We lost a long term resident of the farm today, Billy the goat. Billy was with us on the farm for 15 years. His beginnings with us were unusual to say the least. Billy, Nanny (yes, we know, my dad is not the world's most creative when it comes to names) and their young kid Bubba were living under the bridge just before the driveway to the farm. We have no idea how they came to be living under the bridge and tried hard to find their owner, but no one ever stepped forward to claim them. We did not claim them so much as they claimed us. They just sort of . . . moved in.
Like any normal people would do when faced with stray goats my parents fenced off a special goat paddock for them. In addition to building them their own paddock my dad, after realizing that goats hate to be wet, also built them their own house that we fondly refer to as the "goat condo." Like I said these are the normal steps that people take when stray goats move in with you.
The goats have brought us a lot of joy and fun through the years. Nothing is more entertaining than watching goats play. Bubba grew up and would ram horns with his dad Billy constantly. In addition to the goat condo my parents also purchased them a custom made dog house (or should I say goat house?) and a dogloo. The doghouse and the dogloo were mostly used as objects to play on and climb while the goat condo is used for lounging around and getting out of the elements.
Billy walked with a distinct limp the last couple of years after surviving a coyote attack. He still loved to jump up in the air and ram horns with Bubba but he did not climb on the dogloo or the dog house as often.
The last few months he really began to show his age. Recently we noticed he was starting to have a lot of trouble chewing his food, probably because most of his teeth were gone. He was not able to climb or jump on the dogloo or dog house anymore. He was starting to go downhill hard and quickly, and the decision was made to euthanize him. It was a sad day.
Billy has been a wonderful babysitter to Mina and Jo, World's Cutest Fainting Goats, the last couple of years and they really miss him, as does his son Bubba. He also served as a wonderful companion and friend to many of the horses when they first arrived.
We know Billy was at least 17 years old as he wandered up to the farm 15 years ago and was at least two years old at that time. How much older than 17 he was we don't know. Regardless, as the vet said today, he lived a very long time for a goat. She also made the comment that Billy had a very soft landing in life when he moved in with us 15 years ago.
We really miss him. He was an extremely vocal goat and it it eerily quiet around the barn without him babbling away. Rest in peace Billy.