All I have to say is….”Somebody LIED to me!!!!”
So you may have guessed by the post More Goat issues. We had another traumatic goat problem. Our new goat “Larry” died, and were pretty sure it was from exposure. I.e. Hypothermia. AGAIN!!!!
I’d left the evening chores for Chris to do when he came home from work.
He walks in the kitchen looks at me and says, “So how long has Larry been dead?”
I was so mad I could barely respond to him.
Partially at him for stating it so abruptly, for thinking that I may have known and left this discovery for him to find and deal with…but mostly I was pissed at the goat, at us, at the situation, again.
Let me say that in most of my travels, readings and seeking of “expert opinions” the one common theme is that goats have very minimal shelter requirements. The lady we bought most of the goats from told me she’d had 2 small bucks stay in a large doghouse all winter.
So why is my goat frozen stiff in my barn?
That’s right, he was inside this time. In the barn and frozen.
Most articles I’ve read say that a lot of the time goats require only a 3-sided shelter. They need only a place to escape the rain, snow and wind. Yet here I am with the barn that we went out of our way to patch up, insulate and repair, and it’s not enough?!?!?
What the heck is going on?
I swear there is no other time I have been so close to throwing up my hands, admitting we don’t have a clue what were doing and putting this place up for sale.
There is nothing like losing 2 animals, quite literally within a month of each other to the same thing? I wanted to scream. I wanted to sell the rest of the goats, because we may be unfit goat owners.
On closer examination of Larry, we realized he had a completely unfit coat for our weather. The rest of our goats have their beautiful goats, and if you lift the hair they have an undercoat of hair as well. They look shaggy. They are warm. They are Alpines that seem to be able to survive in our severe climate.
Although I think Larry had some Alpine in him, his floppy ears were a dead give away that he was a cross. And whatever he was crossed with must not produce the same kind of undercoat that the other goats do. You stuck your hand through his coat and you touched skin. It was like sending someone outside in –28 degree C weather in a spring jacket.
Chris had mentioned before that Larry wasn’t as shaggy as the others. I wrote it off. Maybe he’d been a total inside goat his whole life. Just let him adjust to the cold he’ll grow a thicker coat like the others if he needs it!
What was I thinking?
I should have gone out there and put the “goat coat” on that animal.
I didn’t know.
And my ignorance has cost us yet again.
I’m stumbling blindly right now. There are so many things I don’t even know where you’d find the “answers” to when you don’t even know to ask the question. The worst-case scenarios could be endless.
I don’t know right now what the next step is. I don’t know where were headed from here.
Do we try again with another male goat?
If we do it will be a purebred Alpine, or something equally hardy.
Do we sell Romeo?
He can’t continue to bunk with the girls, but no companion in his own barn and own field may kill him too.
Do we sell them all?
Admitting maybe goats are harder to figure out than we thought.
Right now I don’t know…