that inconsistently can make having a herd of really small Jerseys difficult, too. 

Their production can range from a gallon a day to 6 gallons a day, 
with the larger Miniatures giving more, as a rule.

I live on a hillside with little flat land. It rains a lot here, 
so erosion of soil in a huge concern. My original Jersey back in 2009 

Full size Jerseys actually used to be more the size of what we call
Miniatures today. Commercial Dairy farming and big Agriculture 
slowly raised the size of the Petite Jersey (the common
homestead cow) to a 900lb animal, instead. The commercial
Jersey produced more milk than the homestead variety had, too.

The Miniature Jersey is essentially the Original Homestead Cow. 
They are 40'' - 46'' (Miniature to Mid Miniature) where Standard
Jersey cows will usually be 48'' to 52''. They will weight 500-700lbs instead
of 800 to 1,000 lbs. Those differences may not sound massive, but 
 in terms of their impact on the land, their milk production and 
their ease of handling, it is substantial. 

They work very well here. We are able to have 2 Miniature Jersey cows here,
one is a Mid Mini at 45'' at the hip, and another is a Mini at 39' at the Hip.

They a perfect homestead cows. 

If you are interested in a Miniature Jersey but cannot find one for sale,
A cross between a Dexter bull and a Jersey cow will give you a
small homestead type cow, as well. While they look pretty Dexter,
they give you the benefits of a Mini Jersey. You can breed back to a
Miniature Jersey bull, and over time, you can breed "UP" to a
high percentage Miniature Jersey cow.

For our breed page, visit here

For a lovely herd of Registered Miniature Jersey Cows
in Virginia, Visit T Cupp's Miniatures 

If you'd like to be added to this blog because you raise Miniatures,
just let me know.

Rainy was 38'' Mature. Here she was at 18 months old. 

Ellie is Mid Mini at 45'' at the HIP

Ellie is Mid Mini at 45'' at the HIP

Ellie's first heifer in her home. She is about 42'' at the HIP
Ellie is Mid Mini at 45'' at the HIP

Ellie is Mid Mini at 45'' at the HIP

Elsie was about 46'' at the HIP and the dam of Rainy
Ellie is Mid Mini at 45'' at the HIP

Elsie was about 46'' at the HIP and the dam of Rainy

Ellie is the dark brown cow at 45'' at the HIP. Clemmy was about 37'' at the HIP
in this photo.

Clemmy will probably mature at 40'' at the HIP

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Weaning Rings in cattle

This is a weaning ring.
It is something you will see from time to time on calves or even adult cows because they continue to nurse their dams (or other cows or themselves, actually) after a reasonable time period.
Folks do not realize that cattle will sometimes try to nurse for years. . . pulling their dams down in condition and causing issues if the cow is bred back.
Sometimes they are so persistent, even the mothers cannot be rough enough to deter them.
That is when a weaning ring can come in handy if separation isn't possible.
They are sometimes shown as torture devices by activists who do not understand or even try to find out why they are used.
They simply go in the nose and stay, for the most part, with no real pressure or discomfort in the nose. They can have spikes outside or not. The spikes deter the cows from allowing nursing to occur.
These are used in all breeds, not just in dairy. They are not used for keeping calves of the age to need to nurse from having the milk they need.
Now you know 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Worms and Goats: A Never Ending Battle

Worms and Goats: A Never Ending Battle

It is so important as goat owners to realize most vets know little or nothing about goats.

They receive almost no instruction in vet school unless they want to focus on ruminants. Since there is little money in goats, few vets focus on them, thus they know very little. If you have questions you want a vet to answer who will know enough about goats to be helpful , I always suggest calling a vet school with a ruminant specialist. Try OSU if needed

The labeled medications for goats are limited, and most labeled meds for them do not work well for anything. 

Many vets without a goat background do not know this, and thus their treatments do not work. Animals die and suffer as a result. Over and over. It seems many do not even wish to learn more.

Barber Pole worms (Haemonchus contortus, or called Stomach Worms) are generally the parasite most producers fight in adult animals, especially in humid areas like I have here on the East coast.

At this time, my experience shows injectable Cydectin given at 2.5cc per 100lbs is the most effective wormer for barber pole worms, and this will need repeated every 10 days (some variation can exist on this, and ideally, you will re-fecal before worming a second time) for as much as 30 days if the animal has a heavy worm load. 

