Goat Kids – The Sorrowful Side
One of the hardest things that you will have to face living the homesteading lifestyle is losing an animal. As homesteaders, we strive very hard to give our animals happy, healthy lives, and gentle deaths when it’s their time to go. Unfortunately, even with veterinary care, sometimes, you have to make the decision to put an animal down. Or you may simply lose the animal while fighting to save it.
Sometimes, diseases hit the flock or herd that you had no idea existed, and that your veterinarian doesn’t know exactly what they are dealing with. Some diseases are pretty uncommon. Over the last several weeks, while I haven’t been posting often, I’ve been dealing with exactly that. We had a goat kid become ill overnight. In less than 24 hours, he could no longer walk. In 48 hours despite our best efforts and despite taking him to the vet, he was gone. That was rough. However, we thought we were likely dealing with floppy kid syndrome. So, we started caring for the rest as though that was what was the matter.
It Didn’t Get Better
It wasn’t. 24 hours after he first started getting sick, we had one of our little does go down. A day after that, one of our remaining two doe kids went down. We did our best to save the both of them. The vet wasn’t sure what was the matter. We tried several different treatments. They started to seem to improve and our hopes rose…..only to crash and burn within two days. Two days later, both doe kids were dead. We were heartsick. The night that we lost our two girls, a second boy started not feeling well.
At that point, we found out what to treat the rest with, when they very first start behaving well mannered. At a month old, bottle goats should be little barbarians. If they aren’t, they need treatment right away. In our case, ours needed penicillin and thiamine. If you have kids not acting right, I would recommend having a vet check them though. You never know if what is the matter with yours is different from what was the matter with ours.
We Move Forward
I haven’t written this blog for several weeks because of fighting for the lives of my babies and then needing time to heal and find the words to talk about what has been happening on the homestead. Even on the homestead of people who have been doing this for years, things can and do go wrong. But don’t let it discourage you from trying homesteading. It is so worth it all in the end. To be able to be a little more self sufficient at the end of the day, and to see the animals that you have learned to raise and care for thriving and producing.