Gibson County FFA has had an adventurous semester so far, by welcoming seven bottle baby goats into the program.
Trey Baker, Joely Turner, Katie Wade, Phoebe Willett, Hunter Holden, and Branten Smith have all taken on a huge responsibility by caring and providing the necessities that these baby goats need.
“My experience with helping raise a bottle baby has shown me a lot of things,” said Turner. “I have another thing that’s life depends on me. It has shown me responsibility and care taking skills. I wake up every six or so hours to feed him the 25 ounces (he likes to eat). I bring him to school every single day and drop him off at our “kid daycare” then he gets fed throughout the day. I come and get him at the end of school and take him home with me to care for him.”
When asked about his experience, Smith said, “Taking care of my goat has shown me how much work and effort you have to put forth to raise them. It has taught me how to manage time and how to have responsibilities knowing that this goat depends on me to live.”
Many of the students were present when their goat was born and took them home to give them a better chance at life. These goats were pulled from their mothers for different reasons, some females rejected one of three babies while others did not have sufficient milk to feed their offspring. The students who are raising the bottle babies will continue to bottle feed the goats for a couple more months.
You may be surprised to find out just how much these tiny goats have become part of these students’ families. Many of the goats wear diapers and onesies so that they may roam the house freely. Often, the students snuggle up with their goats to nap and watch television.
However, these spoiled little goats will soon have to leave their high school parents and return to the barn to learn how to be a goat. The Gibson County FFA chapter will use these bottle babies at their annual Kid Camp held in June. Then the students will participate in the Gibson County Jr. Livestock Association and show these goats in the fall at fairs across West Tennessee.