Worry, Stress and Goat Care.....
Anyone that owns animals knows that they can be the greatest source of joy, solace and happiness, but this emotional attachment also means that they can be some of the biggest stressors in terms of emotional sanity. Now, I know I am extremely sensitive person, that picks up on emotional ques much faster than the average farmer, but when my goats are sick it physically pains me.
This summer when MJ was so ill it was almost the only thing I could think about. It was all consuming for me. I just hate when you have done everything in your power to take care of them to the best of your ability and the rest of it is out of your control. This is part of the reasons that I struggle so much parting with my goats. My logical brain knows that I cannot keep them all, but it is part of the reason that I try my hardest to find the best homes for my animals that I cannot keep in my herd.
That means when I hear that one of my animals is struggling that I have sold I do everything in my power to make suggestions, teach and guide them to give the animal the best care possible. I actually have a contract that I have new buyers sign that includes me being available for questions and suggestions 24/7. One of the hardest pills to swallow is when the animal passes away despite my best efforts. As creepy as it may sound, I sold a buckling this spring who ended up passing away, after many days of communication with the owner suggesting different actions. I woke up much earlier in the morning than I usually do and I just knew in my gut that he had passed away. I received that confirmation from the new owner later that day that he had passed away overnight. This really makes me ruminate on why I breed my animals and therefore have to sell some of the kids. The simple answer is my goal is to improve the breed as a whole and provide more high quality registered Nigerian dwarf goats to other families to breed, milk, show, love and enjoy! Overall, the good significantly outweighs the bad in my farming experiences, but goats teach me something everyday. They remind me to live fully in the moment, enjoy the warm sunshine, and grass even when the days are cold. I think we could all learn if we lived a little bit more like our goats, kicking up our heels and rejoicing whenever we feel like it! Happy Goating!