A bit of a sadness here. Blackie (the goat on the right) died last night, or rather, we had to help her on her way. She had suddenly failed during the day, and went down on the ground late afternoon. When an animal 'goes down' it means that they are finished with life. But she was in pain so, as I say, we helped her go.
I read somewhere that if you keep livestock and can't bury them, then you shouldn't keep livestock at all. I suppose that means that one has to have the courage to end their lives, whether it is for the kitchen or to put the animal out of pain. This is a toughie. Never, ever, do we take the death of one of our animals lightly.
The male goat we put into the freezer was Blackie's son. He was a grand boy, but was going to start procreating with the other females soon. This we did not want. We could have kept him separate from the females but this would not have been kind to him. Eventually we shall keep the ram (when we get another one) and the billy goat (when we get another one) together for companionship because all animals need this. And yes, we shall keep on with goats, but will only have three. The herd we started off with has provided us with a grand learning curve which has been priceless, but this herd is now done. We shall look after the rest of the goats, but they will go into the freezer when we have room.
Blackie was our best milking goat but, on reflection, I think she was probably not going to last for much longer anyway. We think that she was an old goat to begin with, and although she gave us a healthy billy goat, this year's goatling died within a month of being born. That was tough to deal with as well.
All in all, smallholding can be a bit of a b******r sometimes.