Cocktails can work when Cydectin injectable alone doesn't work, and I've found powdered Prohibit is a good choice to pair Cydectin with (Prohibit powder - follow the directions on the package for mixing it with water. Once mixed, dose it orally at the rate of 1 cc per 20 lbs), but please do so only if you know the injectable alone isn't working. The cost of the cydectin can be too high for some producers, then Quest horse gel wormer at 1cc per 100lbs can work in a pinch.

Parasites are an issue in goats across the USA, but we do struggle with them more in wetter, warmer climates. Do not think you're safe just because your weather is dry and hot, though.

Invermectin, Safe guard / Panacur, Valbazen and sheep drench Cydectin (it isn't as strong as the cattle injection) are ineffective to treat Barber pole worms most everywhere with few exceptions.

Dosing at ineffective rates (label dose) leads to no reduction in worms and higher rates of resistance. Routine worming is also not a good idea. Learn the Famcha chart, check your herd often, and also learn about how to build your animals' health to help reduce the need to worm frequently.

If you have animals that seem ok with the wormers that generally do not work nationally, it is simply chance or lower levels being carried by that animal, but a goat may be hardy this year, and be your carrier next year. Make sure you're doing fecals to be sure what you are using is effective. Use whatever works until it no longer works. Do not rotate.

Remember, if you're being told worms are killing your kids, chances are high it is actually Coccidia that you're dealing with, even if the vet didn't mention it or see them on the fecals. There are no kids born in wet climates that to not struggle with coccidia, and many die from this parasite if a prevention program isn't in place. Wormers do not kill cocci. Resistance is extreme in coccidia, as well, so Corid and Sulmet and feed through medications in grain will not work.

Your prevention for coccidia should usually be based in Baycox or Dimethox 40% every 21 days (I've found Baycox, as it is a single day treatment, can be needed every 14 days).

The dose for Dimethox 40% I personally use is 1cc/2.5# for 5 days for treatment, and for prevetion, 1cc/10# for 5 days every 21 days. For Baycox, I use 1cc per 5lbs one and repeat every 14 days.

The change in antibiotic laws for livestock will make it harder to treatment Coccidia in the future, unfortunately.

One thing that helps boost natural ability to fight parasites are excellent feeding programs where the animals have free choice forage and enough access to quality energy sources (grain or an suitable substitute of sufficient protein level) paired with 2x yearly BO-SE injections (or monthly selenium gel), Copper bolus 2 to 4x a year and an extremely high quality loose mineral offered free choice year round like Cargill right now Onyx.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Common Goat kid illness: Summer Pneumonia

This is, behind Coccidia, probably the number one killer of goat kids.

It sneaks up on the new or inexperienced goat owner, and before you know the animal is ill (especially if you aren't bottle raising), the kid has died quickly.

"Wet weather, hot temperatures coupled with high
humidity can be very stressful to goats. This type of pneumonia is a silent killer in many
cases. One morning the goat appears fine, and that afternoon he is down and dying."

This summer has been a prime set up for this awful illness, and you will find it in calves, as well.

At the first sign a kid doesn't run for his bottle, finish the whole bottle, seems to lag behind, cough or just seem a bit off, reach a temperature and get BANAMINE and Nuflor or another good RX antibiotic like Baytril or Naxcel started right away. You DO NOT HAVE TIME to waste. Kids will not just get over this illness.

Learn about treatment options here and here

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Thing about Sadness: It doesn't just disappear to make room for more.

