As the ladies' due dates draw nearer, I wanted to fill you in on some of their stories. Pictured below is Izzy. Izzy has a bent tail.
Oftentimes in goats, a bent tail can be a sign of that she may be in poor health. But, Izzy seems to be in great shape. She's eating well, has plenty of energy, and shows no signs of anemia. So, the bent tail perplexes me.
You may recall that Izzy was bred last year. It was to be her first time as a mother. But things didn't go well and she delivered premature stillborn twins. It was pretty traumatic for both of us. (I'm still figuring out this new computer of mine and cannot get it to incorporate the link -- Help, John! -- but the web address for the blog post about the events of last January is below.)
My research shows that in an otherwise healthy goat, the bent tail could be a sign of selenium deficiency (which, interestingly, can also be a cause of preterm labor and stillbirth). BUT, we give our goats a selenium supplement, so her levels shouldn't be low. And, none of the other goats have tails to match Izzy's. Hmmmm. It could be that for some reason her body has trouble absorbing the selenium. Or, it could be some other issue entirely. Heck, maybe I'm obsessing over a goat with a broken tail!
Above is an example of a more normal-looking tail.
Last January, Izzy mourned the loss of her babies, and it was truly painful to watch her withdraw from the herd and cry out for the babies that couldn't answer.
But that was last year. And this year, she is bred again. She looks healthy and romps in the field with the rest of the herd. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she will get to be a momma this year to babies that will answer when she calls out to them. And, I SO hope to be there to experience it all with her!