This morning my husband came to wake me up and was obviously distressed. Immediately I figured we had eviscerated chickens outside or something and that my excessive paranoia of predators finally came true. I asked him if there was a dead animal and he said yes. I asked if it was the chickens and he said no. It was the goats.
What?! They’re safely locked down in a corral at night that has 7 foot side panels. A predator couldn’t have reached them. He said it wasn’t that…she was just bloated and laying down. I leaped out of bed with faith that she was still alive and whipped together a baking soda and molasses mixture that I used to relieve my other baby goat of bloat a few weeks ago along with massage. I ran outside with an oral syringe but before I got there he checked and confirmed that she was already dead.
I was in shock. How could a perfectly healthy goat just die like that? What did I do? What could I have done? I’m sure I could have saved her if I had been more attentive. I know that this type of thing just happens sometimes, but it’s supposed to happen to the people that are careless- not me! 🙁
I spent a while on the phone with my “goat mentor”. She is an absolute master of raising goats and she has the healthiest and most beautiful goats I’ve ever met. She helped me get through the initial shock (bless her!) and gave me a good training session over the phone to deal with this and avoid it in the future.
Still, I keep crying. I’m frustrated, mad, sad and super anxious. I feel like I should give up on all of this homesteading stuff and live a “normal” life. I feel like a failure. How could I have let this happen? I should have gone out to check on the goats one more time before going to bed. I could have prevented this. I let her down and let her die.
I know I shouldn’t think that way. My mom keeps saying, “don’t go there…just don’t go there”. These are the lessons in homesteading and farming that we all have to go through (I guess). My goat mentor told me that we get to experience many miracles, but we also have to deal with death (even though this woman has had almost no deaths like this in her 30+ years of raising goats). My older daughter doesn’t seem to care too much, which is surprising to me. She understands what’s going on, but says she’s not sad because we still have the other one. Shouldn’t she have more emotion than that? I know we’ve raised her to be “tough”, like letting her be part of killing the chickens, etc.. She even likes watching hunting shows with her dad. (Don’t get me wrong, she absolutely adores her living animals.) But I do think it’s weird that she’s not sad. I don’t know…
So now I have one lonely and sad baby goat left- Daisy. Of course I’m worried about her health because I can’t be sure of how the other one died (I could take her to get an autopsy, but it isn’t feasible for us now.) The main problem now is companionship. Goats are emotional and I’m sure she’s stressed out about this whole thing. Goats cannot live well on their own- they need other goats. I don’t know what to do at this moment. We are letting Daisy hang out with us and trying to give her a lot of attention. Now I either have to get more baby goats or give Daisy to a new home, which I really do not want to do. I love these little goats.
It’s been a really difficult day so far and it’s only noon. Of course I realize there are much more horrible things to happen in life, but the death of a pet- even a livestock pet- is difficult.
I’ll let you know what we do next. Thanks for your support.