The Goat Spot Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
299 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
IF YOU ARE SENSITIVE PLEASE DO NOT GO ANY FURTHER!!!

Today I had do something that I have never had to do here on the farm before. I had to cull a goat. This poor girl was not thriving at all and the winter has been extremely difficult on her. A decision was made by my husband and I to cull her from the herd. I don't want to have to defend my decision but will if necessary. Please respect that is part of farm life and that the decision was made after exploring other options.

I had to put Rilla down but here in NH, the ground is frozen. My first instinct was to try to save the meat (another decision that I hope people will respect and not chastise) but she was so thin there was no meat to really save. It didn't seem right, there just wasn't enough there to feed my family. I cant bury her because the ground is rock solid so I decided to let her go back into the food chain where she may do some wild animal good. In order to do this I had to get her body out into the woods. Oats my four year old packgoat was chosen to carry is fallen herdmate into the woods for me. He did well and I am very proud of his service.

Oats is a different type of hero, he brought Rilla to her final resting place under a spruce tree and we said our goodbyes. THANK YOU OATS~ MOM IS PROUD OF YOU!!!

[attachment=2:1nzqeh6z]Oats with Rilla 1.jpg[/attachment:1nzqeh6z]
[attachment=1:1nzqeh6z]Oats with Rilla 2.jpg[/attachment:1nzqeh6z]
[attachment=0:1nzqeh6z]Oats with Rilla 3.jpg[/attachment:1nzqeh6z]
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
185 Posts
Sorry for your loss. Yes, death and sometimes compassionate ending of life is part of farm life. Our goal is to keep everyone happy and healthy. When this happens it is hard to deal with. But don't internalize it and second guess your decision. No more bad days for her.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
849 Posts
I hope that no one would criticize you for making a difficult decision that you believed was in the best interest of an animal you cared about. No one lives forever, and some never quite make it off the ground. If we are to be responsible and not just sentimental, then there comes a time as animal owners when we have to "play God" and give them an easy out rather than let them suffer with problems that cannot be cured or that we cannot realistically afford to fix. I'm sorry for your loss, and I'm sorry you weren't even able to get some meat for your family. Sometimes that's just the way it goes. We've had horses that we've had to drag into the woods with a tractor because we couldn't bury them in wintertime. It's not pretty, but death doesn't always work out as neatly as we would like it to. I'm sorry for your loss, and I should hope that no one here would blast you for your decision.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
299 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the support guys. NO ONE on this forum has ever been anything less than compassionate and understanding. Thats why I keep coming back and I felt that I could share my experience with you. Sharing an event like this isn't always easy and lots of people judge. Imagine putting this on Facebook? I would have PETA at my door in a day or two protesting and trying to take my goats. :x

I am glad you are all here and not quick to pass judgement. THANK YOU!
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
113 Posts
I wasn't going to say anything until I read this post, but I was faced with the same unfortunate decision just a few days ago.

One of our wethers has always been a bit of a runt. As a result he was always bullied by his larger buddies, especially around feeding time. As a result we started feeding him separately, but he still didn't thrive. Although he was the same age as our other goats he was literally half their size.

Last Thursday my wife went out to feed the goats and saw "Fringe" standing off by himself. She walked over to see why he didn't rush over to get fed like usual, and saw that one of his back legs was just hanging limply. I came out to inspect it and it was clear that the leg was broken, we assume from being butted by one of the larger goats. We knew there was nothing we could do help him.

It is never easy to "do the right thing" in a situation like this, and this particular experience was especially upsetting. So much so that I hesitate to even say what happened, but maybe my experience will help others in the future. You may not want to read further....

I opted to use a .22 Short cartridge; I didn't want to alarm my neighbors with a loud gunshot nor risk a pass-thru shot that might injure me or the other goats. To my horror the bullet only stunned him. A quick second shot had no more effect. I had to run back into the house for a larger weapon. I wasn't able to sleep that night.

Of course we were faced with what to do with Fringe's body. Temps here had been in the mid-teens at night and the ground was frozen as hard as concrete, so burying him was out of the question. We decided to take him into the nearby woods where he had gone on so many hikes with us during his short life and give him back to nature.

Sorry for the graphic description of this experience. But I feel a little better unburdening my conscience and knowing that others have been through the same thing recently.

Ken
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
203 Posts
Boy, yeah I know the trouble with picking the type of bullet. I feel bad that your 22 shorties didnt work. I know how upsetting that would be. My wonderful saanan milker Tina got cancer or something and I had to put her down when she got past the point of hope. Fortunately the 22lr (10/22) did it. I was worried about a head thats meant to be thick-skulled and frankly I'm not 100% sure where the best placement would be (I opted for aiming in from the back side, hoping it was less bony there. You want to go minimal, but get the job done properly. But then again you dont want to bring out the big stuff and cause a commotion in the neighborhood or worse, risk ricochet or the mess and bad memories of something too big...

