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What to do with a really old goat??

 
Matt Powers
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There was a milking doe wandering on the hwy this week. We ended up with it. It udder pouch is rock hard, the teats release clear liquid, its hooves were overgrown and cracked (maybe rotting), only 2 teeth that are overgrown remain & her joints crack when she moves... I fixed her hooves & got her a nice place to eat and drink safely.

Should I try to get her kidding & milking?? Or is that crazy?

Should I eat her? Should I compost her? Should I rehab her to be just a grazer? Is clear liquid a sign of something?



Thanks!
MP

PS I already have a pregnant nubian & 2 angoran wethers.
 
Jd Gonzalez
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Location: Virginia,USA zone 6
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forest garden greening the desert hunting trees
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Let Her live a happy few years and compost her when she goes to the great herd in the sky. Do milking goats need to be milked like dairy cows?
 
Alder Burns
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If you decide to eat her be sure to let the meat age (skinned and gutted, of course) for a while in a cool place before cooking or preserving. This period is longer depending on the size and age of the animal (say 3-4 days in the refrigerator for a chicken, up to a month in a meat cooler for beef) and shorter if the temperature is warmer. Even in hot summer weather a plucked, cleaned chicken benefits from a few hour's aging, out of the reach of flies. In ancient times this was called "hanging", and was sometimes done to excess, but the principle is that enzymes and beneficial microbes begin to work in the meat, tenderizing it and helping remove strong flavors. One guideline I read says that the time should allow the carcass to pass through the rigor mortis stage until limpness returns; which accounts nicely for the variability depending on size and temperature.
That said, your old goat may still be strong and tough. Curry is my default recipe for all such critters. Grinding into sausage or some such might be another option.
 
Mountain Krauss
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Location: Northern California
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I vote for letting her be a browser, turning brush into fertilizer. If/when she gets old enough that living seems painful for her, then she becomes food.
 
Craig Dobbelyu
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I would probably give her a decent place to stay for a while until you can really judge what she's worth.

Give her decent food and water so that she gets into the best physical form she can be in. From there you can make a decision about breeding, pasturing or eating her. At least that way you don't end up butchering her only to find out the meat is all terrible because of some unseen infection, parasite or illness. Also you'll minimize the chance of the meat being off tasting from her eating junk while on the road.

I tend to make these types of decisions based on what I can get from the animal verses what it'll cost me to keep.

Best of luck

 
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