Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Hard Decisions Of Farm Life..

 So I mentioned a couple blog back about having to make a decision about certain goats here on our farm.
We have very limited space here and things had gotten a little crowded. But April my older Reg. Nubian doe had become a source of stress. She has issues.. She was a great mom if the babies survived and she didn't have to much trouble. After looking through my records I realized I have had to help with every delivery and only 5 out of 9 of those babies had made it. Now even though she was older she is not that old. Just now turning 7 yrs old. I got her as a 2 1/2 yr old right after her second kidding. She milked alot. sometimes almost 2 gallons a day.
 Then last fall her milk suddenly started tasting funny and she dried up with in a week.. She had started her heat cycles. Everything is indicating Cyst on her ovaries. But I haven't found a vet to ultrasound her that isn't an hour away and decent priced.. So I finally decided I was going to send her to the processor. Even scheduled it.. I was thinking How in the world am I going to drop her off there?? But knowing I could sell her to an unsuspecting person of her troubles. But I was going to do it no matter how hard it was. I really thought she would be here to a ripe old age... You know 12 or 13 yrs old.. Not 7...
 So Thursday a guy stops to look at babies but he didn't want bottle babies.. So we were talking goats and I was telling him about the different ones. I was telling him about April and all the trouble she had. How I had her scheduled for the processor.. He said I will buy her How much you want?... I said she cannot be bred. He said Nope not going to breed her. He runs a herd of 40 goats behind his cattle to help clean up pasture. He only breeds certain ones each year for milk to raise calves. So I told him my price and we went back and forth a little bit and she went to a new home.  It was much easier on me to do this than to take her to the processor. I will still be taking 2 wethers to the processors next week but that is their sole purpose.
 With April and Abby(who is doing great at Grannies Best) gone things are so much calmer out there. Its not so stressful to go out there now. Sasha and Dollie are two that have iffy futures though. Sasha is now 2 yrs old and hasn't settled yet. But she has another chance. Dollie has NOT chilled out at all!. It took us 45 minutes the other day to get her into the same pasture with everyone else!!  She can barely be caught and will run us over trying to get away. It will only get worse the bigger she gets. Her parents are not like that and she was handled as a kid. We are trying but its getting ridiculous.. Candice is suppose to show her but its looking mighty iffy! If she does not calm down when she has babies she will go too.
 I will not be replacing any of the does that have left. I think 10 is to many and it will take us down to 8 right now. We will be milking the 3 this year. Right now I am getting more than 3 gallons a day and they haven't hit peak yet! So I am sure we will have plenty of Milk.
 I knew there would come a time when I would have to cull some of the does but didn't think it would be April for sure.. I do have her daughter Hope who has done far better than her mom. She has always popped out babies with no problem. Easy milker and big producer.
 So that was the hard decision..

17 comments:

Linda said...

Tonia... BIG HUG!

Amy McPherson Sirk said...

Oh my! That was a rough one. I'm glad it all worked out but that must've been very, very difficult.

Carol said...

So glad you found the unexpected home! I know that made it so much easier for you. Sending you big hugs!
What do you do with all of the milk? Do you make cheese, just use it for the family or do you sell it too? Curious mind today can you tell? :)

goatpod2 said...

Big hugs to you! We've had to make those kind of decisions recently.

Blessings,

Amy

matty said...

Hugs and kisses for the goats and hugs for you! You have such compassion for them that it is tough to do things that make financial sense. Probably anyone who farms has this same challenge. You were blessed with a buyer for her! Hooray!

Nancy@A Rural Journal said...

I appreciate your sharing the goings-on with your goats, Tonia. I think it's very helpful for those who might be thinking about getting into it or those that are up to their necks and don't know what to do. :)

the Goodwife said...

Making the decision to pare down is never easy, but I think it's usually the right one! Glad she found a good home.

:0)

Barbara said...

So happy April found a home.

Brenda said...

I'm so glad it worked out for April to have a new home. Abby is doing great here. She's a sweet girl and milking good.

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

I was happy to read that April found a new home. Hope that everything comes out okay for you with the rest of them.

small farm girl said...

I know I feel better when one of our animals find another home instead of going to the butcher. Although, our beef cattle are pretty tasty. lol. I hope everything comes our for ya.

MilkMaid09 said...

That's tough, but unfortunately part of being a farmer. You gotta know your limits and you have to stick to your guns. At least April went to a home where she'll be of use - even if not the originally intended one. I've even thought of keeping my whethers for the same reason that guy does.

Becky said...

Glad April found a new home! Those decisions are hard and I think that is the WORST part about showing rabbits. You just can NOT keep them all.

A Joyful Chaos said...

Glad you found someone to take your goat.

It's hard having to part with animals but knowing they go to good homes helps.

Missouri Gal said...

I'm happy April got a home. We did the rabbit project for 4H and FFA and had to cull a lot out. So I understand! HUGS!

tree ocean said...

ten goats is a lot, especially does! Glad to hear she went to a good home.

TJ said...

It is soooo hard to let some of them go! We had a woman down the road who let her herd all run together. After 3 years there were 35 goats. In-bred, cross-bred, and deformed. And they often got through the fence and ate neighbor's gardens and flower beds. We decided that we would never let it get out of hand like that. Now every time we want to keep one.... we have to figure out which one to let go. It is often a difficult decision!