The Beacon Hill Children's Farm with all its animal and human members is saying goodbye to Orchid.
Orchid was a very prominent member of our goat herd as for many years she had the position of “herd queen” and as such had great responsibility. She was well loved and very much respected by all.
Orchid was born in 2006 here at the farm and grew up to be a rather stocky, round goat with short legs and clunky hooves. But looks can be misleading, because little polite Orchid was the BOSS. She got along well with every member of the herd as long as they didn’t challenge her. There were certainly bigger and physically stronger goats than Orchid but what she missed in physical size she made up for in pure stamina and determination; she would simply use her advantage of those short stable legs and stand her ground. She usually won her arguments.
Orchid never picked a fight when it wasn’t necessary, but she certainly stepped in if another herd member was picked on or she felt she had to restore order and peace. But Orchid was most happy, when all charges were at peace and in harmony and she could hang out in the sunshine and chew her cud. Resting and eating were certainly her favorite activities.
Orchid also was a mother several times at the farm and in total had 10 babies. She raised them with all her love and took good care of them. Especially the daughters showed some of her great personality traits and some good stubbornness.
Orchid’s life became much more quiet after she retired from her role as mother and herd queen. She had done a great job for so many years and carried her responsibility very well. Now, she deserved a relaxing retirement of which she spent the first year with our oldest goat Peg. They became great friends. Orchid supported and watched over Peg and as such could continue her role as a “guardian”. They always cuddled together at night and Orchid surely enjoyed all the love, special food and treats that she shared with old Peg. After Peg’s passing in October 2017, Orchid tried to find her place in the big herd again, and even though it seemed to work out well at first, her health started to decline. The vet couldn’t determine any physical reasons, she just wasn’t eating well. But our Orchid was a fighter, she just needed a little bit of help and love from us and a new goat friend. So, in the spring of 2018 Orchid moved back into our “elderly wing” at the farm, found a new beloved goat buddy in Audrey and soon showed some improvement. The two bonded without any hesitation and shared all food and love. Orchid had made a big impression on volunteers and staff who all enjoyed dropping by her pen every day to take a “break” and give her some well deserved attention. And her buddy Audrey, who is still a “big baby at heart” despite her old age, couldn’t get enough of the attention either.
But then came winter and the cold is always hard on our older animals. Orchid certainly loved staying under her heat lamp and would still eat well and wait for treats, but she slowly started losing more weight and strength. We took her for another trip to the vet and the examination showed that her rumen wasn’t working well anymore, which unfortunately means that though she was still eating, her body couldn’t process the food anymore. There were no treatment options and in order to spare her from any more suffering we decided to put her down.
We all mourn her loss. Orchid had given a lot to our goat herd and to all the people who knew her. This little plump goat with her short legs possessed a great spirit and an even greater determination, she had found her way into many hearts and will be greatly missed. RIP Orchid.