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My little goat died yesterday...

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  • My little goat died yesterday...

    This was Little Ollie, the one who was attacked by a dog awhile ago if anyone remembers. He recovered fully from that though and was in good health. They were still at our old farm, and I just finished the goat pen at the new farm late the night before. I went to move them over to the new place first thing in the morning and he was dead in their pen. There was no injury or anything, he was just dead. I had been there at like 8 PM the night before feeding and doing chores (we still have a few horses there as well as the goats, and are very slowly moving out because we're moving less than 2 miles), and he was totally fine, playing with his buddy and jumping around and generally being his goofy self. I even let him out so he could follow me around while I fed and watered the horses and he was so full of himself, bucking and cavorting like crazy. He was probably only a year old. Our vet had mentioned at one point that he thought he might have a congenital heart murmur (anyway, he had one while being treated for the dog wounds but it could have been stress-related I guess?) so I don't know if that was it or what. He and Big Ollie/Billy (my other goat, they were both named Oliver but we called Big Ollie "Billy" sometimes for clarity...clear as mud, right?) were UTD on shots and worming and were in a dry pen with no plants at all nearby (desert in a drought year and all that) so I don't think he could have gotten into anything toxic.

    Anyway, I'm just sad and wanted to put that out there. There's a definite culture of "goat=food" around here (which I don't have a problem with, but I'm vegetarian and my goats are strictly pets) so I've been hearing a lot of jokes about eating him when I've mentioned it to people. My ranch hand was the only one who understood, he was really sad too. Ollie was more like a dog than a goat, he'd follow you around and even did some tricks.

    And now I have to find another buddy for Big Ollie... I moved him to the new pen anyway just in case there was something toxic there or something and the poor thing is so stressed. I want another mini (they're Nigerian Dwarves) so Big Ollie can have a companion his own size, but everyone I've found wants in excess of $100 for even wethers and with our move I really don't want to spend that. I did see an ad on CL for a woman with two mini goats she wants to place in a pet home because she's moving, so I emailed her and hopefully I'll hear something back. Goat shopping is the last thing I want to do right now, it feels kind of disrespectful to Little Ollie but I need to get a companion for Big Ollie, he shouldn't be alone.

    Ah, sorry for the rambling. Like I said, I just don't have anyone to really talk to about this so I thought I'd "talk" to COTHers since I know some of you all understand...
    exploring the relationship between horse and human

  • #2
    I feel your pain. Really. I found Mr. Goat dead in the pasture a few years ago. No sign of a struggle or attack.

    I'm sorry for your loss. Goats are wonderful and very fun animals to have around.
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling


    • #3
      So Sorry

      Oh Cos, I am SO sorry. I clicked on this as soon as I saw your post, hoping it was not Ollie. I have no insight as to what could have happened, just my thoughts and prayers for you. You worked so hard when he was injured. I hope you find the right companion for your other boy.

      Good luck with the move and again, I am really sorry. Take care.
      Quality Hunter Ponies


      • #4
        I'm so sorry! I have lost two goats and it's the saddest thing to see their sweet happy little spirits gone.... I don't know for sure what happened with mine either, we also worry about the toxicity but we had also had a stray dog in chasing my goats all over the day before mine died. The other one died suddenly too, ugh it's awful!

        Hopefully you find another goatie that needs a home-mine have all been free or rescue type situations.... this time of year a lot of people don't want to take care of them any more.

        again, I'm sorry. too sad.
        “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


        • #5
          I love my goats and feel very sorry for you on the loss of yours...Goats can be like that, fine one minute and dead the next...I hope mine live another 9 years although I don't think they live quite that long...Goats do like other goats around so I do think that as soon as is feasible I would get him another companion..I would make sure that any new goat you take in is healthy before exposing him to your current goat..especially with the stress of a move and loss of his companion. His immune system is already under strain..Not a good time to be trying to fight off something.


          • #6
            So sorry for your loss of Little Ollie


            • Original Poster

              Thanks guys, I knew you'd understand. It actually helps to hear that it isn't uncommon for them to die suddenly like that. I've always loved goats and known quite a few, but never long term and these are the first I've really cared for full-time. I've been second-guessing myself and thinking I should have moved them sooner or stayed at the old farm or something (which I know is stupid, it's not like I could have done anything while asleep in the house) so it is kind of reassuring to know this just happens sometimes.

