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February 16, 2017: Goat Inchoate

Dr. Zach Kaiser called yesterday afternoon, wanted to talk about the goat test results that he’d forwarded onto me, via email. He said that (and the test results confirmed this) that Jennifer’s goat Truffles tested positive for CAE and that Ranger and Rover tested negative. I did not recall him testing Rover; maybe he did this when I was in Portland.

I was surprised to hear that our goats were negative. I fully expected Ranger to be positive. I was in fact positive that he was positive. I noticed that most of our current goat conversations are framed in terms of positives and negatives. It is rather a black and white issue.

What does this mean for us? The situation is more dire for Jennifer. Zach is going to tell her that if her herd members test positive, that she has one of two options. The first option would be to euthanize the positive goats. The second option would be to have a closed herd, meaning keep all her goats from interacting with goats that are not positive. And if she breeds any of them, she’d need to keep them on the premises. CAE is particularly nasty because young goats become arthritic and have to be put down.

It appears as though we can now go ahead and get Ranger a goat buddy who is negative. It would be stupid to get him a goat buddy who is positive since he has not been infected. If Ranger had tested positive, I most likely would have gotten him a positive male buddy. Now I can get him a negative female buddy.

Last night I talked for some time with Suzi Crosby who owns a herd of Alpine goats. She takes very good care of her papered, pedigreed herd. She said yes, she had a goat for us in mind, Stormy, a 5 year old doe with a lightning bolt marking on her side. I felt good about this in the way I usually feel about acquiring new additions here at Squalor Holler. We’ll see what Pete thinks when he gets home tomorrow afternoon.

I’m (of course) still mourning the loss of Rover. Every so often his photo pops up on my computer screen saver. I see this and I feel really sad. The photo also reminds me that Ranger is mussing his buddy. I let him out of his pen and he walks around nervously. It has to be an instance of security in numbers. A lone goat could get eaten by a cougar. A goat in a herd of two has a 50 percent chance of getting eaten by a cougar. A goat in a herd of four has a 25 percent chance of getting eaten by a cougar. This is the caprine law of averages.

It’s late. I still have outside and inside evening chores to do. I would like to just blow these chores off and just climb into bed, but I can’t do that. Can’t let animals go hungry or let dishes go undone.

I am well aware that adding milking to my list of chores will increase my already substantial workload. But I’m okay with this because for me, milking is a very meditative activity.

Next: 48. 2/7/17: The Horse Life: Breadcrumbs for Tyra fra Tuskast

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