There’s no other word to describe what we just found in the goat barn. Went out to do the evening chores, and was taking hay to the goats, when I discovered one of our best milkers was dead. She had twins who were both thriving (but are so little, they’re now going to need to be bottle-fed)…this kind of tragedy of course never happens to the goats whose kids die early. Only to the ones with kids that’ll need to be bottle-fed.
The goat’s name was Marigold. She was among the first goats born to us, when we first got into this, and she moved with us in the “Noah’s Ark on Wheels” from Illinois.
Here is what seems to have happened: she was in the kidding pen with her kids (like I said, they’re still quite young), and she stuck her head through the cattle panel that separates the kidding pen from the “general population” goat area. Not sure if she was after more hay, or what. But here’s the thing: she did NOT get her horns stuck in the fence. She wedged a horizonal piece of the cattle panel against her throat, and then somehow managed to tuck the end of her muzzle back into in a square of the metal panel that was below the one up against her throat. She suffocated to death. Not sure if that makes sense, but I was too sickened by the scene to take a picture that would clarify it. And the whole thing took us a while to figure out, ourselves. The worst part is it made no sense, why she would tuck her muzzle back through the fence. She was wedged so tightly, I had to use bolt cutters to cut the panel. It’d be one thing if she’d caught her horns. This is totally senseless.
When I cut her free and her body collapsed on the floor, all the dead air that’d been trapped in her lungs came out. It was one of the most horrible things I’ve ever smelled.
She’d been dead for awhile, and I’m kicking myself for not having checked on the goats more today. But I got busy with work…and all kinds of other things. Maybe if I’d gone more often to give them hay? Maybe if…maybe if…maybe if.
Such is farm life. Great joys. Great sorrows. Great miracles. Great tragedies.
I’m sorry, but I’m just too upset to write any more about this.