This morning was really hard for me. My sister woke me up before she had to leave to take her kids to school and then head to work to let me know that one of our goats had died in the night.
One of the baby goats, the little bucklings that were born in August and were still small enough to pick up and hold.
We didn’t really know why he had died.
I went through my morning chores: laundry, dishes, checking on the animals and their waters. (Everything freezes over multiple times throughout the day because the temperature is always below the freezing point of water right now.)
I did all of this while crying, because I am a crier, but still able to work even when doing so.
I felt the need to call a friend who also has goats (and has kind of been our go-to person whenever we have goat issues that crop up.) She came right over and listened to me before checking on the only little goatling we have left. She let me know that in the cold weather, most goats’ digestive track slows incredibly fast and it’s very easy for them to become bloated and if they are headbutted (which is how goats play) and it hits them just wrong (which is a worry mostly for the smaller ones that aren’t quite 5 or 6 months old yet, which our two youngest goatlings turn 5 months around Christmas) they can rupture something and die. Being bloated also makes it harder for them to keep warm because it hurts to cuddle up with others if you are too bloated.
My friend was actually surprised that the smaller of the two goatlings had survived the last few nights with how small he is and how bloated he was.
“Those other buckling must really like this one, the only way he could have survived the last few nights was if he was cuddled up with them even when he didn’t want to be.” she told me.
I thought back on it and I did recall that Cowboy and Ventus (our next two youngest after the little ones, but they are closer to 7 months old) do like the little tri-colored goatling that survived.
My friend showed me how to hold the little goatling and pat at his stomach to help him burp out all of the gas that was keeping him bloated. She also showed me how to use a pinch of baking soda every couple of hours to help him to burp without me. (It works kind of like Alka-Seltzer for a goat.) She also told me that just a milliliter and a half of regular human yogurt can help to encourage the good bacteria that’s in his digestive track to start working more, helping him to digest his food better and not end up with all of that gas in him.
She’s also going to come back in a few hours and have a look at my little goatling to make sure he’s doing okay.
That was a really long way to come to, to find what I was grateful for today.
What I’m grateful for was my friend who was willing to come down and help me even when she didn’t know what was wrong. Because I was still crying too much to explain beyond the fact that we had lost a goat in the night. She made sure I was all right and then immediately checked my other goats (while showing me how to do so as well) to make sure they were okay and when she found one that needed care and attention she showed me how to do it and then stayed with me for a bit longer to make sure I not only knew how to do it, but that I wasn’t alone.
I am very blessed to have such a friend.
Check out the original Thankful Thursday.