The barn doors may currently be closed to visitors, but Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead is BAH-ursting with excitement as it welcomes new additions to its furry family!
Each year, as their due date approaches, pregnant mama goats move to the Farmstead maternity ward, or Dairy Barn, where they are paired up based on personality and temperament.
Mama goats typically carry one to three babies at a time. The birth of the first baby goat of the season is always a thrilling event. This year, two days earlier than expected, four new moms gave birth within hours of each other.
Adding an extra layer of charm, the Farmstead follows naming themes each year. From superheroes and villains to Chiefs players and Pokemon characters, these themes add a delightful touch to the newest goat family.
This year’s theme: Pixar characters. Say hello to the first set of siblings, Woody and Jessie!
But before these baby goats can buddy up with Farmstead visitors, volunteers work hard to prepare them for the attention and love they are bound to receive as bottle goats.
“We have what is called baby goat socialization for about an hour a day, five days a week,” shares Animal Care Supervisor Sarah Higgerson. “Registered volunteers snuggle baby goats and get them used to being held still and touched. This ensures that the goats are comfortable with people and allows the transition from mom to bottles to go much more smoothly.”
Beyond their adorable appearances, baby goats exhibit remarkable behaviors. They can stand and take their first steps within minutes of being born, and both males and females may have beards. Goats also use a unique, sneeze-like sound as an alarm to warn each other of potential danger (both real and perceived).
Farmstead goats do not have much to worry about. They lead a life of luxury.
With access to shelters, windbreaks, enriched play areas and even stiff-bristled brushes for self-scratching, these goats are pampered. Pregnant and new mama goats receive special attention with a comprehensive health routine, geothermal floors to ward off the cold weather and even remote monitoring for overnights and weekends during the kidding season.
See the newest baby goats and more than 250 animals and birds that call the Farmstead home when Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead opens for the season on April 1. Plan your visit and find additional information at opkansas.org/farmstead.