The Thing about Sadness: It doesn't just disappear to make room for more.
When you experience a life shattering tragedy, as long as you live, tears and sadness are just moments away at any given time.
Even when you seem happy, almost believe you are happy.
It never leaves you, though you can be reasonable about it. . .work on channeling it and so forth.
It isn't as if people have an unlimited space to store sadness, you know?
Sometimes you might think of it. . .say in the middle of normal conversation, and you aren't sure where to go, what to say or what to do. You jumble the conversation and know. . . you failed.
You didn't keep it together. It didn't make sense, and you know folks do not understand.
As time moves on, you may be faced with inevitable, new tragedies, be they large or small. You may have guilt since these events are smaller than what happened before. You wonder how you can feel sad over small things when you have already been through so much more.
You struggle to forgive yourself for even being able to "feel' again. . .
During the aftermath of losing three siblings in fire and my father from 2007 to 2009, to say I searched my soul would be the understatement of a lifetime.
One of many questions that took some years for me to answer happened to be:
"After this, how can I ever care about anything else?"
What I know now, so many years later, is sadness builds up.
You feel, feel, feel. . .reach a point you can easily hold store nothing more. . .and find everything else cuts much deeper than it should because you can only be so full of sadness. There is no where to "hide" it all.
My capacity for despair is as full as it can be and has been for many years. No matter what else has come since those years of my life, large or small. I've felt them all fully and even more than before. More. Because there is no where left to tuck "that" moment or "another" experience.
They simply bounce in and then flow over. Where else do they go? There is no where else to store "more" sadness here.
Sadness is tangible, though we cannot hold it. If you leave with nothing else, leave with that piece of knowledge.
It exists in a way that takes up space. We do not seem to have infinite space that can store all of the the heartbreak we come across.
Previous Sadness doesn't empty out into space to make room for more without consequence.
The recent flooding reminds me of how compassion, empathy and sadness works.
There is a small and still voice that whispers to me when I hear or see horrors like this, "But you have lost so much more, Tinia, this is small compared to what you've seen before. . ." and I stop it.
How hateful and unfeeling.
That is no way to judge sadness. And in the end, it is only a small voice, and I do not truly think that way.
In 9 years, I have lost two younger brothers, my 19 year old sister, my father and grandfather, but when I dropped my phone in a pail of milk yesterday, I nearly cried.
I. Nearly. Cried.
Cried over a phone, over the cost to replace something I cannot afford to replace. . .BUT it can be replaced. Knowing that changed nothing. It made me sad, overwhelmed and there you have it.
How does a person who has lost more than half of her immediate family even care when a phone drops in a pail or a goat on her farm becomes ill?
The photos on it are with people you still have with you. Take them again. The phone is a machine. Save, and then buy another.
"Hush," I told myself. It is a phone. Things are things.
I have been angry that I went down the path where I decided what meant enough to be upset over, that I felt I had to draw such a line.
It varies person to person, but we all have a limit before the small things begin to carry more weight than makes sense.
Mine was passed a long time ago. It was full years ago. Maybe your's was, too.
Anything going in has to go somewhere. I cannot hold more.
It has to go out.
Cheeks. Blogs. Facebook. Conversations and sometimes areas that are darker.
Never marginalize it. . .even when black and white thought would do so.
Grief isn't black and white, and always,
Remember, it builds up, folks.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Thursday, June 23, 2016

"I should be free to neglect and abuse my property (animals) if I want because this is America"

I've about had all I can stand of this, "I should be free to neglect and abuse my property (animals) if I want because this is America" garbage.
I'm sorry.
You do not get that freedom. Your "freedom" never entitles you to neglect what is innocent and in your care. Be this being in your care your dog, your cow, your children, your handicapped relative or your elderly parents. What is innocent isn't yours to do with as you please without question.
You are never entitled to that type of gross liberty. It is obscene. Hush.
Your freedom extends to you. Your body. Your Mind. Your existence. It ends there. . . I'm sorry if you wanted more than that. Tough Luck.

Coccidia: What all New Goat Owners need to Know

Goats are not native to America.

Healthy goats are made, not born.

Not our climates or geography, as a rule.

As a result, we fight parasites, like Coccidia, frequently.

They thrive in warm, wet weather, especially.

In adult goats, worms are the battle. In goat kids, it is coccidia, which are not killed by any worming medications whatsoever.

From about 4 weeks of age, especially if the weather is already warm, you need to start treating your goat kids to prevent / control coccidia. Kids born in May, June and after will struggle more than kids born in January, for instance.

If you wait until the coccidia flourish, the intestinal tract of the kid can be damaged permanently, the growth can be stunted and/or your goat kid will die.

If a kid has coccidia controlled properly from a young age, by the time fall comes or by the time the kid is about 6 months old, she will have developed a natural resistance, and you should not have further issues with coccidia as the kid grows into an adult unless the animal becomes very ill.

You cannot get around address this parasite. They are all over the environment. You can have a clean environment, you can raise the kids away from the adult herd (adults carry but aren't generally damaged by coccidia if in good condition).

I do not personally recommend Sulmet or Corid.

I use these medications below:

Baycox  - I use 1cc pr 5lbs every 10 days (some people use 1cc pr 5lbs every 21 days)

Dimethox 40% - You will use 1cc pr 5lbs on the first day, then 1cc per 10lbs for days 2-5 if preventing every 21 days. If treating 1cc pr 5lbs for 5 days every 21 days.

Below of Coccidia laden kids:



Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens

- Proverbs 27:23-27

"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares."

- George Washington