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Goats, gripes, and grasping for greatness
RIP Jared goat. Thanks for the memories and the kids. 
22nd-Oct-2014 08:25 pm
Jared was dead when I got home tonight. I knew better than to hope, so I'm not all that broken up now. I had three extra days to face the loss before it happened. And I guess I'm getting a little better about letting go.

Lavender Hill Farm - Jared
March 3, 2003 - October 23, 2014
Founding Father of the Herd

Jared was ten eleven and a half years old when he died. Born in Pennsylvania in spring of 2004 2003, he came to our farm as a yearling in July of 2005 2004. I chose him because of his bloodlines and his good looks. Despite having close horns (a big flaw), he did very well as a clean fighter and a good sire. Once he got over his teenage idiocy, Jared settled down to be a quiet, companionable guy who only really let his feelings show during shearing, when he bellowed like a cow until he was six. He knew how to rumble and how to sing his love songs to the girls. He was a polite guy at the hayrick, and reasonable about foodbowls, too.

Jared 8-14-06 Jared vs. Loki

Jared sired more than thirty kids here; I'll have to do the math for the full count. He passed on his recessive genetics in dramatic stripey form to Madison, Ria, and Orchid, and then to his grandson Diego. For those who have been to the farm in the past few years, you might like the reminder that Jared is father of Scout (Sashimi), Anna and Lerris (Jessie), and Madeline (Mona). His grandson Ari (Anna x Cookie) is now standing stud here, with two great-grandchildren on the ground. While I can't claim to know the fates of all of his kids, Justin (Crystal) stood stud in Maryland for a few years, as did Madison (Sashimi) in New York and Houston (Sashimi) over the hill south of me. His daughter Maggie (Jessie) is also a grandmother.

Angora goats *can* live to be fourteen. Most web-based sources say 9-11 years is a normal lifespan range. So ten is respectably eleven is darned old for a stud. Because of all the fighting and loving that they do, bucks' bodies break down and betray them more quickly than even the doe goats who have kids every year. And in the past two years, Jared aged very quickly. Wethering him and retiring him probably saved him from dying of a heart attack, but also took away his fighting hormones, and he lost a lot of bulk last year.

Once I do the math, I can feel both proud and worried about the older goats here. Jessie and Summer are a year older than Jared (both born in 2002), and Loki is a year behind. Alys, Anna, and Dahlia are eight and a half. ... Sancho* was born in 2001. Yes, he is coming up on fifteen this next year. This group of older goats provides some argument that we have been reasonably good goat-parents, even with the five preventable deaths on my record. However, due to this aging group, I expect that there will be more losses, more frequently, over the next few years.

* It is worth noting that Sancho is a Pygmy/Lamancha and was wethered at two months old. Pygmies can live to be 18, and Lamanchas can live to 15, so he is right on target with that good ol' hybrid vigor going for him.
23rd-Oct-2014 12:52 am (UTC)
"And this provides some argument that we have been reasonably good goat-parents." I think you're being more than a little hard on yourself, you've been an outstanding goat parent to all those of the caprine persuasion fortunate enough to be born at or find their way to the GCF. I'm sorry his time was finally up, but I think the numbers above show that it was a rather fruitful run - one he and you can be proud of.
23rd-Oct-2014 01:10 am (UTC)
23rd-Oct-2014 01:50 am (UTC)
I am sorry for your loss. You have been excellent goat parents.
23rd-Oct-2014 02:13 am (UTC)
I'm sorry :(
23rd-Oct-2014 02:41 am (UTC)
I'm sorry.
23rd-Oct-2014 02:55 am (UTC)
My sympathies. It sounds like Jared had an excellent life for a goat!
23rd-Oct-2014 03:11 am (UTC)
And, like in the first comment, sounds like far more than simply reasonable.
23rd-Oct-2014 03:45 am (UTC)
Murr. I'm sorry for this loss. And sorry for the future losses that are likely as you pointed out by looking at the numbers. I am glad that you have looked into it and thus will not be surprised, but I expect it will be hard regardless and that stinks.
23rd-Oct-2014 09:50 am (UTC)
I've been thinking about the aging group for a while. Sancho's ankles click when he walks, Loki and Jessie have old-goat underbites, etc.

Not to play graveyard humorist, but I'm always surprised that Summer is still alive. Of all the goats, she has been the chronic sickie and even has brittle horns (one is broken). She was a failure as a mother - all of her kids died within twelve hours of birth.. She really plays the flip side to "only the good die young."
23rd-Oct-2014 10:22 am (UTC)
I am sorry that Jared goat passed. I think you've been amazing goat-parents. You're attentive and observant and caring, while remaining grounded and practical. That's not an easy combination of traits to hold all at once!

Am thinking good thoughts for you.
23rd-Oct-2014 12:54 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry for your goat loss. Glad that you've given your goats a long and happy life.
23rd-Oct-2014 02:39 pm (UTC)
RIP, Jared-goat.
24th-Oct-2014 06:13 pm (UTC)
Sorry :( You are a fantastic goat mom and I think it shows well in your herd.
24th-Oct-2014 06:23 pm (UTC)
So sorry for your loss. And what a legacy he leaves.
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