We had been monitoring Glowbug pretty closely the last few days because of her illness and I decided that if she wasn't showing signs of improvement by Monday we'd load her up and take her to the vet for better or worse. When we went out to feed Guthrie this morning we couldn't spot her right off, but then we noticed her about 10 ft. from where we last saw her yesterday, laying in the tall grass. Josh checked on her and it was confirmed; she had died sometime in the night.
I guess it is part of the farm life when an animal dies, but it is still hard to accept. I'm not sure what the real cause was but can only speculate. Midnight has started having the scours too, so we are going to have to find a vet to take him to tomorrow I suppose. I feel so bad about her passing and I don't want him to die as well if there is something we can do. I guess I should have taken her to the vet a few days ago, but that doesn't mean that she wouldn't have died anyway I suppose. I was having trouble getting her to eat and drink much. I took her the protein pail but she didn't really care for that or for goat feed. The only thing I could get her to eat was leaves and such...
Some of the goats have had diarrhea before so I was hoping it would clear up like it has before... I waited too long though. I guess it could have been any number of things: worms, coccidiosis, feed scours, pneumonia, etc. I did the worming not long ago, and gave them the medicated feed for coccidiosis. I guess I need to give them all the CD and T vaccine and a SQ shot of wormer... I don't want this to happen again, even though I am sure we'll lose another goat someday.
I will get Midnight checked and talk to the vet about the problems with Glowbug and hopefully he'll guide me to the proper course of action for the future. Learning as you go sucks sometimes. I guess this isn't as bad as the time Josh and our Step-Dad bought some goats when we were kids and didn't know any better than to feed them a bunch of corn and they all died...
On a brighter note my Uncles David and Steve visited this afternoon. I showed them around the place and we talked for a while about this and that. Uncle David helped us a lot when we were building the house (he used to design homes for a log cabin company). Uncle Steve is a retired Episcopal Priest who currently lives in Maine but did preach at Shelter Island, NY and Boston, Mass. They are both my father's older brother and both went to Auburn (which turned into a family tradition) just as my dad did. Today when we were talking about the goats Uncle David said, "I didn't know goats got sick so much..." My response: "I didn't either."
We have been working on screening the back porch for the last few afternoons, which includes painting the lattice strips to go over the outside of the screen. I counted yesterday and it looks like I am going to be short some wood so I'll probably have to order some from Flanagan's Lumber and have them deliver it with some stuff for shelf building while I am at it. I guess I'll figure up just how much I need tomorrow. I also need to start deciding how/when to put up the buck pen since I guess the girls will start going into heat soon (July?).
Any kind words are welcome today... I am really down on myself for letting Glowbug down as a keeper. I can only strive to do better with the rest of the herd. At the same time though I feel a sense of responsibility as an aspiring farmer to cull out the weaker members of the herd to build a good foundation for the future. Any advice on how to balance these things?