Harley the goat came to Kindred Spirits Sanctuary overweight from an owner who didn’t understand the dangers of overfeeding. This BIG boy weighed in at 288 pounds!! For his breed and size, he needed to lose 88 pounds to stay healthy.
He’d been living with his best friend, a steer named Henry. To keep them together, it meant that Harley was in a pasture where it was hard to manage his diet, as he was able to munch on calorie-rich grass to his heart and stomach’s delight. Sadly, Henry recently passed away, but we made lemonade out of lemons and moved Harley to a special area to really focus on weight.
Just like for people, carrying around too much extra weight can cause lots of health problems for all the sanctuary residents. For goats like Harley, the big risks include arthritis and heart issues. Right now, Harley is very healthy, and Dr. Rogers has developed a weight loss plan with a custom diet just for him to keep him that way.
The good news is he’s already lost 11 pounds in the last few weeks! Our goal is to get as much weight off him over the next couple by Thanksgiving when we hit our first major cold snap. Then grass loses its high-calorie content and becomes more of a filler. Then he will move out to meet our equine herd.
Despite the sudden lifestyle change and lost friend, Harley is in great spirits and likes going on walks in his halter… he doesn’t even see them as exercise!