So yesterday we picked up Gertrude and Wiki from a local goat rescue. We had sold them as kids in 2007 but apparently have since been badly neglected. Their health, maintenance and nutritional needs were not met, and animal control and the rescue got involved. I saw photos of them on the rescue’s facebook page and recognized Wiki. The rescue’s owner was kind enough to let us take them back. She had already trimmed years’ worth of hoof overgrowth and treated their extensive lice. They are still have some trouble walking and have open sores and missing hair but are on the road to recovery. They are understandably quite fearful, especially Wiki, but hopefully will settle down soon. I am not sure if they will recognize us or not, but at least they will have a good home. Sadly, the third goat kid we sold them, Little Queenie, had died.
The next issue is that the “farm” that had these goats still has sheep that are also neglected, including three that I sold them. These sheep are all pictured as lambs in our blog’s banner. I am desperately trying to get these sheep back as well, working with animal control and 2 rescue groups. They apparently have not been sheared in years and presumably have the same hoof and nutritional issues. Wish us luck trying to get these sheep better homes before any more die.
This all brings a very sick feeling to me and to Tom. We love animals and try very hard to take good care of them. To have animals that we brought forth into the world and carefully raised suffer neglect like this is hard to stomach. So, because we obviously cannot tell good home from bad ones, we are going to quit breeding animals for sale. This will be a financial hit for us as the majority of our farm income is from these sales, but we will try to offset the difference by increasing our sales of our other products, including meat. We will also stop providing breeding services (another financial hit). Unfortunately we already bred last fall and do not have the space to keep these lambs and kids so one more time we will try to find them good homes. I am considering having a signed contract from the buyers. We will wether our bucks and let our rams retire. We have had enough.