Goats for Birthday Party

I received the following message from the family that bought two of my boys last year.  Does anyone in the general Portland, Oregon, area know of anyone who might be willing to provide goats for a birthday party?


I have a friend who is wondering about the ability to rent some sweet goats for a birthday party. Do you know of anyone who would be able to provide such a service?  She is in the Happy Valley area and the date is July 26 th.  I would do it with Alex and Eddie, because of their sweetness, BUT, they haven't traveled since we brought them here,  AND, we are building a playground that day for a needy community.


You can email to me off-group if you would like, either with leads or suggestions.

glenna at iinet dot com

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  • Jan, I will share the response I received from a goat-owner friend in our area.

    "We did this once, when we first had goats and I swore never again.  It was VERY hard on the animals, who are shy by nature and get overwhelmed with too much activity.  That said, no, I don't know of anyone who does this.  Sorry."

    This was rather what I expected considering how shy our goats can be.

    Regarding you having a petting zoo for children's birthday parties, etc., please do keep in mind there are many factors to consider.  On the surface, it sounds like a great idea.  Then we look at some hard realities.  The first is that not all children are equal and some are quite misbehaving.  In a party atmosphere, they do tend to be overexcited and even the best behaved children can get out-of-hand.  The interaction of individual animals and children can be quite different; the animals need to be conditioned to children and their exuberance.  Children do not intend to be but can be quite frightening to an animal.  With all that said, for this you would need insurance to cover your animals in case a child gets bitten or kicked which, sadly, is likely to happen. 

    I had a terrible experience last year with my then 5-year-old granddaughter.  After the horse's owner said she could pet the horse, my granddaughter raised her hand to pet her before I had a chance to tell her to pet it on the neck and hold her hand flat.  We had just been out to buy veggies and she had handled the carrots.  The way she raised her hand and the carrot smell apparently caused the horse to think she was offering a carrot and she bit her fingers, definitely not a carrot.  The owner was horrified; this was an older very gentle horse who had never bit anyone ever.  Worse, because the horse was biting a carrot, it was difficult to get it to let go.  Fortunately, my granddaughter, though quite scared, had no broken bones but it take a while to heal.  It all happened so fast that neither of us adults could prevent it. I am telling you this so you understand how quickly and unexpectedly something can happen. I don't even know of another incident where this happened; it was not typical but still happened.

    Regarding NDGs as therapy goats, I have considered doing that (as a visiting goat).  I think the hardest part is to get them to wear the diaper!  I have tried, unsuccessfully and realize I need to make some sort of harness to hold it in place.  I am considering trying it with Tiny Baby this year as she is so super friendly (bottle feeding, even supplemental, will do that<g>).  I'm holding off because if I keep her, I have to re-home one of my adults which delays having two does in milk most of the year.  They would make incredible therapy animals, especially for nursing homes since so many people will have come from farm backgrounds.  Again, though, insurance would be a necessity.

    Here is one article about therapy animals for seniors.  http://www.wjla.com/articles/2013/03/goats-other-animals-used-in-se...

  • Glenna I got excited when I read your post because that's exactly what I've wanted to do for years now!  Have birthday parties for children with miniature animals!  I'm not set up at the time for it-no way to haul them yet but it was kinda like a sign for me to maybe go forward on this idea.  We also raise large rabbits (which I know children love) and I could get a miniature donkey or pony.  Better yet have them come to my farm & do a party here!  Decorate, bake the cupcakes, play games and do a petting zoo!  What do you think?   I'll be praying about this!  Also has anyone used their NDG's for therapy goats in nursing homes?  That's the other thing I have been contemplating.

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