There is nothing in the World cuter than baby goats! They’re so playful, jumping all over the humans and nibbling at their hair. Their tiny little hooves on your back and their tiny baby goat noses nuzzling your face. I’ve heard people after their Goat Yoga session and they often say…”This is the best day of my life, or this is the best thing I’ve EVER done!” There are so many people that come to our classes and their focus is to have a baby goat jump on their back. (Insert the iconic image above of Heather, the Original Goat Yoga Instructor, with Annie the baby goat on her back. That image has been viewed millions of times and in more media outlets than I can keep track of!) I’ll admit, it is fun and it’s always fun to see how happy it makes everyone. Including the goat! They love jumping all over the humans and doing their fancy little dismount jumps. The problem is…we can’t always have baby goats unless we are breeding non-stop.
I did breed my doe at first. I thought it would be fun to have babies on the farm. Ansel ended up having one little doeling that we named Annie Goatley. She was SO much fun and she really inspired the idea of Goat Yoga, but she’ll be the last baby born on my farm. I became friends with a farmer who is a real-life farmer. That means, if they’re born a male on many of these farms and you are not breeding stock, they are most likely sold for meat. Now that I know this…I have many that are wethers (castrated males) that would have ended up in someone’s freezer that are now Goat Yoga goats and my forever goats.
I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with breeding goats, but I was reading an article the other day about a Goat Yoga business that had bred all their does (around 20) for the sole purpose of having babies for Goat Yoga. I’m wondering what happens to all these babies once they are not babies any longer. I had one person send me a Facebook post that stated a Goat Yoga business gave away all the babies once they turned 5 Months old and then they just start again with more babies. Most often these are dairy farms who produce babies consistently to have their goats in milk.
I can’t control how everyone conducts their Goat Yoga business, but my hopes are that the goats being used for Goat Yoga are in their forever homes. How sad it would be to go to a class and bond with these adorable babies only to learn that next time you attend, the goat that you bonded with is gone. At my Original Goat Yoga Locations, all of our location partners are OGY Certified which means that all the goats used for Goat Yoga are in their forever homes and have regular veterinary care and that they are responsibly adopting or rescuing their goats.
I can assure you that adult goats are just as loving and friendly as babies. They may not jump on your back, but they will love you and snuggle you with all their heart. There are times when babies need rescuing and bottle feeding and I hope to find more in the Spring that need saving but my adult goats will always be a part of my classes. I must limit how many I get because it’s just not sustainable to have one hundred goats on my farm.
If you’re interested in attending a class, my advice would be to do your research and ask questions. Each Goat Yoga business is different and plays by different rules, morals and values. Here are a few questions to ask:
-Do you rescue goats?
-Do you sell the babies once they are older? For pets? For breeding? For meat?
-Are you a no kill farm?
I know this is not a popular post for many of the production farms out there, but since I created Goat Yoga, I feel that I need to take a stance against the practice. Adopt or rescue your goats. These amazing animals are used for therapy and we must respect them and our environment.