I really didn’t want to write this blog. In fact I argued with myself and tried to justify why I didn’t need to put all this out there, but in the end, I had to face the fact I promised myself this page would always be honest. I promised to include it all, the good, the bad and the ugly.
This year has been a challenging one right off the bat. We didn’t keep good records on our breeding dates for the goats….mostly because we didn’t set up ‘dates’, instead we just put the does in with the buck and let nature take its course, which is not the best idea. This isn’t something we have ever done before and now I know why I usually keep such meticulous records.
So here we are in spring wondering when we should start planning for kidding season. When do we do the pre-kidding vaccinations and supplement injections? When do we set up the kidding area and separate the pregnant doe? And of course when do we try to schedule time off work to be here in case they need us?
We had some idea on dates for one doe and she was the only one to kid so far. Everything went well and we thought we were on our way to a smooth kidding season. These things lull you into a false sense of security, something I won’t fall for again. A few days ago Hubs called me while he was out doing chores (this is never a good thing in case you were wondering. Good news can usually wait till he gets back inside, it’s only bad news that requires an immediate phone call). Anyway, he called to tell me that one of the babies had died. The littlest girl, who we called Cottontail, had crawled into the warming box at some point, went to sleep and didn’t wake up. We were totally baffled since she had been fine earlier in the morning, no signs of any problems so the only thing we can figure is that she had some kind of trauma, possible being head butted or stepped on, went to her favorite place (the warming box) and fell asleep for the last time.
It can be incredibly hard to lose a baby, or an older pet, for that matter. With babies you see the loss of potential, things that they never had a chance to experience, so much life lost; with older animals you’ve had a chance to get to know them and cherish their personalities. Either way just sucks. Life in general isn’t easy, nor is it fair, this is a lesson most of us learn at some point. Life on the farm just gives you a up close and personal look all that life has to offer, both the good and the bad, on a very regular basis.
Rest in peace Cottontail. Your flame only burned briefly, but it burned brightly.