Vacation Consequences

So we went on vacation.  It was not farm related (thanks to a couple of petered out llamas) so I will not dwell on it here but if you are curious about our motorcycling, hiking, camping trip to the Olympic Peninsula go to

We had left our farm in the very capable hands of our neighbors, but when we got back we found Coug, our red Angora wether, dead.  He apparently had died just before we got home and appeared to have head injuries, like he had been beaten up by the other goats.  We had bought him at the Black Sheep Gathering in 2009.  I had long wanted a red Angora goat, and so it was like a dream come true when I finally found him for sale.  We brought him home, but he never fit in well with our flock.  He was always the low goat on the totem pole, getting hit by the others.  I had kept him in a pen with another small fiber goat for a long time, but thought that this was not a good life for either of them.  And I knew better than to put him in with the bucks.  So I let them back out into the flock.  He seemed to be OK, not getting hit but staying away from the rest of the goats.  Well, I guess I was mistaken, and he was still being hit.  So now I feel really bad that I was not able to provide him with a good life, and instead it was short and lonely.  Rest in Peace, little Coug.  I am sorry.  And I have learned my lesson the hard way that sometimes it is better to buy the fleece and not the animal.

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15 Responses to Vacation Consequences

  1. Tammy says:

    So very very sorry you had to come back from a well earned vacation to such sadness. It’s so hard sometimes. Years ago I bought a Shetland lamb–the entire flock attacked her, even after I had kept her separate with three other ewe lambs that were born here that year for several weeks. When I put them all together they chased that poor little creature all over and just bashed her every chance they got (and of course didn’t touch the three ‘homey lambs’. I decided then never again would I bring a single sheep into the flock (unless it was a ram for breeding purposes). It was just too savage. She did finally fit in, but only after having her own lambs and grand lambs. These flock dynamics can be downright scary.

    • Thanks Tammy for your kind words. I fell sometimes this blog focuses too much on death, but my job is to try to prevent these tragedies from happening. I am a shep/goatherd, after all. It sounds like you know the struggle I went through trying to accommodate Coug- to no avail.

  2. Chai Chai says:

    Thanks for the story, even though it was a horrible tragedy. I had no idea that individual animals may not be accepted into the flock.

  3. Franna says:

    So sorry to hear about Coug, Donna. I can’t remember adding singles to the flock. Two years ago I brought home two ewes – a yearling and a lamb from different flocks – and introduced them to the flock. They stuck together and integrated fairly successfully.

    No matter the reason, it’s always hard to lose any of them, and not pleasant to come home to either.

    I do hope you had a nice vacation. The weather’s been great!

    • I have added singles before. I bought that Cotswold (Dete) from Nancy Wilkerson and that went well after the initial butting. Plus Moll was going to be a single, and she would have been fine. Angoras seem to be wimpy goats despite their horns. I thought he would be OK after bonding with Mr. D but that obviously did not work out.

  4. sheepsclothing says:

    sorry to hear about Coug. that’s really sad. and a hard thing to have to come home to.

  5. Jody says:

    So sorry for your loss. I can see why you would want such a beautiful animal as a red angora goat! The poor fellow. I recently lost two young Gotland cross ewes so I know how it feels :-((

    • He was beautiful, wasn’t he? But he was not friendly like Gotland sheep are. I am sorry about Luna and Gypsy. It is hard sometimes to get attached to these critters.

  6. I heard the link above does not work so I changed it. Hopefully it will work now.

  7. Teresa says:

    Sorry about Coug. It seems like something happens whenever I leave. The only time I’ve left the state in the last seven years was to finish my master’s degree. When I got back, Betty Lou was horribly sick. No matter how well meaning, people who aren’t there everyday just don’t notice the little things. But, we still need to have a sanity vacation.

  8. jackie says:

    this is belated,( I’m trying to get caught up on all the blogs I’ve missed this summer), I’m sorry to hear about Coug. He looked like he was gorgeous! it must have been very sad to lose him. You can’t control everything that happens with the animals even IF you are home. So sorry for your loss.

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