April 16, 2001 – April 5, 2016
Of natural causes, heart failure.
Ginger was a sweet, beautiful goat with one of the best fleeces I’ve ever had in my goats, the best of those with color genetics. Her father Sprout was a gorgeous goat and she got her great fleece from him, and the color gene from her mother Red. She passed the color genes on with great fleeces to her offspring too. She lived a great long life, serving as the herd matriarch until two days before her passing. She went downhill suddenly, enjoying life up til the last day or so. I opted to put her down as she was showing significant signs of distress – great difficulty breathing, she would not lie down and she stopped eating. The vet said she had never seen a case of heart failure in a goat, but she had a significant heart murmur and it was likely fluid around her heart that was causing her to have such difficulty breathing out. Also, laying down would have been painful because of the fluid in her chest. I believe that my goats are veterinary “experiments” because they live such long lives – most goats (or any livestock species) don’t get to live much past 2-5 years. Ginger died of natural causes – how often does that happen to livestock? She died with me holding her and she relaxed quickly and easily into an eternal peace.
It was so sad later in the afternoon when the other does went out to pasture because Ingrid came to the corner of the barn where Ginger had been for the last day and started calling for her. Ingrid had been standing on the partition and checking on Ginger while she was in a separate pen. She called and called until I went out and let her smell my hands since I had Ginger’s scent on my hands. I rolled Ginger (who was temporarily on a cart) to the pasture fence for Ingrid and the other does to smell. Then after a bit Ingrid and the others walked off, seeming to understand that Ginger would not be back. Ingrid did not cry for Ginger again.
Here as a memorial are some of my favorite photos of Ginger.