Mike Brown is without four goats that his daughters used in their hobby of FFA show competitions after three were mysteriously killed recently and one disappeared at his Jackson County home.
“It will set us back a lot. They won’t be able to show in February,” Brown said. “They were good goats for their breeding program.”
Brown doesn’t know who or what killed the goats at his home on Harris Lord Cemetery Road, located near Highway 441 between Commerce and Nicholson. Brown’s daughters used the goats in FFA competitions in area counties, as well as the State Fairgrounds in Perry.
The mystery deaths began on Dec. 3, when a male goat disappeared from a fenced area and a pregnant female goat was found dead with a hole in its head inside the barn, according to a report filed with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.
A few days later, someone or something killed two more goats inside their pen. One of these goats was split open on one side and its internal organs were hanging outside its body.
There were also holes in the heads of the goats leading deputies and Brown to think they appeared to be gunshot wounds.
But Brown isn’t so sure. He told deputies he has not heard any gunshots in the area.
The goat with its side split open had no other marks that might indicate a struggle with its attacker. Two goats had holes under their right ears and one of these goats had a wound under its chin.
“Either it’s two bite marks or a entry wound and exit wound,” Brown said.
Brown had two deputies and an agriculture teacher examine the goats and none could say positively what caused the deaths, he said.
A deputy looked for prints, but reported that he could not see any other animal tracks.
There are bobcats and coyotes in the area, yet none of the goats had markings associated with an animal attack, Brown said.
The male goat that disappeared weighed about 50 pounds and there was no damage to the fence that might occur if an animal had dragged it out, he said.
Since the mysterious deaths, Brown said he is keeping the five remaining goats locked in the barn, except during times he is at the house.
“I don’t know what caused it, so I don’t know what to look for,” he said, adding he is even hesitant at the moment to replace the goats.