Ada Township, MI

Cuddle a Baby Goat or Take a Hike with the Herd in Ada, Michigan

Tracy Stengel
Image via Dreamgoats Facebook page.

It’s common to see a group of kids playing in the lot behind a school, but the kids playing behind Ada Christian School are baby goats. And it is cuteness overload!

Leah Sienkowski started Dreamgoats, a dairy goat farm, in 2016 with three female goats named Joy, Beau, and Moonlight. Currently, she has 20 goats. Last month, 5 females gave birth to 13 babies. The gestation period is five months and the birthrate is usually two kids per year. “We had some triplets this year!” Leah said.

Each baby goat has its own individual scent and call. Mother goats recognize their kids using their sense of smell and hearing, not by their using their eyesight.

“They’re very social animals, with a herd mentality. Lots of times, I’ll find the little ones asleep in a pile,” Leah said.

Just the image of that made me smile.

While the goats are still small, Leah offers people the opportunity to cuddle a baby goat during a 40-minute session for $20.00 per person. My first reaction was, “Oh! I bet children love that!”

“Actually,” Leah said, “Most of the sessions are filled by adults. Many people use the time to just hold the baby goat and meditate. It’s a great way to unwind and let go of your stress.”
Leah and two adorable kids. Image via Dreamgoats Facebook page.

Next month, Dreamgoats invites the public to join them on hikes with the goats. There is 37 acres and two miles of rustic trails. By June, the little ones will be old enough to keep up. “Right now, they are always with their mom. If we start the hikes before the kids can stay on the trail properly, we’d end up carrying all the babies!” Leah said, laughing.

Hikers can expect to cross boardwalks and bridges along the way and will pass a retention pond.

During the hike, the goats will be foraging. Primarily, the goats eat invasive plant species, including poison ivy. They can even digest wood through their four stomachs! “They are voracious eaters!” Leah said. Goats are foragers, not grazers. They want vines, bushes, woody branches instead of grass.
Image via Dreamgoats Facebook page.

While interacting with the goats, you will find they are very affectionate. “We tell people to pet the goats underneath their chin instead of on top of their head. The way a goat’s eyes are situated on the side of their heads, they can’t see the hand coming.”

Speaking of a goat’s eyes, did you ever find their eyes a little … unsettling? It’s because they have rectangular pupils, which allows them a broader line of sight.

On your visit to Dreamgoats, be sure and check out the merchandise made from goat’s milk like shampoos, soaps, and laundry detergent. There is also fun Dreamgoats swag such as temporary goat tattoos!
Image via Dreamgoats Facebook page.

Leah earned a degree in Biology, but her passion was agriculture. She worked summers at Green Wagon Farm in Ada which is a certified organic, family owned farm. Their sustainable-minded practices inspired her to begin her own project.

If you’d like to join Leah and the herd for a hike or a cuddle, check the website for the current schedule and availability. Dreamgoats is located at 6206 Ada Drive SE, Ada, Michigan 49302

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Tracy explores the world with a positive eye, an open heart, and a sprinkling of humor. Without laughter, she would be lost.

Onsted, MI

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