Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hard decisions

Belle (black/white pygmy) & Cloudy (white ND) in Vegas.

When we moved to KY from NV, we brought 2 of our goats with us. I couldn't handle leaving them behind, they were my bottle babies, one of which I got when she (Heinz) was 4 hours old, the other when he (Stripies) was 8 days old. Both had lost their mamas, Stripies mom died when he was 3 days old & he was the only survivor out of the 4 kids. Heinz was also 1 of 4 and her mom rejected her. Stripies came from a friends ranch, she begged me to take him as she was already bottle raising 2 lambs and was so sad after losing the goats (she lost many kids that winter). Heinz came from a local goat farmer (in Vegas!) and she cried as she put Heinz in my arms. She gave me her email address and asked that I send her pictures and updates. We still keep in touch =o)

Heinz (black Alpine) & Stripies (white ND wether) in Vegas.

Before we left Vegas, we had 4 goats, Belle, Cloudy, Stripies & Heinz. Belle was pregnant and I didn't want to risk her losing them. We contacted a farm outside of Vegas, they came and bought her and Cloudy (they were BFF's).

Cloudy (left) & Belle (pregnant, right) in Vegas.

After we got to KY, we started looking for goats. They are such intelligent, charming, mischievious animals =o) They are beautiful, gentle and sweet. They are naughty, rambunctious and curious. They are nosy, pushy and lazy. They are foragers, tree climbers and natural fertilizers. We found many goats and we started building our herd.

In Kentucky, after bush-hogging.

Vegas was very dry and very rocky. We trimmed the goats hooves twice a year because they had rocks to play on that kept them worn down. Eastern KY is very wet and very green. We've had to trim the goats hooves every other month. We've also had to fight foot rot because of all the wet mud that is a big part of the farm, especially when the grasses have been eaten and trampled. In Vegas we didn't have coughs or wheezing or pink eye. In KY, we've had it all and then some. We've had to use medicines that we swore we'd never put into our animals. We've had to hold them down and we've had to put 1 down.

One of the mama does, in Kentucky.

Mr. Wild and I have been discussing whats in everybodys best interest. We can't continue this way, not when animals are in pain. We had the vet come out, we've had old-timers come over and they've all said the same thing. The mud is a huge problem. We need to put down rock. The amount of rock we need is expensive, almost $4000 expensive. We've got a LOT of animals that we need to feed through winter. Our goats are not raised for food. Not for us anyways, I don't like the taste of the meat, never have. We were told that we could have them processed into pepperoni. We don't eat that much pepperoni and its illegal for us to sell any of our meat as we aren't set up for that.

Oreo (American Alpine buck) hanging with the chickens (In KY).

So we decided we needed to sell most of the herd. We contacted the man we bought our 1st cow from as he use to be a Boer goat breeder. We told him our situation and asked him if he could help us find new homes, good homes, for our goats. Last night we took 11 of the 15 goats to his ranch and sold them. I tried really hard to not cry as we were loading & unloading them. Mr. Wild & I didn't talk much in the truck on the way there. They all have names, they come when called, they know the routine at our farm, they are talked to, petted, loved. The cow man assured us that the people we sold to are good farmers, kind farmers that will take great care of our herd. And their farms aren't big mud pits because farmer Paul talked Mr. Wild into bush-hogging too much. Yeah, I'm a little mad about that!

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