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I'm so very sorry this happened. Like you, I'd be totally devastated, angry, heartbroken, and conflicted too. This sort of tragedy just shouldn't happen. There's no excuse for it and it doesn't help that it puts you at odds with your family. I hope you are able to find a new situation soon. You never know what might come up if you keep your eyes and ears and options open.
 

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I am so sorry. I definitely wouldn't breed in your current position - you don't have to wait much longer until you can get out and have a safer environment. I know this isn't your decision to make, but I have to echo that unfortunately the responsible thing would be to put the dogs down. It's not just your own animals who are at risk, the animals on neighboring properties are also at risk. If the dogs kill a neighbor's animal, your family can be legally liable, especially since they knew the dogs were habitual livestock killers and didn't do anything about it.
 

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I'm so so sorry for your loss.

Do you feel you'll be able to afford a down payment, mortgage, and goat facilities right away after school though? Moving out is totally feasible but buying a farm may not be!

Would one option perhaps be to sell your yearling buck but keep your does until you move out? Then no accidental breeding could occur. But also consider if any of your does will be past prime breeding age by the time your re-settled and ready to begin breeding.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
I can’t say what my future holds but once I have a job welding I’ll have more opportunity money wise. I don’t want to say “oh yeah I’ll totally have a farm in the next few years” but I also don’t want to say I don’t stand a chance. That’s why I don’t want to make a hasty decision right now. I only have 5 classes left to finish my degree which puts me at an early 2022 graduation.

I could sell him when the market is right and hope I at least get what I paid for him. I could also attempt to stud him out as another option. He’s a fullblood and has the potential to open doors for me. My mind is so scattered right now and I am very stressed out, feeling pretty hopeless on top of it all. I think I need to give this wound time to heal. I don’t even want to go home. I’m just sitting in my truck in the school parking lot crying. Sorry y’all I’m a hot mess and it’s no ones problem but mine. I just don’t understand why this is happening. I spend all my down time doing goat related things and I’m constantly reading and doing research to help better my knowledge and well being of my goats. I really hope this was just a bad year and that it’s not actually a bad endeavor for me. This has been my dream since I was first introduced to goats a decade ago. I feel as though I’ve experienced enough heartbreak these last 3 months to make up for a lifetime.
 

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I can't say what my future holds but once I have a job welding I'll have more opportunity money wise. I don't want to say "oh yeah I'll totally have a farm in the next few years" but I also don't want to say I don't stand a chance. That's why I don't want to make a hasty decision right now. I only have 5 classes left to finish my degree which puts me at an early 2022 graduation.

I could sell him when the market is right and hope I at least get what I paid for him. I could also attempt to stud him out as another option. He's a fullblood and has the potential to open doors for me. My mind is so scattered right now and I am very stressed out, feeling pretty hopeless on top of it all. I think I need to give this wound time to heal. I don't even want to go home. I'm just sitting in my truck in the school parking lot crying. Sorry y'all I'm a hot mess and it's no ones problem but mine. I just don't understand why this is happening. I spend all my down time doing goat related things and I'm constantly reading and doing research to help better my knowledge and well being of my goats. I really hope this was just a bad year and that it's not actually a bad endeavor for me. This has been my dream since I was first introduced to goats a decade ago. I feel as though I've experienced enough heartbreak these last 3 months to make up for a lifetime.
Can you possibly get through some of those classes sooner? I don't know if you're already planning to take summer courses, but if you can get school out of the way sooner I encourage you to try. There's nothing worse than feeling helpless, and taking positive steps toward changing your situation can really crystalize your goals and brighten your outlook. The good thing is that breeding season isn't until fall. You may have some very different prospects by then. It could be that the next six months will give you a better idea of what you can/can't do or should/shouldn't do. Don't give up on the idea of breeding your goats this year just yet. Oftentimes when there's a will there's a way, and if you look around you may even be able to lease land where you can keep your goats safely and not have to deal with family conflict.
 

