‘Goats are the next dog:’ From yoga to landscaping, humans and goats are bonding in Connecticut

It’s not exactly a secret that goats have become increasingly popular in recent years. These hoofers can be found everywhere from goofy internet videos to farmers markets, petting zoos, yoga studios and pets.

“Goats are like the next dog: everyone wants to have goats as pets. They’re very easy to care for, don’t eat a ton and are just loving cattle, ”said Tracy Longoria of Aussakita Acres Farm.

Longoria owns their farm in Manchester with DJ Lupacchino where they run a range of programs that focus on goats.

“Goat yoga has been very popular over the years,” Longoria said, noting that her farm hosts goat yoga for the Hartford Yard Goats. Longoria said the farm later added baby goats and goat gatherings, and will offer goat walks in mid-June.

For the goat gatherings, Longoria said people can sit outside and hang out with the goat herd on the farm.

Of all of the goat programs on the farm, Longoria said the Baby Goat Socials are their most popular. “It’s an amazing time, everyone gets to pull up a chair and they literally have baby goats in their laps,” she said. “The baby goats either fall asleep or they just hop around the room while everyone interacts with them and watches them play.”

Terri Battaglia, director of the farm event at Bradley Mountain Farm, said they offer 15 different goat programs on the farm, including goat yoga, goat cuddling, goat strolling, mother goats and go-at painting.

“Goats are just versatile, they are fun and they are cuddly. Everyone has their own personality like every animal, ”she said. “They are not cattle to us, they are pets.”

Bradley Mountain Farm offers goat strolling and cuddling lessons.

Bradley Mountain Farm / Contributed Photo

For those wondering about the Fairy Goatmother program, it’s not quite the bippity-boppity-boo “Cinderella” concept. Battaglia stated that participants can hang out with any available goat in any other program, but for the Fairy Goatmother program, participants can request to hang out with a specific goat and have a play date with them. “You can hang out in the pasture with your goat and look after them, you can run around or sit on a blanket with them.”

Regarding their goat painting program, visitors can create a painting of a goat (visitors don’t actually paint the goats), Battaglia said.

Dress up a goat in pajamas or tutu at Bradley Mountain Farm.1of11

Dress up a goat in pajamas or tutu at Bradley Mountain Farm.

Bradley Mountain Farm / Contributed PhotoAussakita Acre Farm offers baby goats and goat gatherings on the farm.2of11

Aussakita Acre Farm offers baby goats and goat gatherings on the farm.

Courtesy of the Aussakita Acres Farm Facebook page3of11Aussakita Acre Farm offers baby goats and goat gatherings on the farm.4thof11

Aussakita Acre Farm offers baby goats and goat gatherings on the farm.

Courtesy of the Aussakita Acres Farm Facebook pagePetunia the Goat wears pajamas at Bradley Mountain Farm.5of11

Petunia the Goat wears pajamas at Bradley Mountain Farm.

Melissa Pionzio / Photo Contributed /6thof11Bradley Mountain Farm offers a variety of goat programs on the farm.7thof11

Bradley Mountain Farm offers a variety of goat programs on the farm.

Bradley Mountain Farm / Contributed PhotoBradley Mountain Farm offers a variety of goat programs on the farm.8thof11

Bradley Mountain Farm offers a variety of goat programs on the farm.

Bradley Mountain Farm / Contributed Photo9of11Bradley Mountain Farm offers goat painting lessons.10of11

Bradley Mountain Farm offers goat painting lessons.

Courtesy Bradley Mountain Farm11of11

“You come in and get a canvas and you are allowed to create the picture with the goat. You can choose your own two colors and we just apply the paint to the canvas and place it on the floor. Then you work with the goat to make them walk across the canvas. “

Battaglia explained that goats are naturally very kind beings and that people are fascinated by their social nature.

“You can tell that they are playful and social. They approach people at the fence, they are very curious. I often compare them to cats and dogs, ”she said.

Both Longoria and Battaglia said their programs attract a range of adults and that their programs aren’t just for children. Longoria said she enjoyed seeing adults who may not have grown up with animals, enjoying themselves, and spending time with their goats.

Battaglia added that goat programs are for “children and children at heart”. She also noted that Bradley Mountain employees often spend their free time with the goats outside of business hours.

“One thing I tell a lot of people is that the employees on the farms are customers too. We go to events when we’re not working,” Battaglia said. “They are great fun and the goats are really great to hang out with.”

Longoria noted that actors Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick had already bought goats from their farm in late April. “Ordinary people want goats and celebrities want them too,” she said. “Goats are just fun. You can do better every day. Their antics are silly, they are very, very social animals. “

Actors Kevin Bacon (left) and Kyra Sedgwick (right) took a selfie with Tracy Longoria, the owner of Aussakita Acres Farm in Manchester, Connecticut on Tuesday, April 27, 2021.  The actors selected two goats from the farm to join the two bought from the farm in 2020.

Actors Kevin Bacon (left) and Kyra Sedgwick (right) took a selfie with Tracy Longoria, the owner of Aussakita Acres Farm in Manchester, Connecticut on Tuesday, April 27, 2021. The actors selected two goats from the farm to join the two bought from the farm in 2020.

Tracy Longoria / Aussakita Acres Farm / Post Photo

In addition to being delightful cuddles, goats can also be very handy on the farm as they eat weeds and poison ivy. Their sturdy stomachs have resulted in an increase in the goat landscape. While neither Aussakita Acres nor Bradley Mountain currently offer goat landscaping services, both farms have got people to contact them.

Longoria stated that the goats will not mow your lawn and made it clear that they are “browsers, not grazers”.

“Everyone thinks, ‘Oh, I’m going to get some goats and they will mow my lawn for me,’ and that’s not really the case. They prefer brushes and weeds and poison ivy. For bigger corporations and communities, it’s easier to actually get the goats It’s a huge cost savings and you don’t have to use harsh chemicals to kill invasive species like poison ivy, sumac and the like, “she said.

tinamarie.craven@hearstmediact.com

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