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February 9, 2017: A Dilemma

We got up at 7:00 a.m. this morning we met Sarah, Zach’s veterinary assistant, for an early morning blood draw. She came to get a blood sample from Ranger and from Jennifer’s goat Truffles. We are thinking about purchasing Truffles, who is a granddaughter of Ranger and Peaches. Everything went according to plan. She’s sending the samples out today.

So now our goat acquisition plans are up in the air. The situation is this: some goats carry a disease called caprine infectious anemia. It’s a nasty disease, goats that contact it develop crippling joint problems at an early age.

Sarah getting blood from Truffles & Pete holding Teslin

Eight years ago, I purchased Ranger and Rover from Matt and Rhonda Shaw, local goat farmers. They didn’t say if Ranger and Rover were positive or not – and it didn’t matter – they were then destined to become meat goats. I was to raise them and a neighbor was to slaughter them.

Shortly thereafter, I purchased Peaches from the Shaws. They were then parting out their herd and moving to New York State. They did not tell me that the older milk goat was caprine infectious anemia positive. I knew about this disease and that some area goats have it. But I didn’t ask because it did not then cross my mind. I just was not forward thinking enough to consider future implications.

I do understand that the Shaws were in a bind. They undoubtedly did not want to send half of their herd to slaughter. This had to be a tough call for these kind-hearted people. But at the same time, in being dishonest with me and with others about this, they increased the likelihood of infection in the area goat herds.

Now for us comes the time of reckoning. If Truffles is positive we won’t purchase her and breed her. We could purchase her and not breed her, in which case she’d be Ranger’s companion. If Ranger is positive we won’t purchase her because then she and her offspring would become infected. I would subsequently have a hard time finding a home for Truffle’s infected offspring. I cannot see myself butchering baby goats, male or female.

I have no one to blame about any of this but myself. It’s not a matter of what was I thinking? Rather, I was not thinking at all. If I’d been thinking, I would have foreseen this or other consequences that go hand-in-hand with acquire caprine infectious anemia ridden goats.

I suspect that Truffles and Ranger are both positive. Truffles is the daughter of Teslin who is the daughter of Peaches and Ranger. And Ranger lived for some time with Peaches. Statistics are going to bear me out here.

This is an instance of what goes around comes around. I feel really bad about this. I suspect that I am going to be Ranger’s buddy. On the positive side of things (if there is a positive side), at least I am not being irresponsible and denying that there is a problem, by taking on Truffles.

Next: 41.2/10/17: A Conversation with Hrimmi and Tyra

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