“A day in the country is worth a month in town”Christina Rossetti

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Freak Accident - Unbelievable

I don't know where to start with this post.
I'm sick about this.

Over the week-end we got the kids to follow their mothers up the alley to the first gate. The first day we had one or two kids "lose" their mother when they were busy browsing, and the yelling went on until a rescue by a sibling or the whole herd occurred. They've been on the ball since.

Yesterday evening, we moved a second shed across the alley for the nannies and their kids, and the four 2011 yearling does. We've had spring weather, but precipitation is back in the forecast, and all those goats needed more shelter. The whole group went to the barn door to wait to get in, while we moved the shed and the mineral barrel up the hill. I heard some gate banging and saw the group in the corral at the gate, and knew someone was challenging another goat through the gate.  It happens a lot.

Our move was done, and we went to the barn to get the stalls ready and get everyone in. We opened the barn door, the rush of caprine beasts came through, and I got everyone in their assigned stalls. As I was closing stall doors, Dave yelled to "Get out here!". Layla was on the ground by the gate with her horns locked into the wire. We tried pulling her horns every which way to free her and both of us couldn't get it done.  One of her kids was suckling her while all this was going on, and the four goats on the other side of the gate were getting irritated as they were hungry for dinner.

We stopped to try and figure this out, and Dave finally said, "Is she alive?". I looked down and realized she hadn't helped or fought or done anything for this eternal minute.  Then I saw her tongue.

Yeah! I swore!

Once her head was stuck, and at a low angle, I believe she got head butted back and her neck was broken.  My only relief is thinking it was quick. Since one kid was still nursing away, we brought her other kid out on the chance they could get any let down milk one last time.

We had to take the gate off the hinges and work a while longer to finally free her from it. It was horrible.
I barely managed to keep it together, but we now had orphans to deal with.  The saving grace I hope, will be they are so big and healthy, and at three and a half weeks have been eating grain and hay quite well.  The bottle feeding is messy and a struggle, but already Julia, my 4-H-er, was over to help this morning (no school because of conferences).

I'm praying all the issues with the change in diet and the stress won't set her twins back for too long. They are staying with the herd and playing, when they don't stop to call for their mother, so I hope we can keep them healthy.



Kittie Howard said...

OMG! My heart stopped. What a terrible accident. Like you, though, I'm relieved it was quick - little consolation, actually - oh, just terrible what happened. Here's hoping the kids continue to respond well to the grain. Hugs! (I would have sworn, too.)

Louvregirl said...

I'm so sorry. It sounds horrible. I hate that kind of thing. At least her kids are old enough to carry on!
Sad. Let us know how you (and they) are doing...

Julie said...

This is so sad ... I really feel for you, having gone through this. All the best with the twins, and take care.

Julie said...

This is so sad ... I really feel for you, having gone through this. All the best with the twins, and take care.

Ray955 said...

Very sad indeed, at least the twins are big and strong enough to carry on. Take care.

dotsie said...

Hi Rose,
I am so sorry--this must have been very traumatic for you all, I hope the little goat had a quick, painless death.In the pet world they say animals go over the rainbow bridge where they romp and play and wait for us to join them one day-it's pretty hokey, but at times a comforting thought. Here in the city I have spent the week with a very sick cat-my 19 year old Beans Today she showed signs that it was time. I had tests to see what it was as everything happened so fast, and there definitely is no cure. Fortunately, I had a vacation planned this week, which i cancelled, so I have had the time to be with her.

Deere Driver said...

Dotsie -You are a good pet owner. Maybe too good!

Taking care of the twins has been a challenge and their needs have made us get on with things. They are doing great and after two weeks have zero problems with the milk replacer, which was my greatest concern. I read how they would die from it. So far, they have thrived.