Ethical issue in the New Year

So we started the year with an ethical issue (for me anyway).  Our Cashmere wether Shama had become quite aggressive.  We believe he killed Coug, our little red Angora wether.  We are pretty sure he bashed Brown Sugar’s (our Nigora wether’s) face in.  We know he butted Missy (our barn cat) horribly when she fell from the hay loft, and we just saw him butt one of our old skinny sheep named Bob.  We could not sell or give him to another flock.  So we decided to put him down humanely.  We arranged to have another family take him after the fact for meat.  They are really appreciative so he did not go to waste.  So why do I feel bad?

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14 Responses to Ethical issue in the New Year

  1. sheepsclothing says:

    Dag. I can imagine it’s hard have to make a decision like that. But it sure sounds like he was pushin’ his luck. All the other goats (and other critters, too!) are probably happy to see him go. No fun having a bully around-

    • Thanks Denise. It is hard. I hope the other critters are safer now, and no other critter takes his bullying place. For some reason this is a lot harder than butchering the cattle and rams. Maybe because they are meat from the beginning, and this guy wasn’t. Although he was quite unfriendly, I guess I became more attached to him than the others.

  2. Nancy K. says:

    Sometimes we become more attached to the ‘problem child’ just because he IS the problem child. I’d say you made the right choice for the safety and peace of everybody else.

    I understand feeling sad about it though. It’s still a loss. It’s not what you hoped would come of him.

    Be gentle with yourself. I’m sure the others are grateful!

  3. Teresa says:

    I truly can understand. I had to get rid of the bully once, and my son still hasn’t forgiven me. You have to look at the safety of everyone. Just know that you made the right choice, and feeling guilty does no good.

  4. QPB says:

    A very hard decision, but you did what was best for him and the rest of your crew. Of course you are going to feel badly, its clear you love your animals. Sometimes you have to take desperate measures to put things back in balance.

  5. Jody says:

    The fact that you feel so bad about it only makes you a better person Donna. Not everyone has such a big heart when it comes to their animals, both good and bad. You did the right thing.

    • Thanks Jody. It’s just that I feel bad a fair amount with these animal decisions and mistakes. But I feel good much more so it is worth it. I sure hope I did the right thing.

  6. I just brought a few to the butcher who had to go for similar reasons – either bullying each other or their Shepherdess. It seems like I apologize the whole time we are catching them. I feel guilty the entire drive to the butcher. I tell myself that the rest of the flock does not deserve to be bullied. And neither do I. If we aren’t able to re-home them, there isn’t another option. I’m sure your Shama had a wonderful life on your farm. You gave him that.

    • It is hard, but at least we had the courage to do it. When we had an aggressive ram in the past I waited, and he eventually killed himself but getting stuck in a gate he was pummeling. I think the other rams took out their frustration on him while he was caught. It would have been better for all if we had done what we did to Shama. Shama lived with us for 5 years. Hopefully they were good ones until the end.

  7. Karen Anne says:

    How are Missy, Brown Sugar, and Bob?

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