Yesterday was a sad day at WeeHavyn. We lost our littlest goat. Her illness came on suddenly. When I went out yesterday morning, she couldn't hold her head up to drink. I knew that there was little hope. Despite this, I gave her a drench of molasses for energy and probiotics but she was gone within an hour. Rosey didn't fuss about it much yesterday, but today she cries for a companion.
I have been through this many times with baby animals. That doesn't make it any easier, and I don't think it should be. I still spend some time wondering if I made a mistake or missed something I shouldn't have. But my experience does give me one vital piece of knowledge. There is only so much I can do. Sometimes I even think these animals live in spite of any treatment I give them rather than because of it. Perhaps this is overly philosophical, but it is impossible for me to be an effective livestock manager if my emotions get so tangled up that I can't make appropriate decisions. Farming on any scale is not like having pets.
I think this may be the large chasm that separates those who farm for a living and those who feel that such activities are cruel. With the exception of industrial farms, which really have no justification besides that of profit and our demand for very cheap food, most farmers treat their animals as well as possible. They have to. A mistreated or unhappy animal does not produce well. Yet "treated well" is a relative term. Where a pet owner might spend thousands of dollars to treat cancer in a dog for one more year of his companionship, a farmer might not be able to spend a hundred dollars to save a baby pig. Economics simply won't allow it.
So I must say goodbye to Blossom. She will be missed. I have found a companion for Rosey and I am picking her up tonight.
Life goes on.....