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My emotions are running very high right now so I won't make any rash decisions until I have a clear head. It has been an awful year for me and we're only 3 months in. I've poured my heart and soul into my herd. Blood, sweat, tears, money and time. I think if I just gave up and sold my breeding stock until I'm in a better place physically, I'd go into a dark place mentally. My dream is to own my own ranch and have a large herd. That dream is what drives me every day to get out of bed at ungodly hours and go to sleep long after sunset. I'm going to do a lot of fence renovation this spring. But, I will hold off on breeding until I know for certain I'm not putting myself and the goats right back to square one. It's so incredibly frustrating when people who are supposed to be livestock owners and know the cost of losing an animal to dog think that a shock collar is the solution. But I can't be too mad at my family or the dogs. They love the dogs, I understand that. The dogs are not a good breed to have around livestock. It's not a viable situation. I have to remind myself that I won't always be in this situation.
Sorry for your loss. Just hang in there and do take a break until after school, time heals. Its a tough decision. Rip Viggie.
 

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Oh, Hoss! I'm so sorry... ~hugs~ You've been through Hell & back, already, this year. Please don't look at yourself as a failure. I really don't think that's accurate, at all. Not even close. Frankly, hot mess or not, I think you're handling it in an incredibly mature way. Pretty sure I'm more than twice your age, and I can honestly say there isn't a strong chance I'd be doing as well.
In our family, my dad would have put down the dog before the poor baby was cold - no matter who's dog it was. The order of priority was people, livestock, pets, and no pet was exempted. I feel the same, and do everything possible to ensure my pets' safety - by heavily, diligently, and if necessary, punitively training them. But, that's your brother's job, not yours.
On breeding - you're wise, I think, in deciding to wait a while to try again, if for no other reason than to allow yourself a chance to grieve and heal, before subjecting yourself to another kidding season, right away. It gives you time to focus on finishing school, and getting everything set up better, as well a making sure you're not still having to be both working and going to school. It seems to me like maybe you're pushing yourself very, very hard...
 

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I am sorry for your loss of all your kids. You are certainly not a failure! I hope the situation gets better for you soon. You’ve gotten a lot of great advice we are all sending you hugs (XX)
 

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This is so sad...I can understand too because a neighbor's pit bull dog came from a quarter mile away and attacked my goats, killing one. Fortunately where we live we can kill dogs that attack livestock, which we did. Your situation is very different as it involves family and the potential for another disaster. I would suggest putting your goat plans on hold until you can be there to oversee the situation...then some better fencing, perhaps solar charged
electric wire on the outside of the secured fence if affordable, for the mean time. Securing gates and other access...maybe a lock on the pen door that your sister cannot gain access. Then an honest "sit down" with your family to decide if this situation is going to work or not. If they are not supportive, you will have continued problems and may need to come up with alternate plans. Hold on to your dream and you can make it work.
 

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I think selling your buck now is a great suggestion, and also maybe think about if there are any females that maybe you should move as was also suggested, because of age or temperament or confirmation. Keep only the very best ones. The prices for goats right now in the market has skyrocketed so you should be able to get your purchase price for him back, and then start saving your money. I'm sure that even if you can't buy a ranch, you could find something there to rent which would get you out from under your parents thumb.

While you're in this limbo stage, concentrate on goat health during the next year. I remember your previous traumas with the kidding deaths and you were certain you had mineral deficiencies. So pour all your research and energy and money into that, while you finish your schooling. Mineral deficiencies can be tough to deal with and can take time for the body to recuperate and respond, especially when it's on pregnant does, so think of this as a opportunity to take a deep breath and get those does in great physical condition before you begin breeding again. This will also put you further away from your awful experiences this year too. So you won't feel so anxious with the next breeding and kidding season. It will be something you'll be anticipating with great joy because it will be the fulmination of everything you worked for.

Keep your eye on the prize in the future. I know, it's hard to do and it seems like it will never get here. We're here for you and we've all been young and understand how difficult it is to get your adult life started. You'll get there.
 
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