December 13, 2010

Tribute to a Good Goat

I knew it was going to happen, but it was still sad to go in the barn on Saturday morning and find Dream, one of my oldest goats, dead.

When we moved to Oak Hill more than six years ago, we brought three goats with us: Dream, her half sister Hope, and Chloe, an alpine doe that I later sold. Dream and Hope were "long yearlings" and were bred to our new neighbor's buck that first autumn. About half of my herd is related to her: daughters and granddaughters, and this coming spring I hope we will have great-granddaughters too.

Hope is flashy - black and white spotted - but Dream was just brown. Hope has a larger personality, where Dream was calm and steady. Hope has kidded only twice, but Dream kidded every year, usually with twins. She provided the bulk of our family's milk for years. She earned Grand Champion at our county fair several times.

Kidding and milking are hard on a doe's body. She would have been nine this spring; my grand plan was to retire her at ten years old and let her live out the rest of her life.

Dream with her daughter Taffy, now 3 years old

But last spring she had a very hard kidding with a big buck kid that presented ears-first, ie, the back of his head. After praying, I remembered that a friend had faced a similar situation with a sheep, so I enlisted the help of my hubby, who picked up her hind end so that gravity helped the kid move back inside a bit, allowing me to reach in to find his chin and guide him out. He was dead of course. A few minutes later she birthed a doeling, a total surprise! The buckling was so big that I never expected a twin, and when she arrived I was also surprised that she was alive and healthy.


I let Dream raise Delilah and did not milk her this year, but she never really recovered after that tough kidding. I did not breed her this fall. I fed her separately so that she had plenty to eat, gave her special treats and vitamins, dewormed her. She had a goat coat to wear when it was cold, and a buddy to snuggle with. But she wasted away and on Saturday morning she was gone. I'm going to miss her.


  1. So sorry to hear that you lost Dream, very sad when our goatie friends leave us!

  2. So sorry to hear about your doe. She really sounded like a "dream" goat and I'm sure it's a least a little comforting to know that you have all those wonderful daughters and granddaughters out of her - tho I'm also sure they'll never replace her.


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