A Post of Many Names

5 May

I have struggled to write this post.  I struggle with my failures on the farm, and it seems there is one thing I have not been able to overcome.  I don’t know what it is.  I wrote four years (five kidding seasons) ago about losing several kids due to something that my vets and the Iowa State University vets were not able to figure out.  It started in 2014 when Maisie had stillborn twins.  The rest of the kids were born and seemed fine, but then I lost: Haley’s boys Gaston and Gaston II; Harley’s boy Monterrey Jack; Maggie’s doe Blissin.

Haley and Gaston

I could only come up with listeria as a possibility, but the vets ruled it out.  Because it’s a bacteria, I worked to clean the barn.  I try not to feed them in the barn like I had to that winter (due to the steer being in there).


In 2015 Clover lost her babies Lexie and Luther.

Clover and Lexie

The next year she lost her babies again.  I thought that was going to be it, but that June Haley lost two of her triplets: Willie and Clyde.

Kip, Willie, Clyde

I was sure 2017 was going to be the year we didn’t lose any, and we came very close.  Blaze lost one of her twins, Willie.


This past winter was horrible, and I was forced to feed the goats inside much of the time because of the severe cold.  This spring has been devastating.  We had two babies born dead.  Since then I’ve lost Hilda’s twins, Sarah and Silas; Joani’s girl Persephone; and Mary’s girl, Punkin.  Yesterday it was Juno.

Punkin (Artemis)

Sadly, I’m afraid I’m still going to lose Clover’s kids.  Last night and this morning has made me wonder about Adonis.  Diana and Antigone are at a high risk also since their twins have died (but not certain).


We sent kids to Iowa State to be posted, and they found absolutely nothing.  They are continuing to try and figure it out.  My vet and I are of the opinion that it is some bacteria, but we have no idea what for sure.  I am beside myself.

12 Responses to “A Post of Many Names”

  1. Claire Moxon-Waltz at 5:30 pm #

    This is just heartbreaking. I know it’s been a really tough winter and spring, but geez…so many. It is awful that they can’t figure out the reason. I know you must feel really helpless about it, but you are doing your best to figure it out and you are one amazing and dedicated goat carer. Sending you hugs to carry you through.

    • Teresa at 5:33 pm #

      Thank you. The helplessness is the worst. And it seems that they are born with it, so once they arrive there is nothing I can do.

  2. vesta8 at 7:13 pm #

    So sorry to hear this news – hopefully Iowa state will figure it out. {{{{{HUGS}}}}} to you and the flock.

  3. Billie Wallace at 8:28 pm #

    How very sad! Please don’t blame yourself. You are 110% dedicated to all your animals and always go the extra mile. You love them and it hurts to lose them. I wish there was something I could say to comfort you. Hoping the vets will figure it out soon.

  4. farmerkeen at 10:55 pm #

    Have you considered white muscle disease? It is caused by a selenium deficiency. We lost A LOT lambs to it a couple years ago. Now we supplement their feed. Still lose one to it once in a while.

  5. Jim at 12:13 am #

    Teresa, I am sorry hearing this. You are like a godmother to these little critters. I know you feel really bad with it happening and I wish I could help. It seems to be hitting the twin sets hard. It would be sad if it were ‘white muscle destate although there sounds like help for this.

  6. Theresa i am so sorry to hear this news and still no solution from the vets but hopefully Iowa State wil come up with some answers. You are so good and caringfor your goats and kids this must be treuly heartbreaking for you.

    • Anonymous at 6:20 am #

      So sorry this continues so long now without an answer . Prayers up for the little guys and you. I just could not bear it!

  7. becca givens at 9:04 am #

    Helplessness hits to one’s core, and seems to make heartbreak even more devastating! 😦

  8. janicead at 3:52 pm #

    Oh, this has to be so very hard.

  9. Mary Ann at 4:37 pm #

    Teresa, I am so very sorry to read this today, it would just devastate me, and I know it has, you. I remember that winter with Michael Jackson in your barn, and the fears of listeria. Hopefully, the Cyclones will figure out what the heck is going on. Until then, try to keep your chin up.

  10. Jeanne at 8:56 pm #

    Teresa, my heart is breaking for you! This is so unreal. I had no idea there were so many deaths. I pray that they will be able to figure out what is causing it. Hang in there. I know you do all you can.

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