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Orelhas our Goat, Goodbye.

It’s with real sadness that tell you today about the death of our little Billy goat, Orelhas. PICT7854 Orelhas joined us in July, and my hope was that he would grow up to be the father of a new generation of Casalinho goats. Sadly, at the beginning of September the goats managed to break into the store where I keep the grains I feed the chickens and the milking goats, and they ate all they could.

Although goats have a reputation for eating anything and everything, they actually have quite a delicate digestion which is easily put out of balance by eating too much unfamiliar food. This is what happened to Orelhas, and he became very unwell. Enterotoxemia is the medical name for his illness, and you can read more about it here if you’re interested. But in layman’s terms it’s when a normally occurring strain of bacteria in the gut called Clostridium perfringens increases significantly and the toxins that it produces basically poison in the animal, causing damage to the intestine and to other organs.

Antibiotics prescribed by the vet, lots of walks to get his digestion working, and drenches containing goat milk kefir seemed to do the trick, and we thought he was on the mend. The vet seemed happy with his progress and even gave him his annual vaccinations. But Orelhas struggled to regain weight and remained weak. Extra feeds made no difference, nor the fortificant we tried to boost him with. On the 8th of this month he collapsed after his morning walk, and although he rallied during the day he died on my lap the next morning.

He was a wonderful little chap who was a favourite of all our volunteers. He was brought up in a home with a little girl who I understand spent a lot of time with him, and it showed. He was incredibly gentle and sweet, and we miss him.

Orelhas & Charlie - 8th October 2014

Orelhas & Charlie – 8th October 2014

It’s been a couple of weeks now since Orelhas died, and as my future plans for our little goat herd revolved around him we’ve had to make some adjustments. I’ve chosen to keep Mr Goat, our existing stud. I’d still like to replace him with a bigger, horned Billy in the long term, but those don’t seem to be popular in our area so I shall keep looking. Keeping two Billys isn’t necessary, so the pygmy Billy has now gone. I’ve decided to keep the lady goats who were previously for sale, as there’s a good chance all three are pregnant. So that leaves us with eight ladies and a Billy to move forwards with.

 

Thank you to the three vets who assisted me so much with Orelhas’ care, to the Facebook group I turn to for all things goat, to Blanche and Tom who were there at the beginning and tried so hard at the end,  and to Josh and Charlie and Katinka who were there for Orelhas when I couldn’t be. 

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