Sunday, July 12, 2009

Goodbye, Ben

We lost another animal overnight. I went out to feed the animals this morning, and found Ben, our 5-month-old billy goat, dead beside the pond. We had been treating him for severe parasite infestation. He was very sick, and his death wasn't really a surprise, but still a big loss.

He came to us as a 2-month-old kid with his mother, Emma. They're both Boer goats, intended for meat production, but of course for us they were pets. We read up on goats, and thought we knew what we were doing, but we missed the early signs, and by the time we realized he was really sick, it was too late.

He had a good time while he was with us, I think. He and his aunt, Arlene, played quite a bit, and of course he got to spend his short life with his mother, which is not really usual for domestic goats. (Arlene had a kid who was taken away before we got her.)

He was a sweet boy and liked to be petted. We could see the goat-tosterone building in him sometimes, but he'd always put it aside when he was around us.

His mother is out there calling for him now. She calls, and when he doesn't answer, she calls again, and gets increasingly agitated when there's no response. Then she gets distracted for a moment, but starts it up again.

Poor Emma. Poor Ben.

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  1. Oooh, how devastating. I am so very sorry.
    Goat hugs.

  2. I am stopping by to say thank you for your comment on my blog. Your kind words about Dreyfus are greatly appreciated. We sure do miss him. I am so sorry to read about your loss. For me this is the most difficult aspect of living in the country or having any pets for that matter.

    Your goats are beautiful, really nice looking Boers! Internal parasites are one of the biggest challenges to raising goats. When we first got into goats I was used to horses and dogs. Sure worms can cause them problems but it takes a long time for it to become a problem and you just don't hear about about them dieing from worms like you do goats. You are not alone, internal parasites, especially the barber pole worm is a challenge for raising goats in general but it does get a lot easier.


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