The Circle of Life

13 Jun

The farm is an ever present reminder of the circle of life.  Today exemplifies this concept.  When I went out to check everyone this morning, Coffee had died.


Coffee (? – 13 June 2015)

I wasn’t really surprised.  After she seemed to be doing much better and her milk no longer had blood in it, I had hoped she was on the road to recovery.  Thursday night, she was just a bit off.  Friday morning, she wouldn’t eat when I brought her in to milk, and when she didn’t go out to pasture, I called the vet.  After examining her, he was fairly confident there was something with her gut.

"What.  I didn't get that memo."

He thought it might have been a displaced abomasum, commonly called a twisted stomach.  One of the four chambers in her stomach was moved out of place.  This is not completely uncommon in dairy cows and goats, but it’s usually something that happens within a few weeks of birth, but it can also happen after a trauma.  I’ll never know for certain, but this does seem like the most likely cause.

Coffee and Xerxes

Coffee and Xerxes

Later in the morning, I loaded up four of my girls that were weaned and took them to the sale barn.  It’s never a fun day when kids leave the farm, but it’s why the girls are bred.  They have the kids that get sold into the food chain.  Some of my girls I get to milk because of those kids.


I’m still working on training Reva.  She has good times and bad times.  I’m hoping that with her daughter not being on the farm, it will make it easier for me to milk her.  Haley, my experienced girl has not been easy to milk because she wants her girls, too.

Fay, Rainie, Amy, and Tina

Fay, Rainie, Amy, and Tina

Those girls were plenty big enough to be weaned and leave the farm.  I have more that need to be weaned too.

Tonight, when everything had been a very rough and emotional day, we had new life.  Vinnie had her twins in the greenhouse about twelve hours after Coffee died in the same building.



The same building where five months ago, I had her penned with Fionn, where these new lives were created.

Doe goat and kid

Doe goat and twins

Life, in it’s most difficult and it’s most wonderful continues.


36 Responses to “The Circle of Life”

  1. Mary Ann Yoder June 13, 2015 at 8:18 pm #

    Coffee was such a beautiful girl! I’m so sorry she’s gone.

    • Teresa June 13, 2015 at 8:22 pm #

      Thank you. I hate that I’ve lost her. You always have such a special relationship with the girls you milk.

  2. Patty Leonard Woodland June 13, 2015 at 9:13 pm #

    I’m so sorry. It’s hard, I know. Goat hugs from here.
    I know about the milking – with Bernadette it’s like trying to milk a Mexican jumping bean.

    • Teresa June 13, 2015 at 9:39 pm #

      Thanks, Patty. That is a perfect description of those trainees. Can’t wait until she’s upgraded to novice milker. Good luck with Bernadette.

  3. TexWisGirl June 13, 2015 at 9:28 pm #

    sorry about coffee. she was a beauty.

    • Teresa June 13, 2015 at 9:40 pm #

      Thanks. She truly was, and she made me laugh.

  4. Barbara F. June 13, 2015 at 9:44 pm #

    sorry to hear about Coffee. It can’t be easy letting go of the new kiddies but you can’t keep all of them. 😔

    • Teresa June 13, 2015 at 9:48 pm #

      Thanks. If I didn’t have a market to sell them, I wouldn’t breed them or be able to milk. It’s the farming lifestyle.

  5. Alica June 13, 2015 at 10:01 pm #

    I’m sorry to hear about Coffee. 😦 We have talked already here about how a farm is a good way for our kids to grow up learning about the circle of life. The good and the bad together, although it can be hard, it is what it is. I’m glad to hear about those new, sweet little lives that joined your farm on the same day!

    • Teresa June 13, 2015 at 10:12 pm #

      It is amazing how living on the farm has changed my whole world view. It definitely puts things in perspective.

  6. Harmoni~Zen Skin RAN Farm Zen Goats June 13, 2015 at 11:14 pm #

    Thank you for sharing. I shed a tear for coffee….and happy for the new kids.

    • Teresa June 14, 2015 at 9:07 am #

      It’s a true look at life on the farm, heartbreak and joy one right after another.

  7. Jeanne June 13, 2015 at 11:29 pm #

    I’m very sorry about Coffee–she was so lovely. I know she was special to you. It took me by surprise to learn that there are new babies! I had momentarily forgotten there’d be new ones in June! Those two are really cute!

    • Teresa June 14, 2015 at 9:07 am #

      Yes, I still have four more to have kids this week.

  8. Anonymous June 13, 2015 at 11:40 pm #

    How sad, I am so sorry for your loss. But what a beautifully written piece with such a wonderful message!

  9. Mascha June 14, 2015 at 12:11 am #

    So sad to read this, sad you’ve lost this beautiful mom 😦

    • Teresa June 14, 2015 at 9:07 am #

      She was beautiful, and she was a great mom.

  10. Jan June 14, 2015 at 3:12 am #

    Sorry for your loss of Coffee! She was a beautiful girl. I too shed a tear! Not at all ashamed to say.It’s such a sad time loosing a part of what makes us smile & happy. But your birth on the same day must be a sign! Loved your writing about this as well as your pictures!

    • Teresa June 14, 2015 at 9:08 am #

      I’ve shed a few tears too. I do love that Vinnie had her kids the same day.

  11. Eileen June 14, 2015 at 6:48 am #

    So sorry, RIP Coffee. There seems to be so many ups and downs on the farm. Vinnie’s twins are adorable.. Have a happy day and week ahead!

    • Teresa June 14, 2015 at 9:08 am #

      It really is the way things work on the farm. I do have a lot of girls that are getting older too.

  12. hedgewitch June 14, 2015 at 7:56 am #

    It is indeed a circle, and really, we are no different–we also come, and give birth, and are useful for a bit and then die. Sympathy, Teresa, and congratulations too on the new kids.

    • Teresa June 14, 2015 at 9:09 am #

      Thanks. I draw a lot of my poetic inspiration (back when I wrote poetry) from life on the farm.

  13. Pat June 14, 2015 at 8:17 am #

    I’m so sorry about Coffee. She was a beautiful, sweet girl.

  14. Freda Mans June 14, 2015 at 2:07 pm #

    Poor, Coffee…. my heart goes out to you. Praise God for the beautiful kids though.

    • Teresa June 14, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

      It is never easy to lose one, but the kids remind me how very much a part of life it is.

  15. pattisj June 14, 2015 at 8:53 pm #

    So sorry to hear about Coffee. Thankful for the new kids to help make the day a bit brighter.

    • Teresa June 14, 2015 at 8:57 pm #

      New kids are pure magic. They make everything better.

  16. Margaret June 15, 2015 at 1:28 am #

    Joy and sadness all in one day and life goes on. Your new kids are adorable and are enough to life anyone’s spirits.

    • Teresa June 15, 2015 at 8:55 am #

      They really are little miracles!

  17. Gattina June 15, 2015 at 1:45 am #

    That’s so sad that Coffee died, but as you say, life goes on, it often happens also with humans, one dies another is born in the same family.

    • Teresa June 15, 2015 at 8:56 am #

      It is the way of life, but I must say, I miss her dearly.

  18. Adrienne Morris June 15, 2015 at 3:34 pm #

    Coffee was beautiful. Last year my favorite doe died. Her daughter is with us and possibly even sweeter than the original. I’m sorry for your loss.

    • Teresa June 15, 2015 at 3:43 pm #

      Thank you. I’m glad you have a daughter from your sweet doe. That does help when you can do that.

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