Culling is a hard thing for most folks. Some have a much tougher skin in that livestock and homestead area. It is just the nature of the lifestyle for them. Others, though, struggle with the idea of culling. Culling = failure. Your genetics aren't the quality you planned for, bought for, bred up for, etc. You have problems crop up that you simply cannot resolve.
I don't like culling. I don't do culling well at all. I will argue, fight tooth and nail, and then some against culling. I'm far too emotionally attached to my homestead and its occupants than any true homesteader can or should be. I don't do the hard stuff well at all.
Surprise...I'm just not wired to be accepting of the word NO. Ask my mom. Ask my aunts. They will nod like bobble-headed dolls at that confession there. I don't like the whole concept behind the idea and word NO. It indicates a lack somewhere in my mind. I'm a walking contradiction, I know. How many times have I said that life is Black and White...there aren't really any Gray areas to be found. Things simply are what they are.
Yet, I'm the first to say that there is almost always something that can be done in a given situation. Most folks will opt for the 'NO' route simply to make things easier for themselves. Most folks like NO because it releases them from involvement. They don't have to extend time, money or effort into a situation if they accept NO.
I don't believe that. Call it a lack of Faith or whatever, but I don't believe that NO occurs nearly as often as we would like to think it does. Take Rachel and her abscess we are dealing with now. Is there a NO in this? Where do you draw that line and say enough is enough and it's time to cull?
We have done the 3 day penicillin run. We piggy-backed that with a 3 day sulfa bolus. Then a 5 day Baytril (which I'm not saying is right or wrong. Some goats are sensitive to Baytril...caution as always). And now, another 3 day sulfa run, this time doubling the efforts with 2 pills daily. I will not, cannot, lance her abscess. It is in the area, for this lay-anatomy person here, of her lymph system and I just can't rip it open and subject her to either death by mistake or bleeding out, or introducing her entire lymph system to the various diseases and air-born stuff out there.
The Vet isn't too keen on opening it up either. However, if I press, we can surgically remove it. But we're talking money. So, you have to start thinking different. Now you start thinking about past, current and future costs for this one particular goat. Sure, she has good bloodlines, and she has terrific potential. But, she's a goat. She is worth a good deal of money, but the surgery is around $200. Whose to say it will remove the abscesss? Whose to say the abscess hasn't already 'embedded' throughout her lymph system and it's all moot at this point? What if it bursts during removal spreading the infection? What if she simply dies as a result of the surgery itself?
Variables. There are a lot of them. What I'm leaning at right now is this...she is not weak, she is not showing any signs of trouble...active, alert, eats well, and so on. She simply has a growth on the neck and around. Were she suffering visibly in ANY way at all, I'd say drop her and put her out of her suffering. But she isn't, so I just can't see culling yet. I need to give every other option I can find a try.
Cost-wise, I can't see doing surgery to remove the abscess. I have to make that decision and live with it, no regrets later. It's just not feasible at this time. The cost of the surgery would purchase another goat with just as good a 'pedigree' to her name. I can do a few more boluses and hope for the best. I can try to find out the exact worst- and best-case scenario for lancing the abscess, even if the Vet is the one who does it. Obviously, worst-case is she dies then and there.
I haven't seen anything really confirming a practical, realistic recurrence rate. If lanced and dealt with , are the potential for more in this same area higher? I can deal with other abscesses, I'm just not comfortable with this one's location. Too much closeness to vitals that I'm not prepared to deal with. Bloodlines are great, like I said, and I'm not discounting that, but seriously, I lucked into good bloodlines...I am not necessarily looking to breed and sell. I'm looking at milk production right now.
What would you do? If this was your situation, your goats, your homestead?
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.
Blogs I Love to Visit...
- 5 Acres & A Drean
- A Pondering Heart
- Ask Jackie @ Backwoods Home
- Bateman Homestead
- Bible Version Comparison Chart
- Busy B Homemaker
- Caffeinated Homestead
- Choosing Voluntary Simplicity
- Down To Earth Blog
- Fruit of Her Hands blog
- Granny Miller blog
- Growing up Herbal
- Half a Hundred Acre Wood blog
- He Sows, She Sews
- He Sows, She Sews
- Herbal Academy of New England Blog
- Homestead Honey blog
- It All Matters Mom blog
- Just Plain Marie
- My Journey to Separation
- Nourishing Days blog
- One and a Half Acre Homestead
- Outside the Box Homeschool blog
- Ozark Mountain Family Homestead
- Reflections from Drywood Creek
- Sabbath Mood Homeschool
- Small Farm Girl
- Simple Green Frugal Coop
- Snowfall Academy blog
- Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth
- Sufficient Graze Farm blog
- The Caffeinated Homestead
- The Crunchy Chicken
- The Nerdy Farmwife
- The Prudent Homemaker
- The Unplugged Family
- The Wild Garden
- This Life I live
- Vaccination Information website
- Vintage Remedies DIY & Articles
- Wellness Mama
- Wood Cookstove Cooking blog