OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — If you’re planning to take your kids to see the baby goats at Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead in Overland Park soon, you might consider postponing your trip.
The goat kids will likely be out sick for a few weeks after some of them caught a virus that could make human kids sick, too.
The park is just days away from its season opening on April 2.
“It’s basically a great learning opportunity for local kids to come and learn about what life was like on a Kansas farm kind of in the frontier days, what it takes to raise chickens and milk a cow,” Overland Park communications assistant Meg Ralph said.
For many kids, their favorite part is feeding the baby goats.
“Getting to bottle feed a goat, a lot of kids, especially around here, don’t have that experience, so it’s kind of a neat once an experience kind of opportunity,” Ralph said.
Unfortunately, some of those baby goats aren’t feeling well. A little less than half of their 65 pygmy goats have “sore mouth.”
“It’s a virus. Just kind of runs it’s course like any virus that a human would get,” Ralph said. “It makes it a little bit hard for them to feed. It kind of puts a little pain in the mouth where the sores can be.”
Ralph said the goats could pass it onto kids, so they have to be careful.
“We’re trying to cut down on any impact that we can on humans, so at this point it will just be staff that will be handling them,” Ralph said.
The park will still be open for kids and families to see the other animals, but these “kids” will need a break.
“Once the farmstead veterinarian has come back through and given them a clean bill of health, that’s when the bottle feeding of the kids would be open,” Ralph said. “That kind of depends on how long it takes them to get the sore mouth and then start feeling better. It could be a few weeks.”
Ralph said the virus works like a cold. They expect all the goats to get it and recover by May.