SO UPSET. (warning, long story)

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by farmergal, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. farmergal

    farmergal New Member

    Jun 19, 2009
    Northern California
    A doeling (Stella) I sold to a woman just died yesterday at a bit over 3 months old. Stella was from the first batch of kids born on my farm. :tears: Her mom is an absolutely gorgeous first freshener and her sister (who I retained) was already being complimented by judges at a show at a mere 6 weeks of age. And, Stella was the sweetest, most darling little goat -- it was so hard to sell her because she was such a sweetheart.

    What was the cause of death? The vet did a necropsy and Stella's poor little stomach was packed with grain. :hair: The woman literally poisoned the poor little goat to death by overfeeding her grain. WHY, I have no idea. I visited Stella (and Max, her wether friend) a couple of weeks ago to give them a follow-up CDT, and there was a bowl of grain out. I told the woman that she was feeding the kids WAY too much grain, and you should never leave grain out free choice. Give her a handful at night, I said -- and none for the wether (who I also sold to this woman.)

    Now this person didn't seem like a bad person when I sold her two goats. She was so excited to get "her babies." She has chickens and has kept pigs in the past, so it wasn't like she had never taken care of animals before. In fact she told me something about "moving the Porsche out of the garage and making a kidding stall in there when it's time for Stella to kid." So, I assumed that these goats would be spoiled little pets... I sure as heck don't have a Porsche in my garage!

    But now I feel absolutely, 100% awful. I feel like somehow it's my fault that this beautiful, sweet little goat (and she was truly the sweetest, kindest little goat) is no longer in this world. Not to mention I spent about 2 hours yesterday on the phone with the owner -- who was in hysterics -- and I even visited the vet to see if there was any information that I could provide that might help. By the time I got there, Stella was already dead. The vet basically told me that she didn't think a person owning 2 goats was capable of feeding them hay and grain -- because they don't go through the hay fast enough, and if a bale was bad it could kill the goats -- and that in the future maybe I should recommend a "complete feed". I told her that I always thought even pelleted forms of hay are supposed to be supplemented with actual hay for the optimum health of the rumen. This vet mostly sees dogs and cats and I felt like she was kind of blaming me for what happened.... that there are livestock people (like me) and pet people (like the owner) and that pet people shouldn't be sold goats because they don't know how to handle them. She didn't say this outright but she definitely implied it.

    Meanwhile, I have spent so much time giving advice to this owner. I went way above and beyond what any breeder ever did for me. I sent her home with a care sheet. I visited her setup before the goats even went home to make sure they had adequate shelter. When she emailed me on Monday night saying that Stella was lethargic and wouldn't eat (and would I come out and look at her) I told her that she needed to be seen by a vet right away. A vet came out and gave her B complex and antibiotics. Because she was bloated the owner gave her baking soda water, mineral oil, and spent the night with her trying to keep her upright so the gas could escape from her rumen. (That was all on the recommendation of yet another vet, who offers free consultations at the local large animal hospital.) Then in the morning when Stella wasn't better she took her to a third vet's office, where Stella was put on IVs. But she was too far gone, and they weren't treating her for what was really the problem... which was a totally full and destroyed rumen.

    In the end the owner spent $850 on yesterday's vet bills alone (plus $350 for the doeling) and ended up with one wether, who is now lonely and needs a friend. And all of this could have been prevented with about one ounce of common sense -- or one book on goats, read cover to cover.

    Anyway, I feel awful, and now I really don't know how to sell goat kids from here on out... what do I do in the future to prevent something like this from happening again? :tears:
  2. maple hill farm tina

    maple hill farm tina Senior Member

    Mar 14, 2010
    Rich Patch, Virginia
    You advised her on how to care for the goat (not just once, but repeatedly through the care sheet and the visits). She didn't follow your instructions, and Stella suffered for it. NOT your fault. We try to screen the homes our goats go to so carefully, but what happens once the goat leaves your farm is really out of your control. I'm so sorry that Stella didn't make it, but (contrary to what one idiotic vet implied) you did not do anything to feel guilty about.

    I don't have any advice about what to do about the wether in her care, as I've never dealt with anything like this before. My instinct would be to offer to buy back the wether now that his companion is gone. I certainly wouldn't offer to sell her another companion. But I may be wrong on that. Maybe someone with a little more experience can advise you there.

