Sunday, December 16, 2007

Goat Care Safety: Warning for Using Tarps

As hard as we all try to make sure our adorable goats are safe and sound- we all make mistakes- sometimes these mistakes can be fatal..such as the one I made 2 days ago. It cost me the life of one of my most precious angora wethers, Cupid.

This is the post I made to warn my list members on my yahoo group goat lists:
If anyone here is using tarps as a light rain/sun shade for the goats to be under for added protection from rain or sun- Take them down if you are expecting snow/ice! Even if you have an extra twine support under the tarp for added strength! Last night one of my shade/rain tarps broke.. I had it supported underneath with twine from kitty corner to kitty corner.. my last goat yard check was 1:30am to make sure all were fine.. the tarp in question was only 15 feet from my kitchen window I (thought) it would support the light snow we were expecting.. and was angled so that one end was down low and the other end up high so any snow would slide off.. It didn't I lost a wonderful little angora wether named Cupid where the snow covered tarp broke the grommets and fell smothering him underneath.
Please don't make the same mistake I made. While this offered a neat place for the goats to be and stay dry as an extra non confined area.. it became his grave I hope this message saves a life. a broken hearted goatlady

I had taken a photo of the tarp the day before this tragedy happened:.
and now have it marked with explanations of where I had moved the high and low sides to be safer and allow the light expected snow to slide off (I thought). While it worked fine for a shelter from the rain and sun, it unfortunately did not hold up under even a light snow. The grommets themselves broke, trapping my precious Cupid underneath. A hard lesson to learn. I have since (yesterday) spent time taking this tarp and 2 cattle panels to make a quick additional shelter that WILL hold up under the weight of snow. We had 6 to 7 inches of snow last night and this held up well- always remember when making these to have a high enough pitch to your cattle panels!

If this post saves but one little goat- Cupid's death will not have been for nothing. Cupid was a lovable little wether and the only grandson of my late AngelFace- they both are romping Over Rainbow's Bridge with all of my other beloved goats over the years.
God Bless all who have written to me and sending their heartfelt sympathies.. I love you all ! May the rest of our Holiday winterness be safe for everyone and all the goaties and critters.
Who has learned a very hard lesson