Jessie is fourteen and a half years old. By any account, she is an old goat. Her teeth are laying down flat and her knees don't bend very well. She spends a lot of her day lying down in the shade. She grunts instead of pants when it's hot; I can hear the honking from the front of the house. She can sleep through the noises of the gate rattling when I walk into the pasture. She's not sick in any way, though I do have to keep a sharper eye on her for anemia because she doesn't bounce back as quickly.
And all of that is just fine. She is still able to come to breakfast, enjoy her treats, and bite the ears of the young whippersnappers when they get in her way. I've even seen her trade head-butts with Reese. She earned her retirement from the adult pecking order and now she's the designated summertime babysitter for weaned kids.
Elsa, on the other hand, is quite young. She just turned two years old this spring. Sadly, due to her long bout with meningeal worms, she will never be quite right again. She walks with her hind legs shifted left, she has poor balance, and she can't squat to pee without tipping sideways. Because of the balance issues, she can't give or take a solid headbutt without falling over. And so, with no combat skills beyond the biting she's picked up from Jessie, she can't be in with the bigger animals. So she is also in with Jessie and the kids. And that's just fine. She is a sweet animal and she makes lovely mohair. I will consult with the vet a final time this fall regarding whether to risk any kind of kids on her.