In Broken Shovel News, Farm Animal

April, 2010-September 2010
Madison County, NC

My first goat, Lily had babies Saskatchewan and Montreal. These are the first kids in my goat family, and I helped Lily deliver them. They are still to this day, the brattiest kids I’ve ever met, but so full of life and wonder, how could you hold that against them.

Lily loved them dearly and could even be found romping and playing with them like a whimsical little kid herself.

Sadly, Lily went down with a mystery illness shortly after moving from the dairy to our first farm, which later became peritonitis and a suspected congenital heart defect. I was heartbroken. Beyond belief. Lily was the reason I extended my internship and started building a farm. She embodied every endearing quality that made me decide to spend my life with goats. I still miss her. I always will.

Her mother, Peggy, came to live with us when Lily became sick, it was her greatest comfort to be with her mama and her kids in her final days.

Anyone who tells you farm animals don’t have emotions, memories, or feel things like anxiety and depression are either stone-hearted or ignorant. Watching them go through Lily’s hospice and passing was like watching any family losing a loved one. Peggy cared for, protected, comforted and even occasionally let the kids nurse after Lily was gone.

Peggy, Monte and Saskatchewan still live with us. Peg is retired, Monte is a neutered male who lives with the bucks, and Saskatchewan is a short, plump milker. Lily also has a sister, Penelope and a granddaughter, Quebec in the herd.

While this farm has brought such unbelievable joy, hope, and love, there are sad times, too. Giving your heart to those who you promise to care for in youth and in old age, in their vibrant times as well as old and failing, sick and needy, is no easy undertaking. This is why we dont sell adult goats, and our goats retire here where they are guaranteed care and attention from their family and loved ones. I am thankful for every day that I spend with each one.

Andrea and SaskatchewanAndrea and Montreal

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