    So sorry you're dealing with this. :hug:


  3. luvbug*diapers

    luvbug*diapers New Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    sunny california
    oh im so sad for this time for you.
    you sound confussed and blame yourself.
    i think you did your part for sure.
    if livestock owners never sold to pet owners i too would be missing out on the joys of goat ownership.

    as for your advise on book reading it is so true.i read many book before even purchasing a goat and refer back to them all the time and reread.

    that maybe an option for the future is to have them read a book before purchase or recommend one to them.

    by no means does it sound like you did anything wrong or could have forseen spent hours with her and checked out her place even.geez ive never done that.

    being sad for the loss is normal and quite natural but dont beat yourself up over her lack of following your directions.SHE choose to do it HER way and now has to pay the price.`you cant oversee feedings forever and you even commented on the free choice grain that was left out for them and she still CHOOSE to ignore your wisdom.

    so with that said i hope you can feel better over this.
    we will pray for your peace in the matter. :grouphug:

  4. KW Farms

    KW Farms Moderator Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Wapato, WA
    I'm so sorry that happened Lynda. How frustrating. To be honest, it is the new owners responsibility to take care of her new's not your job and it's not your fault and I don't think you should have to do anything about it...replace the kid, help her find a new goat, etc. You could buy the wether back for what she paid for him, but I wouldn't do that. You have helped her A LOT from the sounds of it and I would tell her she needs to read a book on goat care and her to some good websites and tell her the wether needs a buddy, but you don't feel comfortable selling her another one. I really have no sympathy for these type of people since you told her not to do it and she didn't listen. If you are going to get a new your research!! This is by no means your did more than I would have. Don't beat yourself up.

    I would give you a BIG hug if I could. Hang in there...I feel your frustration.
  5. myfainters

    myfainters New Member

    Oct 29, 2009
    Lancaster, CA
    sometimes people just don't listen... a sad loss but after the hit to the pocketbook and watching her baby die yesterday my guess is she's going to be more willing to FOLLOW direction in the future. I'm sure that is probably happened to a kid that I sold last year (she died while the owners were gone and had a caretaker watching them) same symptoms though. Anyway.. the wether they bought is still there and those people take amazing care of him.... he goes on trail rides with them when they go horseback riding like a trail dog. LOL

    Very sad thing that happened to your doeling but people can be dense and sometimes it takes tragedy for people to see the light. :(

    I'm sorry the poor baby had to go through that.... but the fact that the lady was willing to take her to the vet and try to get her the care that she needed shows that she at least cared about the animal..... now she will know better.

    Everyone makes mistakes.... this was a bad one but I'm sure she didn't mean to kll her baby goaty. :( Hopefully she has learned her lesson now and will be much more diligent about the amount of grain given to her goats in the future.
  6. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    You are not at fault did everything....that you could to educate her on goats.....As for the grain....if you didn't her ...on how much grain to still isn't your fault... as sometimes... we may forget to add that to our instructions.....I know I have.... She may not of known... giving it free choice...was very toxic to the goat.. :( ..I don't believe... that she would spend all the money for the goat and pay for a high vet bill.... to try save her.... because she didn't care or didn't feel bad....because I believe she did feel bad as she ..called you ...when something was wrong...the bummer is... all vets involved where not to bright... :doh: :( .and I believe she could of been saved... if they knew what they where doing....There are very few vets ....that are smart to goats...they are so hard to find with that knowledge... as most are still learning .....and the vet... shouldn't put the blame on you ...what so ever....... :hug:
    As for selling her another goat ...that is up to you..... we never know ....even after we sell a goat to someone...even after checking out their place ect.....things may be so different when you leave.... you just never is a risk at times ...but I believe... there is a bigger majority of newbies.... that want to learn...about goats.... and I believe it was a horrible accident... I am so sorry she passed away... :( :hug:
  7. AlaskaBoers

    AlaskaBoers New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Wasilla Alaska
    I agree. sorry for your loss :(
  8. farmergal

    farmergal New Member

    Jun 19, 2009
    Northern California
    Thanks so much for the support guys. I am so glad I'm on TGS... I knew you guys would understand :hug:

    Yeah, I even told her how much grain to give... but she said she looked at the Fias Co Farm website and was feeding according to those recommendations (even tho they are for standard goats! and who knows she may have even been feeding the adult amount!)... it is a tragic loss but hopefully one she will learn from.

    RIP Stella, I miss you...
  9. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Lynda...this is not your fault at all, been there and done that! Stella went fairly quickly, be thankful for that,and do not blame yourself and unless you are going to be available 24/7 to show someone exactly how to care for them and basically pound it into their heads you cannot be responsible for how they are cared for when they leave. So sorry Stella has passed, hopefully she does better with the wether and any other goatie she gets as a bud for him.
  10. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    You are so very welcome.....we are here for you anytime..... :thumb: :hug: :grouphug: