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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is an open discussion thread, not so much me looking for advice. An invitation to share your path and experiences, what has changed for you etc.

We may come from different upbringings and have different approaches to keeping animals, some of us have goats as pets, others raise them for meat, and many of us have a combination of reasons and uses for our goats and other animals. But we all have to deal, one way or another, with looking after our creatures’ lives and deaths.
When I decided to keep chickens and goats, I discussed with my partner that we want to take the responsibily of their lives in our hands very seriously.
Even though we don’t normally eat meat, we had decided that when raising laying hens, we would take care of butchering the roosters, and when raising dairy goats, we would take care of butchering bucklings we cannot keep.
In theory that was a lot easier than in real life.
It seems we have come to the point of realizing how very hard it is to take an animals life.
(But, The idea of taking animals to the sales yard is even more horrible to me.)
So, Gonzalo the rooster gets to live.
But what about the future bucklings?
The first 2 bucklings we kept, because they were our first ever babies. They became wethers and are companions.
I am hoping to find loving homes for the next bucklings, but what if I can’t?
Will I become like one of the goat people I visited who had a herd of whethers as big as her herd of does, because they were all her friends?
Or will I look for a humane way to have bucklings turned into food?

Please share your thoughts, and no judgements, please, we are all different!
 

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It seems we have come to the point of realizing how very hard it is to take an animals life.
I think this is the ground for Goat Maths. Which can grow into a disaster. This is, in my opinion, one of the very most important themes we have to think through before even traveling to look at a puppy or a kitten! So much more when it comes to "producing" animals, like chicken or sheep.

Or goats.
 

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For me...I have an ideal goat in my mind. I am looking to combine genetics to create a new breed. Its pupose will be to generate meat. To butcher a calf..you are in average looking at about $1k..a goat about $300. The quality of the meat in comparison ..goat is much more healthy. So to me, a less income family..could afford a better quality food.. which is unheard of in our Greed Motivated Society.
I also have small myotonics. For pets, for youth and just a good weedeater, that will be a friend for life.
I have 10 acres. That restricts the number of goats I can RESPONSIBLY raise. To be fair and keep them healthy I have to limit my number.
I post mine on websites to reach the best person I can find. My last resort is the Sale barn. But even then. I have done my best to my preciouse goats. Ive cried a few times. But I do the best I can to give my goats the best I can. Even in the hard decisions.
 

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We really do have to make some tough decisions in this adventure we have going on. Realistically I can not keep animals that do not pull their weight. I wish I had a endless supply of money and time but I don’t. So it’s not fair to my girls to possibly go without or risk having them all be sent down the road for ones that I can’t get a return out of. Yeah that sounds like I have never had a hard time not keeping one but I have had many I have really tried to justify keeping before I realized I just couldn’t do it.
For me I dread pet homes. Don’t get me wrong I have sold to ones that have been wonderful homes! But I see so many down right hard headed clueless people wanting pets. Ones that don’t get they have to have shelter, they can’t live off of garbage and they need to be kept safe. Yeah sometimes people need to learn things the hard way but I don’t really want them learning off of a baby that I delivered and worked so dang hard to keep alive and healthy.
For me my avenue is the sale yard. To sell directly to butcher that is a 3 hour drive. That’s 6 hours I’m away, and 6 hours I’m burning gas. I tried selling to people who want to butcher their own but they want them way cheaper then they can get them at the sale and I have to explain 101 times why I don’t want them butchered in my back yard. I cant afford to give animals away. I have bills that need to be covered.
There is 2 sale yards that I can go to and I absolutely refuse to go to the one! I do not like how they handle their animals. Everyone’s animals go in one pen, there is fighting and molesting and so on. I also once told a kid that if he hit a blind doe in the face with his paddle one more time I was going to repay the favor. The other place everyone’s animals get their own pen until sold then every buyer gets their own pen. The animals are handled as easy as possible. They have even gotten onto people about not treating the animals they purchased badly or refuse to let them haul animals in any way that is not safe. So although yeah I have no doubt they are scared and stressed while there they are not abused. Most of the buyers what they buy is their dinner for that week. So no long drawn out suffering, neglect or starving.
 

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That roo is gonna end up hurting you or your partner from the other post i read on it. So in reality... to me at least... he is so not worth that risk. Those spurs will do a lot of damage in a small amount of time.

As far as taking a life. If you cannot do it take it to a processor. My husband does the deed because i cannot do it. But i help with all of the rest of taking care of it. It works for us. Here a goat is $75 to process. You can either sell that meat or take it to a shelter or find a food bank. They will gladly take burger meat. You can sell wethers for cheap and still make a bit of money off them. Many ethnic groups need goat at certain times of the year for their holidays. Look for those holidays on the calendar and try to sell them then. Recently mama had a few men workin at her home and saw our goats. They asked me if i wanted to sell any for meat. The man they usually get theirs from charges them $150 per goat ready to process weight.
 