              Poor Billy is so stressed right now, I was just out with him and he's kind of frantic. I sat with him for about 20 minutes scratching his horns which he loves so that helped. I really want to get another goat for him ASAP because I'm so worried I'll lose him too from the stress. I don't know if I should have left him at the old farm or not, but I moved him as soon as I was done burying Ollie so I guess that ship has sailed. He did seem just as upset at the old farm too so I don't know if it matters that much.

              Sitting out there with Billy made me really miss Ollie, though. Billy is great but he's a bit more aloof and takes himself rather seriously. Ollie was bottle-raised and thought of himself as human as much as goat I think. I would sit down with them and he'd climb all over me and when it was chilly he would try to climb into my jacket or sweater. It felt kind of lonely just sitting out there quietly scratching Bill's head.
              exploring the relationship between horse and human


              • #8
                I'm so sorry to hear about Ollie. I read the thread after the dog attack and thought of him often.



                • Original Poster

                  Here's a picture of Ollie and me. It was taken awhile ago by my sister before she left to work overseas. It was before he was castrated so...maybe March? I think this might have even been before the dog attack but right now I can't seem to remember exactly. He'd slimmed down a lot and was officially a wether by now, but most of my other photos of him are only on backups thanks to a recent computer/car accident and this was the only one my sis had uploaded to Facebook.

                  It's a link to my Google+ account because I couldn't figure out how to make the facebook one public so let me know if you guys can't see it. He was the cutest little goat.

                  edit: StG, I had left the COTH window open and didn't see your post. Thanks, it means a lot that people remembered him. He was such an awesome goat.
                  exploring the relationship between horse and human


                  • #10
                    So sorry to hear about Ollie's death. I used to have pet goats...several over the years. From what I know, sometimes goats just die without explanation!! And if they decide to die there isn't much you can do!!! He could have hurt himself just bouncing around as goats do or it might have been his heart. At least you saved him from his dog attack. RIP Little Ollie.
                    Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


                    • #11
                      So very sorry for your loss.

                      RIP Little Ollie.


                      • #12
                        That's too bad about your little guy.

                        Why don't you try your local meat auction if you just want "a goat"?
                        Lots of people do sell them privately for more then what they are worth.

                        I got two Saanen wethers for $70 each, and I'm off to pick up a (very) mix breed doe tomorrow for $100. Those are low prices as the meat price is so high, but if you are really patient you will be able to find better deals. I totally understand needing to get another goat as a companion right away though. Also try shelters! Sometimes they get barnyard animals in and will have low adoption fees for them.

                        If you can find Saanens they are incredibly friendly, ours ARE big dogs (they were also bottle-babies). Our SaanenXpygmy is named Harry (Houndini) with good reason... the "full blooded" (not sure) Saanen is better at staying in his paddock . The boys go for cheap because they are a dairy goat, and don't carry a lot of meat at all.
                        "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
                        Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
                        Need You Now Equine


                        • Original Poster

                          Thank you all. Nes, we will try the meat auction but since I'd really prefer a smaller goat I'm not too hopeful--the Olivers actually came from it, but it's usually larger Boers and the like. If I must I'll take what I can get, but I do really want to get Big Ollie a buddy who he can really bond with. Plus, my goat pens were designed with minis in mind and I'd have to make some changes for a full-size goat--certainly not insurmountable, but combined with the fact that I think Billy will do best with a mini buddy I'm looking into other avenues first. Plus it's on the same day as the horse auction and I hate going on that day when I can't buy a horse, which I really can't right now... I'll do it if nothing works out by Wednesday (the next day goats are sold), though.

                          The woman I mentioned in the OP emailed back and we'll chat on the phone tomorrow, it sounds hopeful. I think it sounds like such a great situation, two mini goat companions for Billy plus it sounds like they're in an isolated environment (backyard pets) and well-cared-for so presumably pretty healthy. She was also clear that she wants a pet home and since this time of year goats are a popular dinner dish I'm sure she's a bit worried, so hopefully she will feel comfortable leaving her pets with me! Keep your fingers crossed for me because it sounds like it could work out really well for both of us. This owner posted like 12 hours after I posted a "companion goat wanted" ad on the local CL and it just seems kind of lucky to me.

