Not Strong Enough

We gave it the old college try with the goat kids born early Saturday morning, but in the end they just weren’t strong enough.

It was an easy call with the smaller of the two. It was really scrawny, and couldn’t even hold its head up to eat. We made it comfortable, and then I euthanized it.

We had higher hopes for the larger of the two. She made numerous attempts to stand up, and was clearly acting hungry. We warmed up a cup or so of milk from one of the other goats, and I fed it to the kid with a medicine dropper. She sucked it down with gusto, and I wondered if she might just have enough fighting spirit to make it.

Alas, spirit wasn’t enough. There was something wrong with her legs, and we could not get her to stand up for more than a couple of seconds. This is even after having gotten her good and dry, and fed, and letting her take a good nap. Her legs kept buckling, every time we tried to get her to stand.

I suppose we could’ve kept bottle feeding her indefinitely, hoping her legs would eventually strengthen. But there was another problem: her mother goat was so pathetic and runty, her udder was barely discernible. The Yeoman Farm Children didn’t see how the mother could ever support this kid. Which means the doe is a good candidate for a cull, but that’s another story.

The more immediate issue was the kid that couldn’t stand. Given the extremely long odds against her ever living a normal life, it didn’t seem that we had a lot of options. She had a comfortable afternoon in a box by the heater in my office. Then, unpleasant as it was, I knew we really had to put her down.

I realize that there are any number of ways to kill a little goat kid quickly and without pain. Still, my preference is a pistol shot to the forehead. It’s extremely fast and sure, and with a relatively small caliber doesn’t amount to overkill. I won’t go into details, other than to assure you that the kid’s death was indeed instantaneous.

Farming has such great joys. And it also has days like yesterday. It’s all of one piece, and it really isn’t possible to have the former without the latter. But I wouldn’t trade this life for anything.

One thought on “Not Strong Enough

  1. I understand your pain. These are hard calls to make. We've been through this a few times and have only been successful once. I know it was hard. I hope your others do better.

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