I feel like this is the end of an era.
Our herd sire, Billy, died this week. He had been looking peaked for several months. We took him to the vet once and they couldn't find anything wrong with him, but he continued to decline. I read that a herd sire's life expectancy was 8-10 years and Billy was 9 years old, so I'm guessing that he just died of old age.
Even though he was thin and limping, he still got out in the field and browsed every day. Until he didn't. I noticed one day last week that I hadn't seen him come out of his shed all of the day before and that his companion/son, Gerbera was hanging around the door of the shed most of the day. So I went to see what was going on. Billy was back in the corner, laying down with his legs tucked up under him, like goats usually do. What was not usual was that he didn't get up to greet me. He couldn't get up, not even with my help.
He didn't seem to be in pain. He was just weak. So, I brought him some grain and water and made sure he had hay within reach. For a couple of days, he happily ate the grain and hay and drank the water. Then he stopped eating a drinking, then he laid on his side and couldn't lift his head. Then he passed away.
We were sad. Billy has been with us since the beginning of our farming days and we bought him as a small buckling.
I apologize for the slight gruesomeness of the picture below, but it tells a story...I think. During Billy's decline, Gerbera was his constant companion. He would go out to browse for short periods of time throughout the day, but he spent most of his time either laying or standing by Billy. Even the donkeys, Kip and Sophie, hung around the shed more often than usual.
On that last morning when Tom went to check on Billy and discovered that he had died during the night, he found Gerbera, Kip, and Sophie all standing vigil. And, this is how he found Billy.
His companions had covered him like this. I prefer to believe that they did it out of respect rather than just standing over him eating his hay.
So, Rest In Peace, Wild and Crazy Guy.
Video does not work because, apparently, Blogger doesn't give a flip.