                          I kind of hate having to think about all this but I think it will be so good for Big Ollie to have buddies again and probably good for me too to be honest...I have been lucky enough to not lose very many animals in my life but I know I do better when I am forced by circumstances to move on, otherwise it is too easy to me just to be sad and never get another animal of that type. Part of the reason I'll never have just one dog or just one horse...
                          exploring the relationship between horse and human


                          • #14
                            People certainly still eat pygmy goats, and with the current economic situation & how many people are dumping animals - you may get lucky at the meat sale. They would go for very inexpensive since they don't weigh much the meat guys don't really want little ones.

                            GL with the companions from the CL lady though. We just couldn't have our farm without our goats now, they are wonderful additions (even when they are climbing in the car while I try to clean it out like this morning...)
                            "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
                            Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
                            Need You Now Equine


                            • #15
                              Godspeed Ollie.


                              • #16
                                awe man.. does it ever end this year?!
                                My deepest condolences to you. It's always so sad when they leave us, does not really matter how old they are.

                                I am keeping my fingers crossed that you can find a new buddy for Billie!


                                • #17
                                  I'm sorry about Ollie CosMonster, I second getting a Saanen if you can. I got 2 little males from a dairy for $10.00 each and bottle raised them. I found one dead one morning, no idea or reason for it. The other, Toby grew up and was pretty convinced I was his Mom and he should be allowed to go wherever I did.

                                  Here is my favorite picture of him, He jumped off the box and landed in the garbage can. Goofy guy just waited for me to come rescue him.


                                  • #18
                                    I'm really sorry about Ollie. I know how special goats are, and the "special" ones even moreso. I didn't see the thread about the dog attack. My two little cashmere goats were attacked by dogs. One is very nimble and escaped over the fence, but the other was hurt and fighting off the dogs when I saw what was happening. She wasn't hurt badly physically(relatively speaking) - her ears were severely chewed mostly. The vet who came out very quickly was very concerned. He said that the stress was very, very dangerous. He kept close watch on her and wanted us to, also - for many days.

                                    Many of the cashmere goats are very small, so that's another avenue to investigate.


                                    • #19
                                      First of all - I am so sorry for your loss. Goats are wonderful little critters, aren't they? We have a herd of...13? I think? Right now and I'd be heartbroken to lose any of them suddenly.

                                      I forget what area you're in, CosMonster, but I've got a little Nigerian buck (10 months old) who could really use a home. He could easily be wethered...I just hadn't done it yet because his other option is being...erm....culled. He's super cute, and polled (no horns, no disbudding necessary, genetically hornless) out of a polled doe by a horned buck (so not homozygous nor a hermie). White and tan, cute as a button and LITTLE. Also registerable with AGDA and MGDA (haven't done that yet either for the same reason) and very correct. I am keeping his twin brother as a new buck for my herd. My doe is itty bitty, and her bucklings are itty bitty. She had a nice udder this year as a FF, and I haven't bred her yet again.

                                      Babbling, but I'd love to find this little guy a goat-friendly home (for free) as I desperately do NOT want to have to go the cull route with him. He's too danged cute.


                                      • #20
                                        I am so sorry-Godspeed Ollie.

                                        I really hope the CL lady comes through for you and Billy has new friends very soon. I'm jingling for you!

                                        I've never had any goats. When we moved to our farm I tried to convince my husband to let us adopt 2 mini goats. We went out to see them. They were doing typical goat things like climbing and jumping and cavorting wildly. I thought my husband's eyes were going to bug out of his head!! I knew if I went ahead and pushed for the goats I'd be minus a husband so I quickly dropped that idea!

                                        FWIW, way back I used to sell veterinary pharmaceuticals. I remember having a discussion with a vet about goats. He told me that vets don't like working on goats because they are difficult to treat-they're either healthy or they're dead and there's nothing in between. Don't beat yourself up that Ollie's death was something you did or didn't do. He had a great home and someone who truly loved him. Sometimes our animal friends lives are too short but at least what they had while here was happy and surrounded by those that appreciated them for what they were.

                                        Maybe it sounds hokey but I do believe that their spirits remain with us. I like to think that I'm surrounded by spirits of beloved animals that I've lost. It feels very comforting to me to know that I'm never alone and neither are those that I've lost.