Late Tuesday night, our sweet Gurda passed away due to complications from an injury she got on Sunday afternoon. Even though we did everything we could, it was just too much for her. There’s nothing quite like a death on the homestead to make you open your eyes to the good and bad of this homesteading lifestyle.
I’ve had pets pass away or had to be put down before, cats and dogs. It’s hard. You feel like you’ve lost a best friend. But when you’re a child, the care and safety of these pets often falls ultimately to your parents. When it’s an animal you’ve promised to care for and provide safety for, it becomes a whole different story.
I knew when the hubby and I decided to get into this life, there would be times like this. It’s part of the lifestyle, whether you raise animals for meat, dairy, or eggs. Death happens one way or another. Just because that animal is in your life as a working animal, an animal that provides something for you and your family, it doesn’t make it any less hard when they die, either on purpose, by accident, or of old age.
There aren’t many homesteaders or farmers out there who will tell you it doesn’t effect them when they decide to butcher an animal or have to put one down. Even those who have been doing it for years, it will still have an effect.
But ultimately, you have to move on. Remember your other animals. This death will effect them too. Gurda left behind her daughter, Elsa. (Thankfully she has been weaned since before we got them.) We kept Elsa separated for the last part of Gurda’s night. It was hard on her and still is. She was now an only goat, something that most goats are not meant to be. They need one or several companions; they’re herd animals. The hubby and I put a lot of thought and discussion into what was best for Elsa. We knew she needed to be with other goats. We even considered giving her to someone with goats. But thankfully, some friends of ours just happened to have a young wether who needed a home.
Meet George the Goat. He’s a dwarf Nigerian, who’s about 6 months old, and a perfect little buddy for Elsa. They’re getting along wonderfully already.
It can be tough for a while, but life continues on the homestead.