Monday, April 23, 2012

The Last Straw

   When I bought Peaches, I decided to go ahead and give her grain to help fatten her up. As critical as her condition was, I figured she needed some fast calories. So on came the All Stock 16% feed from the mill. It smelled funny, but I attributed it to all the yucky ingredients that I was reading on the list. Peaches started off inhaling the grain as fast as she could. The weight started coming on, and in 10 days she had gained 30 lbs. But after week #2, I noticed that she was showing less and less interest in the feed. I started feeding it to Summer, my goat kid, as well, to supplement her dwindling supply of milk replacer. She picked at it, eating a pellet here and a pellet there if I forced her, but would never eat it on her own accord.

 As I went further through the bag, I noticed that the smell was more than "funny"; it almost smelled rank. I couldn't figure it out! The grain looked fine, there was no mold, no moisture, and I didn't see anything suspicious. On instinct, I decided to only offer grain in the morning. They still needed grain, and I hoped that they would be hungry enough at first light to do some serious munching.

It didn't work.

Peaches became so adamant about not eating the grain that she started running away from me when she saw the grain bucket. I could no longer get her to go into the kidding stall that she would eat her feed in, and Summer was also determined not to eat it. I was at my wits end! What on earth was going on?! 

This morning I found the answer to the riddle.

While scooping out the breakfast ration, I also scooped out a dead and decomposing mouse. It was stiff, and had corn bits stuck to its tacky fur. I understood the smell now... I put my hand over my mouth in horror when I saw it, and realized the wisdom of my animals. What I had taken for stubbornness and obstinacy on their part for not eating this food that I bought them, was really that they knew that the grain wasn't fit to be eaten.

 I felt SO bad after the initial shock wore off. Peaches had heroically nosed her feed around and nibbled at it, knowing that I wouldn't let her out of the stall until she licked the bucket clean. And now I find that I've been feeding her bad grain! Aaah!! 

 I've had quite a few bad experiences with feed mill grain, and finding a dead mouse in the bottom of the bag is the last straw. From now on, I will only buy whole grains from my local farmer, and I will do my best to only feed the animals sprouts from now on. No more dead mice for this farm girl! 


Linda said...

Oh I can sympathize with you! I bought a bag of organic grain mix for my goats once, they ate it fine, but it smelled rancid to me, so I quite feeding it to them - it just did not smell right and I felt funny feeding it to them. I opted to make my own after that and only bought organic whole grain, except the corn - it was organic, but cracked. They goats did well on it.

gz said...

I hope you get a refund for that...that would go straight to the trading standards department here and they would prosecute the feed producer

nancy said...

How disgusting! Get a refund!