I've dreaded this for years. My special girl, my herd mama, one of our founding four does, and matriarch Piper is gone. She would've been 10 this spring and sustained an injury that forced my hand in making the decision to let her go yesterday.
I know we're not supposed to have favorites, but Piper was mine. She came to Ivory Oak as a two year old and quickly worked her way into my heart. We weren't sure if she would be able to get pregnant, but she proved us wrong and had a successful pregnancy every time we tried. She delivered 14 kids in 5 breedings.
This girl lived for being a mother; it was so evident in the way she interacted with her herd. She was the best lead goat I've ever had. She took care of all the babies, not just her own, and led all of the other adults too. It only seems fitting that what would be her final kidding last year resulted in our first ever set of quadruplets in an easy delivery and that she got to spend her last year mothering those kids.
She loved to eat carrot peelings, lettuce, pine branches, and bananas. Her favorite thing was armpit scratches, and she would paw at me every time I stopped before she wanted me to. Her pink nose and pink lips were features distinct to her, and every goat in the herd with those traits can be traced back to Piper. The majority of her daughters look or act exactly like her, so I know Piper's impact will continue to be felt in the herd. I can only hope that one of them becomes the matriarch their mama was.