U is for Uncertain World of Livestock

We raise market animals for 4-H. We can't have them on our property and so each year, we are so thankful that a member in our project lets us keep animals on her property. Our fair is in May, so in January and February, we purchase our animals and move them to the farm.

{working with the animals}

And that is where our goats and one lamb are now, as we go multiple times a week to feed, clean up after, and train.

{cleaning out pens}

Now why would I use the word Uncertain this week?

Well, if you remember last year, one of the girls in our project lost her goat the day before fair. That was very devastating, to care for your animal for a few months, get it ready, and have it die the day before the the biggest day of the 4-H year. It reminded us how uncertain livestock can be.

I thought maybe that the Uncertainty bug would not hit us this year, but last week the unexpected happened. We got a call that Bookworm's goat Klink was not looking good and wanted to only lie down. That is a bad sign for sure. We went out there, and realized he had the same type of urinary blockage that the goat last year had, and after trying a couple of things, realized that there was nothing we could do.

Very sad yes, but we are learning that this is the life of a livestock owner.

{Bookworm showing Klink at the Cow Palace last October}

Bookworm took it well, and we worked that afternoon to get a replacement.

Uncertainty, go away.

The very next day, another mom in my project called me with some alarming symptoms that her goat was having. We rushed it down to a friend's farm, and realized that he was having a toxic reaction to an immunization he needed to have the week before.

We gave him meds (yes, I have gotten good at giving injections to goats) but sadly, this second goat died in the car. We then had to take the body to a rendering plant. (That place was seriously straight out of a horror film.)

Two goats lost in two days.

That has got to be some kind of record, for a small goat project leader like me. There are only 8 members in my project, and we had just lost 25 percent of our stock.

God is good, even through the uncertainty. That afternoon, my friend found a replacement for her son as well. Two goats gone, but replaced almost immediately.

This is the way it is with livestock. My one friend could fill journals with all that has happened to her animals. Strange fungi, viruses, babies that die for no reason, and a perfectly healthy animal that just drops dead.

So I have decided to embrace the uncertainty. After all, these things are not uncertain to God. He has planned it, and through His perfect will, is sanctifying me through both trials and blessings.

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  1. I'm so sorry! I know that even though we know these things can happen it doesn't make it any easier!

  2. I'm so sorry and truly know the sadness in goat raising. This was probably the main reason that we are no longer breeding, milking, & bottle feeding those sweet & adorable baby goats anymore. Yes, I get the word "uncertain" in the livestock world and really miss having a herd of goats around. We have only two now. Blessings on your 4H days ahead.

    1. Thank you so much! I know, I do wonder if I had the space on my property if I would have goats year round. They are really fun, but can sometimes be a lot of trouble. :)

  3. Wow! Who knew that raising livestock carried that high a mortality rate!


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