Local goat owner pleads: Please don’t feed the animals

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A local goat breeder says she lost four goats to illness that happened after they were fed by well-meaning passersby.

Know Horseplay Farms, in Rock Falls, Illinois, posted July 15, 2014, a simple plea:  "Do not feed other people's animals without their permission each and every time."

The animals' owner believed an elderly couple dumped several bags of bread over the pasture fence for the goats.  She said she didn't find out about it until nine of her goats were down and sick.

"What happened that fateful day was the perfect storm. I had already fed the goats and then went to work. Two other groups of people then fed the goats again. This all happened within two hours or so. Too much feed in such a short period of time," said a post from Know Horseplay Farms.

"They all have bloat from too much bread," the post read.  "I don't think it was poison because the other twenty one goats are fine."

Ultimately, the farm reported four of the goats died.  At least two of the dead goats left babies behind.  At least two of the sickened goats were babies.

“A few pieces is fine but some of them received loaves!” read a later comment about the incident.  Another animal owner commented that people were still feeding their animals over the fence, despite signs that read "Thank you but please don't feed us" signs every six feet along fences.

"Please don't assume you have the right to feed animals that aren't your own.  A farm is not a petting zoo," read the post on the Know Horseplay Farms Facebook page.


  • zakkodel

    Quit blaming people… Goats eat EVERYTHING! I once saw a goat eat the entire seat out of a pickup truck. I doubt a little bread killed them.

    • Amber Temerity

      Zakkodel, it’s ignorance like that that this post is trying to rectify. For one, it was not a “little” bread. Some of the goats were given LOAVES of bread. Read up on ruminants; they’re not built to digest carbohydrates like that. It was most definitely the people who gave the goats this bread that are at fault (whether well-meaning or not).

  • zakkodel

    No Amber you are wrong. I once saw a goat drink 14 beers in one hour. Im sure there are a lot more carbs in 14 beers than in a couple loaves of bread. I think this owner is like all the rest of America and wants to point the finger at someone else instead of dealing with their own problems. Legally she should have not allowed anyone on her property to feed them anyway.

  • zakkodel

    I think if you talked to a lawyer he would tell you the owner is at fault. Why is it ok for the sister in law to feed them but not the old people? They probably seen the sister do it and thought it was alright… That or the sister is the one who overfed them and made up the story of “old people” feeding them… Something doesn’t add up because obviously someone seen the “old people” pour loaves of bread over the fence, why didn’t they stop them or say something? I think it is a bunch of Bull Honkey.

    • Amber Temerity

      Did you even go to the original post to read it all? Or are you just here to spew hatred, blame, ignorance, and talk of standing by while animals are abused (NO animal should ever be given beer…for crying out loud…) I’m glad it didn’t die but that doesn’t mean goats (or again any other animal) should be given excessive amounts of food or beer.

      The elderly couple was NOT on the property, they fed the goats over the fence. The owner was at work when this happened and when she returned home she had found them already bloating and in need of veterinary assistance. She was with her sister-in-law when giving out the lesser amount of bread as treats. She’s not talking to a lawyer because she has no intention of pressing charges or faulting the couple that fed them; she simply wants to spread the message of DO NOT FEED ANIMALS THAT DO NOT BELONG TO YOU. Farms are not petting zoos.

  • Tony

    There’s a huge difference between your “I think”s and your knowing anything, Zakkodel. The owner isn’t asking for money or even calling for charges to be pressed – she’s simply asking for awareness that animals that aren’t yours be treated as such. You have no right to feed other people’s property, end of story, even if you mean well.

  • zakkodel

    What I don’t get is someone obviously saw the old couple feeding them the “Loaves” of bread. So why didn’t they say something to them? Also, theres a saying “s*it happens”!! Just like my car was broken into a few years ago and insurance wouldn’t cover everything stolen because I left it unlocked even though it was parked in my driveway. I dealt with it. I was more mad at myself for not thinking ahead. I didn’t go around pointing fingers whining. Maybe the goats were not getting enough to eat and the elderly couple thought they needed fed to stay alive? That is probably what happened. Now they want to point fingers at other people instead of themselves. They make leashes for goats to keep them from wandering off.

    • Amber Temerity

      Perhaps the person (neighbor) didn’t think it was their place to say something or perhaps they thought permission was given (as common sense says one should ask before doing something like this). Again, though, this isn’t about pointing fingers, this is about educating so it doesn’t happen in the future. Try actually reading the post rather than pulling tidbits from it to argue with. Good grief. It’s “funny” to me that in one sentence you say people shouldn’t point fingers and in another you imply that maybe the owner was starving her goats. Also, I have no idea what your last sentence means. The goats didn’t wander off, they were behind a fence on the property they live on.

  • David

    @ZAKKODEL If you don’t know what you are talking about don’t say anything!! Goats CAN NOT eat anything, as rumor has it! The whole point of the story is that you shouldn’t feed any animals that don’t belong to you without permission!! The farmer gave permission for family to feed the goats…but not the random person who came along!!

  • zakkodel

    I know they can eat the seat out of a 2002 Chevrolet pickup. I sat there and watched it. No need to blow a head gasket I just saying theres more news worthy stories out there. And really what I was doing is seeing how worked up people get over an ignorant comment.

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