We noticed on Saturday that Friday, the little black Alpine goat we got about a month ago, was looking unwell and was laying down a lot.
Monday I came home and Rusty said, “I think Friday is dying; he won’t get up.” She was going to mix up some home rescue remedy from one of her goat books. I was reading my Backwoods Home Magazine and saw how Jackie Clay (BHM regular, the Martha Stewart of self-sufficient homesteading) has a new boyfriend. “You missed your chance,” Rusty teased.
“Nah, I wasn’t interested.”
“She has big tits”
“No, you’re thinking of Dorothy Ainsworth. Jackie has big tits because she’s big around.”
So I went to bed early, about 9:20. I thought Rusty had sneaked in, and she got up to go pee. No…I got up to pee when she did and she said, “Friday died. I skinned and gutted him and he’s in the fridge. I have a question out to a vet about whether he’s safe to eat. ” I was pretty damn impressed that she did all that in the middle of the night…who needs Jackie Clay?
The next day, Rusty went around calling vets and with the info she had they figured that he died of urinary calculi from a too early/botched castration. She claimed there was actually a ball inside, tucked against the anus, but the 2 foot long “vas deferens” leads me to believe that it was actually a stone. HIs water backed up and the pressure stopped his heart. It’s not uncommon with wethers. Yes, it would sound like bloat too, but there weren’t other symptoms, he ate what Thursday ate and Thurs. is more than fine. Either way, he’d be good to eat; he hadn’t hit rigor mortis when Rusty found him. The bits in the heart that Rusty thought were worms were actually coagulated blood. (Heartworm is fairly rare in goats anyway.) She also found a butcher who was willing to cut him up for $50. I told her that was economically unfeasible, and she saw the light given that the carcass was 10 lbs hanging weight so that would be $5/lb in butchering costs alone, plus she paid too much for the goat in the first place. She wrote the previous owners about trying to get a partial refund, and deleted the letter. There were all kinds of problems with this one in retrospect, in the way it pooped and grew, but we’re just a bunch of city yahoos and didn’t know what to look for. Chalk it up to the learning curve. Anyway, Tuesday night we cut him up. It was like doing a really huge rabbit. Electric knife and a tree lopper for the spine made quick work of it. We’ve got 8 meals packaged up: ribs, liver, 2 stews and a bunch of leg pieces. Plus Rusty made some really nice stuffed peppers for dinner. So I’m pretty proud of my little lady…just about like Jackie Clay but younger and cuter, lol! Now if I can just get her to garden and can…