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Please be careful with that rooster and small children. I’ve seen several roos attack kids. On my place, aggressive animals are eaten by something or someone. My dog appreciates the fresh meat if I can’t handle it. My MIL was recently very distressed that we had planned on killing and eating our turkey Tom. As we explained it, besides having bought him to eat, there wasn’t enough space for all three turkeys, and having two toms to one hen would kill her by overbreeding. She wanted us to build another pen for the second Tom. I don’t have time or money for pets. Everything has a purpose. When we raise an animal for meat, I know everything that goes into it. I know that meat will be the healthiest for my family. The animal is raised in as much comfort as I can give it. Clean housing, fresh water, good food, and love from me and my children. My husband kills it quickly and together we butcher. I’ve cried over animals as I’ve butchered them. Some of them I loved. Sometimes I can keep myself emotionally distant, sometimes I can’t. Having someone butcher for you is a good idea. I can’t kill my animals. I believe that if the need was great enough, I could, but for now, while my husband is able, I don’t need to. Our local butcher will come to your property, take the animal and have packages ready for pick up in a few days, all for $90. I’m not saying you have to do it my way. I grew up butchering animals with my dad, so I’m in a way, used to it. If you can afford plenty of pets, then good for you! There are breeds of dairy goats that can ‘milk through’. Meaning that they can be milked for more than one season. A quality LaMancha, for example can be milked for a couple years! That would save you having to breed every season, and you can buy adult hens to eliminate you raising roosters.
 

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I have a dairy herd and ship milk. So, ideally, I milk 75 does. That is about, well, a lot of kids! 117 last yr. 75% were the sweetest baby bucks.

I cannot bring myself to drown a newborn. (Many dairies do). I had an arrangement to make sure all had 24 + hrs of colostrum, were started on a bottle, had Vit. B complex and BO-SE (if needed) and then an Amish guy picked them up and fed them out to slaughter weight. I wasn't making much, but didn't have to feed or raise them. It kind of worked out. But, I'm not confident they had a good life.

I've tried raising wethers, but, you get so attached, it's hard to sell them at the sale. Good money, but I hate sales. They are a necessary evil, our local one is as good as any, but... It's still a sale.

I plan at least 6 months ahead on what to do with kids. This year is proving difficult. A hay shortage is spooking people. Another bad year and I'll have to cut my herd in half.

One guy buys kids, raises them and turns them into brush eating goats. Then sells them at the sale.

I guess I do most of the needed killing, unless it's a really special goat. Yes, I cry over each one. But sometimes death is favorable to whatever is the serious problem. I hate killing, but, they have the best life I could give them and one really bad moment.
 

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I've cried over animals as I've butchered them. Some of them I loved.
So have I, and I think most people with emotions have.
Having someone butcher for you is a good idea.
Indeed. Especially if it is done at the goats' home.
I'm not saying you have to do it my way.
Exactly! :) Still, there are lots to discuss! Here are my "2 cents":

In this country, we have had an old "contract" with our animals:

People provide food, protection, and love.
Animals return food, protection, and love.

I cannot bring myself to drown a newborn. (Many dairies do).
:eek:mg::eek:mg::eek:mg:
I guess I do most of the needed killing, unless it's a really special goat. Yes, I cry over each one. But sometimes death is favorable to whatever is the serious problem. I hate killing, but, they have the best life I could give them and one really bad moment.
It has not to be bad at all, let us have a thread on this! ;)
 

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I have a story about this. We took home the chickens that my younger child raised in their classroom this spring. Out of the dozen, 11 hatched and 6 turned into roosters. 2 wandered off and 3 we butchered. My child, who hand raised these animals, insisted on being part of the process. They were the person to go to the coop and take them off the roost and calm them down before handing them to us the cut their throat. Even in tears the responsibility of ensuring that they passed over to our freezer calmly. I was so impressed by their ability to see beyond their self and what they needed and to see that in that moment how the animal felt was more important than how sad they were.
 

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Thank you, @whitejerabias! This story is of a strong individual with a strong feeling for others. Congratulations to having encountered such a wonderful person! :) :) :) Please tell her I am very impressed!

But another time, please make the animal unconscious before cutting any part of it! Please! A small animal like a chicken can easily be made unconscious with a hard blow on the head, although I myself prefer the "humane killer", but that is because I am used to it.
 

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I myself prefer the "humane killer", but that is because I am used to it.
What is a 'humane killer'? An interesting addition. My grandfather, a missionary in his prime, once told me a story about how people in Nicaragua think Americans are barbaric for letting an animal bleed out. Their preferred method is quite a bit more barbaric in my opinion. (I'll only share that method if asked to, please express it if you would like to not hear something like that in this thread). They also have an interesting way of honoring the animal. The method my husband and I prefer is a firearm, we feel it's the quickest way.
 

