Monday, February 21, 2011

Any goats missing a leg?

That’s what Paul asked me yesterday afternoon.  Seems like an odd question, doesn’t it?  So let me tell you what prompted the seemingly bizarre question.
Paul had just finished some (more) dozer work so Rhiannon & I brought him a beverage and we all sat down on a bench in the front yard.  Moonshine had disappeared into the woods for a few minutes, then came trotting back with the biggest grin on her face.  Well, as much of a grin that she could manage with the front leg of some animal hanging out of her mouth.

She seemed so happy that we didn’t bother taking it from her.  When Paul said that it was probably from the goats we butchered, something didn’t click.  First of all, we butchered the goats a month ago so any remains would have been long gone.  Second, the leg Moonshine brought back had black hooves…..and ours had white hooves.  So curiosity got the best of me and I went to inspect Moonshine’s newly found treasure. 
This was definitely a goat leg, but not one of ours as it not only had black hooves, but a black stripe down the front.  I took the leg from Moonshine & noticed that not only was it a goat, but it was a smaller breed of goat as the tibia / fibula (is that what they call it in goats???) was rather short.  The hoof was not a young looking hoof, and had not been trimmed for quite some time.  It was also very “fresh” – the joint actually bent quite easily and the bone still had bright red, somewhat moist meat on it.  Very “CSI” of me, hugh?
It’s not like Moonshine or the neighbor’s dogs haven’t come up with various parts of deer, squirrel or rabbit, so seeing wild animal parts is nothing really new.  But the fact that this piece of goat was found by our dog in say, five minutes, means that the carcass, or what was left of it, was pretty close by.  And I’m pretty sure we’re the only people around the immediate area with goats.   I’ve also heard the coyotes yipping the past four nights. 
I suppose some inconsiderate hillbilly could have butchered a goat & dumped it’s carcass down the road & the coyotes found it.  During hunting season (or even off season) we get our share of deer carcasses thrown out onto our road and eventually Moonshine ends up with a leg or hoof.
So now I’m worried about the goats.  And thinking about talking to Paul about getting another livestock dog.  Yes, we have Moonshine, and I suppose I could keep her outside, but I think she’d end up being a coyote snack instead of a coyote deterrent.
Oh, my answer to Paul’s question of “Any goats missing a leg?” was:
“Um.  No?”.
To which he replied, “Have you checked?” 
(I thought it was a pretty silly question as they were all within sight of our bench)
“Well, no.  No I haven’t.” 
Don’t worry, all goat legs were accounted for. 
Well.  At least the last time I checked.

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