And speaking of frozen-solid dirt, I need to go out and figure out how to fill the horse trough. The spiggot lever is solidly frozen. The cold has finally worked its way deep enough to freeze the waste-water gravel and now the whole thing is useless. Hopefully its warm enough out there that the backup hose doesnt break in half.
 

·
Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
Joined
·
4,805 Posts
The farm we worked on used to keep pigs for just this reason. Pigs will make short work of the bodies and typically, just the thicker part of the skulls. But as for the making them dead part. I can feel for ya. For years and still to this day I am the one who has to deal with those that need to be put down. My most grief stricken time was when I had to put down my second goat that I ever had. She was down for two days before I could muster the courage to do it and all I had was a .22 cal. pistol. She wasnt in serious pain and was still eating and drinking but the CAE had just devastated her joints and during the cold of winter, she just couldnt stand anymore. I thank God to this day he let just one bullet do the job with no twitching or kicking or dying breaths. Which happens more often then not. But I found that if you aim from the hehind the animal where the spin meets the skull and then level the gun so that its pointing more towards the eyes, you have the best chances of a clean kill. By aiming this way you sever the spin and with any luck send the bullet into the brain. Even an adult goats brain is only about the size of a bar of soap and pretty much stops at the horns. Again, feel for everyone going through this now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
All Gods creatures great and small. They come into and out of our lives and touch us in a way words cannot describe. The next time you go out to feed give Oats a big hug for me. His creator designed him to carry your burden on the good days and the sad ones.

"long Live The Pack Goat"

Curtis King
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,020 Posts
It is unfortunate that our country has transformed into a majority of urbal dwellers who are insulated from the realities of living and dying. These same people are the ones who are the quickest to point accusing fingers at animal husbandry and cry "animal cruelty". Growing up on a farm you learn that death is part of life. Unfortunately there are adults who have never had to deal with anything dying, let alone had to make the hard decision to end a life out of necessity or compassion. Those of us who still live the rural lifestyle know the heart ache of these decisions but we also know the joy of living with these creatures we surround outselves with. I pity the person who will never know the joy of seeing the whole herd running to surround you just because they want to feel your touch. Or the wonderful renewing we get from just sitting quietly in the barn watching the happy, heathy animals in our care. Moments that touch your heart and make you a better person for it. Things not easily explained to a person who has never experienced it for themselves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
847 Posts
Sorry for your loss. When I had to do it I dropped Curley with a very sharp machete drawn across the neck. It was clean and quick, he dropped immediately. It was cleaner than other types of kills with bullets and safer to accomplish than shooting at close range.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
537 Posts
I had to make this same decision last winter for my beloved Lucy.
Same senario.
Frozen ground. I am fortunate. I have a lady up near me that
has sled dogs. She is always looking for cheap or free meat.
Says they pull better. She ought to know. She accually came in
5th on that Iditrod sled dog race back a few years ago.

Sorry for your loss. All your stories have brought back a flood
of memories of the critters I have had to make these decisions about.
At 56 and living on a a farm. I have a few.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
I am so impressed with the community here. What a supportive, positive, intelligent, witty, kind, & compassionate group of people ya'll are! It's really a breath of fresh air. The dog world is often so nasty & bitter & judgmental, I find myself perusing this forum routinely just to see how well everyone here gets along & supports one another.

And I am so sorry for your loss.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
847 Posts
CASDOG1 said:
I am so impressed with the community here. What a supportive, positive, intelligent, witty, kind, & compassionate group of people ya'll are! It's really a breath of fresh air. The dog world is often so nasty & bitter & judgmental, I find myself perusing this forum routinely just to see how well everyone here gets along & supports one another.

And I am so sorry for your loss.
It's pretty tough to be judgmental when you find yourself on the left side of the separation of goats and sheep. ;-)

The sport/hobby is new enough that even those in it longest recognize that our collective experience is still pretty small compared to others. Though we at times can still be opinionated. As long as goats have been around, one might think we would understand them better.... but I suppose that can be said of women too ;-)

Many forums you have anonymous strangers pushing egos, but I think this community really works to know the people behind the posts. We not only love the sport but receive so many blessings from it that we hope to be able to share them with others. And it is nice to be able to converse with people who have a shared experienced.

Besides my claim to having the best caprine canoeing companion (and the best alliteration), we don't really compete as much as collaborate. ;-)

So welcome to the family.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top