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I have a humane killer for chickens - The Morrigan. It's a foolproof device that separates the neckbones of the chicken, but can be used calmly and without pain for the animal. No choking, no fear, no uncertainty - instant lights out. No worries from the human that you might pull too hard (erf, I've done that) or too light (and really cause that poor bird terrible pain). It was not cheap, but it was worth it. We use it on roosters who have started to be jerks or other fowl who are in a bad way and not responding to treatment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Their preferred method is quite a bit more barbaric in my opinion. (I'll only share that method if asked to, please express it if you would like to not hear something like that in this thread). They also have an interesting way of honoring the animal.
If nobody objects, I would like to hear about that.
If objections, @Chelsey would you message me?
I think, as hard as this topic is (and for me, very very hard), it is so important to learn as much as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have a humane killer for chickens - The Morrigan. It's a foolproof device that separates the neckbones of the chicken, but can be used calmly and without pain for the animal. No choking, no fear, no uncertainty - instant lights out. No worries from the human that you might pull too hard (erf, I've done that) or too light (and really cause that poor bird terrible pain). It was not cheap, but it was worth it. We use it on roosters who have started to be jerks or other fowl who are in a bad way and not responding to treatment.
I tried to find the Morrigan humane killer online, but it looks like it is not available anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If nobody objects, I would like to hear about that.
If objections, @Chelsey would you message me?
I think, as hard as this topic is (and for me, very very hard), it is so important to learn as much as possible.
Unless it is really gruesome!
 

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We had that discussion this year. We can't feed unproductive animals here. (Our dogs are already unproductive enough...lol). I read a book where they said to drown unwanted bucks right after they are born, which made me sick to my stomach. I'd much rather get them going and then sell as a group to an individual that would raise them for meat. We planned this year if we had a surplus of wethers that we can't sell, we'd process them. I already have talked to myself that any males are meat animals, like our cornish cross birds we do every year. I can are for them kindly, but I know they aren't our pets...helps me distinguish it. But also my husband handles the processing of animals. I help pack it up after they're all cleaned.

For us, putting them in the freezer makes them a productive animal. We either spend money feeding them forever because we can't deal with where they go....or we gain by giving them a good short life and then they give us life and we spend less $$ on food feeding THEM and feeding US.
 

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I'll only share that method if asked to.
I suspect all kinds of brutality when you write like that! :( If you do not want to write about it in a thread, please give a short description in a Conversation, and I shall be able to tell if it is as bad as I suspect! ;)
separates the neckbones of the chicken
Sounds very painful to me. The brain must be out in a hundredth of a second!
If nobody objects, I would like to hear about that.
If objections, @Chelsey would you message me?
I think, as hard as this topic is (and for me, very very hard), it is so important to learn as much as possible.
I do not object, but what if the forum admin does, or - which is maybe worse - the descriptions frighten off future readers?
Unless it is really gruesome!
Some methods really are ...
....or we gain by giving them a good short life ...
Exactly according to the contract! :) We provide certain things they need, including a good death, and they produce for us. This contract is not even, but it is a contract! ;)
 

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we have a motto here, "a great life and one bad day" We process birds, rabbit and small animals here and we take larger animals to the butcher, such as a cow. We have two pig now my boys want to process themselves. I appreciate they are humane and quick with the hard job.
It just is not practical to keep all the animals. We moved to this life to raise our own meat, eggs and milk. We knew what that meant. We do have boundaries, such as We do not make my youngest son participate in rabbit processing since he spends every day feeding them and loving on them. He knows their fate but offers them a wonderful life until their bad day. We say bad day, but because the rabbits are so tame, they have no fear and don't know what is about to happen, which is really fast. Although our chickens are not so tame, and are stressed that day but again, we treat them humanly as we can on such a day.
Feeding my family what we have grown, or raised here is far better then anything we can purchase in store.

People provide food, protection, and love.
Animals return food, protection, and love.
YES!!

When it comes to sick goats, I will euthanize before allowing one to suffer. It took years to understand this as a loving response. I would think, " but maybe they will rally" allowing them to suffer too long before they finally die on their own. No longer, I know the signs of a goat on deaths door. It's not easy to shoot a beloved goat. But I have to remove my own feelings from the picture and think of what is best for the animal.
 

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My 2 goats are strictly pets, and I have worked hard to keep them from breeding. My view is this, as humans we are their guardian. Food, protection, love, diet, and direction. You ultimately are responsible for the animal and what happens with it. If they breed, then you have to take control of it, if you dont want more, you have to do the needful.

and ill never eat mine, lol i told the kids, they'll go before the go-tees
 
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