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What is your limit?

Sometimes you have to put a goat down.
You know the vet bill to keep him going is unthinkable. Or is it?
The time comes for us all.

Do you have a plan for putting him down and for disposing of the carcass?

It is illegal in many placed to dump a carcass in the dump.
Goats that are not papered for the food supply may be difficult or impossible to have butchered. And a butcher will rarely agree to do the kill.

The stress of deciding to do the deed need not be compounded by not having a plan to do it. Talk with your vet early so you are not surprised.

When Curley was in bad shape I had to do it myself. I am hoping to give away the goats as they get older but still have some good years to people who would like to get into goats as starter animals so that I don't have to deal with it. But anyone taking them should have a plan in place.

Ideally for me I would like to have 2 or three goats who are packers and two or three in training. Just rotate them in and out of the herd.
 

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Hello,

right now I haven't been there that I had to put down a goat because of the vet bills. I had some expensive brush's in the last year, f.e. the rhododendron poisoning with complicating pneumonia two years ago or the re-occuring UC last year that put goats in the vet clinic for several weeks. Luckily it's a teaching hospital so vet bills are acceptable and you can take your animal home weeks before they send you the bill and they agree to paying in smaller amounts. It's one of the reasons (the other is the qualified staff there) because I will take my goats there when I suspect that something bigger is going on.

A time to put them down for me is when they suffer without hope of healing. But I'm also getting to a point where I act faster and demand more aggressive therapy much sooner than in the years before - resp. don't wait for the local vet but make the way to a.m. clinic.

In Germany there's a system - kind of a obligatory insurance for stock animals. You have to register the number of animals you keep once a year and pay a small, fixed amount (varies from cows and horses to sheep (about 1 USD) and goats - goats in some parts of Germany being free of charge) per animal. With this amount you qualify to have every animal that had to be put down collected at your place and brought to a crematorium where it will be burned. This insurance will also cover your losses in case of a major outbreak like foot and mouth or bluetongue for every animal killed by the disease or culled to stop the outbreak.
 

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Cuzco is such a magnificently-patterned goat that Phil thinks it would be a shame to waste that lovely coat. Phil believes Cuzco would make a stunning pair of chaps, or perhaps a vest. As our goat is now pushing nine years old, we're starting to think about looking for a good taxidermist and a leather worker who could do these things for us in a few years when the time comes.

Personally, I'm a bit appalled by the idea of Phil wearing his pet around, but I suppose I would get used to it. We're also toying with the idea of having Cuzco's head mounted and starting a "goatem pole". We would just keep adding goat heads over the years until it reached a respectable height.
 

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It's about $100 to have a goat put down here on the west coast. I figure if they have given me many yeears of loyalty the least I can do is cough up the bucks and make it easy on all of us. We have a goat graveyard where they go after.

Shooting them is perfectly humane but my husband won't and I can't, unless it's an emergency.
 

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LA-AL-LA-LA.... I can't hear you (fingers in ears)... I'm not even going to think about it until it's right here in front of me!

I guess I would just take him out in the boondocks to a nice place, shoot him, and cover him with rocks to keep the scavengers from scattering his bones. Maybe some nice rocks on top as a grave marker. I know that's how I would like to be disposed of.

Things are a bit different here. There is so much wild country, and so few people. The elk and deer hunters leave their gut piles all over the country, and the scavengers (bears, coyotes, vultures, etc) clean everything up. You see the bones of cows, and occasional horse, and wild animals all the time when you hike this country.

What a contrast between the worlds we live in. Germany is so crowded and civilized, while New Mexico (and all the Rocky Mountain states) is so empty and primitive.
 

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I agree with Sabine. They need put down when there is no hope of them getting better and they are suffering. I have had several goats and dogs die happily of old age. I am totally all for keeping an animal till they die naturally even if they are way past being useful. I figure they earned their retirement.

But the occasion arises every now and then where I have had to put an animal down. I have paid the vet to put animals down when they were at the office for treatment at the time. Otherwise I save the 60 mile round trip and $55 by doing it myself. There is no question that it is hard to shoot a goat that has been your friend on the trail. Very hard. But to me it is part of owning an animal. An old farmer once told me that when he was growing up there was a saying among cowboys, "If you can't shoe your own horse or shoot your own dog you shouldn't have either one."

I'm not saying this is how it should be with everyone but it is the way I look at life on a farm. If you plan to own animals then you have to expect things to happen. When they do, you have to be mentally able to deal with them. I understand that not everyone is capable either physically or mentally to put their own animal down. So deal with it in what ever way is best for you. I often get asked by family and neighbors to put down their animals for them. I know how hard it is and help if I can but I still don't like it.
 

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Yeah, it's the hard part of goat owning.
Of course, they are way easier than horses. We have horses put down at our barn seems like way too often, and they not only have to have the vet for $100, it's $200 for the renderer to come get them. We have a place in the pasture for burying some of the old favorites but with 40 head of horses not everyone gets to go there. We put down about 3-5 horses a year, mostly of old age.

With the goats, I can shoot them and we bury them so that doesn't cost anything but it's worth the $100 for the vet to come and it just seems more civillized.

But it's something we all need to think about because they don't live forever, much as we wish they would. And they have earned a good death. I think mounting heads or making clothing is a great way to memorialize them.
 

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>>>I am hoping to give away the goats as they get older

If you do this with Pig please let me know. I can retire animals here if they come from here.
 

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sweetgoatmama said:
But it's something we all need to think about because they don't live forever, much as we wish they would. And they have earned a good death. I think mounting heads or making clothing is a great way to memorialize them.
if there's time and the goat hasn't been treated with substances that are harmfull when ingested, I could also see to have the goat butchered and the meat used to feed our dogs. I this cases I can also have the hide cured.
 

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i would put my own goat out of its misery. my dad has had to with goats, dogs, and cats. i mean if you go to put cat food out and your favorite big tom cat is laying there crying and all torn to pieces from a **** your not gonna make the poor thing suffer an hour to the vet, and waiting, and then have the vet say its too much for it. why drag it out?
but thats me. i see things like rex said. if you cant shoot your horse or your dog you shouldnt have either one.
it will be hard but its how the farm goes. if your vegatarian you wouldnt raise beef cattle...
 

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It's way to much work for me, but goat leather makes the best gloves. They are said to not get all hard and shrunken, like other leather, when they get wet.

And as Carolyn said, the meat would be very useful.
 

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My dad was a book binder, and he says goat skin is some of the best leather in the world. Butter-soft yet very durable. Some of the best jackets and gloves are made from goat-skin leather.

And I still love the bagpipes!
 
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