Lifestyle

Kidding season begins on South Whidbey

A Nubian mini-goat from Little Brown Farm in Freeland gives his sibling an affectionate rub. The public will be allowed to bottle feed the little ones beginning April 1. - Justin Burnett / The Record
A Nubian mini-goat from Little Brown Farm in Freeland gives his sibling an affectionate rub. The public will be allowed to bottle feed the little ones beginning April 1.
— image credit: Justin Burnett / The Record

Yes, they are as cute as they look.

Their cries, their little wagging tails, their bids for attention: it’s the whole package and Vicky Brown, owner of Little Brown Farm in Freeland, sums it up best.

“They are ridiculously adorable,” Brown said. “My problem is every single one is my favorite.”

Brown specializes in goat products and March marks the start of kidding season. The first batch arrived this past Friday and South Whidbey residents have been cooing over Facebook pictures ever since.

“Oh....my....God. Cutest thing on the planet,” said one commenter.

“I want them all” and “Cuteness overload,” said two others.

Such sentiments were just a few of the awws and oohs expressed on the farm’s first Facebook post, which as of Monday afternoon had received 135 likes.

Many also expressed excitement and anticipation over what they know comes next. Every year, once the new babies are a few weeks old, Brown opens her doors and allows the public to come bottle feed the infant Nubian goats.

Hours are 3 p.m. daily, beginning April 1, at 1377 Barr Road.

A dozen kids have been born so far, and Brown is expecting about 20 more. That’s usually enough for most crowds, but in a pinch priority is given to children.

“The adults have to wait and be grown-ups about it,” Brown said.

“Which they don’t always do,” added Christine Maifeld, with a knowing smile.

Maifeld, 24, is Brown’s daughter and helps her mom operate the certified dairy farm. With their herd of about 30 goats, the farm produces a variety of products, from cheese and yogurt to specialties such as Cajeta, a type of Mexican caramel sauce.

Opening the farm to the public is extra work, but it’s worth it for several reasons. For starters, it’s an excellent marketing tool and great way of getting customers to her on-site store, which is hidden away a few miles south of Freeland off Wahl Road.

Feeding the goats is free, but customers are encouraged to “bring their wallets,” Brown laughed.

It’s also a means of educating the public about agriculture and where meat comes from. A few of the baby goats are kept or sold as pets, but the majority — nearly all of the males — are sent to a slaughterhouse for the farm’s grass-fed meat program.

It’s not always easy for the two women, as they spend many hours raising and caring for the kids, but it’s an aspect of farming and consuming meat that they feel is important to share with the public.

“Some people don’t like our meat because they’ve met it,” Brown said. “But knowing where your food comes from is important.”

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