Goats are having a moment right now. Everywhere you look, people are posting photos of themselves doing yoga while tiny goats stand on their backs, meditating with goats, reading to goats – even posing with goats at weddings.
Why all this sudden goat love?
Amanda Avery, co-owner of Hux Family Farm in Durham, said she thinks goats are so popular now because people are looking for more lighthearted interactions in their daily life, and goats provide that.
“I think that people that interact with them are seeing that this isn’t just a fad – they’re awesome,” Avery said. “I actually didn’t realize how popular they were until we started doing things with them.”
Hux Family Farm has been offering yoga with goats since last fall and meditation with goats since last summer.
“They’re really friendly and love people,” she said. “When you relax, they relax. A lot of times in meditation, they’ll lie down and take a nap. They just make it more enjoyable and relaxing.”
Hux also hosts birthday parties for children, open farm days, a summer camp, Goat Sundays and goat sponsorships.
Goats just brighten your day, Avery said. “They make me smile every time I go out to spend time with them.”
‘I do’ want a goat at my wedding
At the Chapel Hill Carriage House Farm and Garden, which regularly hosts weddings, owner Brenda Leeper said that at most weddings, guests would wander over to see the goats, so they decided to just ask couples getting married if they wanted to include goats in their festivities. The answer: yes, please.
“I have a bride who’s getting married here and she wanted to do goat yoga on the day of her wedding with her bridesmaids,” she said, “so that’s going to happen.”
Leeper said baby goat yoga has been very popular whenever they’ve hosted it.
“There were 40 people each, and then there were 500 people on the waitlist,” Leeper said. “And there were people that were really into yoga. I mean, there were people that weren’t quite as much into yoga, but they were just so excited to see the goats.”
Kathryn Spann, co-owner of Prodigal Farm in Rougemont, said Prodigal, which has a herd of about 400 goats used for dairy and meat, will not be offering goat yoga.
“Personally, in my understanding of yoga, it seems a little inconsistent with the practice to include goats as a part of it,” she said. “I think goats love people in general, assuming they’ve been treated well, and I think it’s great for people to spend time with animals – and if people like doing goat yoga, I think that’s marvelous.”
Prodigal does host events for people to meet and spend time with goats, though. They have baby goat festival days, open farm days and a volunteer program in the spring.
A nice distraction
Kate Murray, a yoga instructor who teaches at Hux once or twice a month, said she thinks people come to yoga with goats primarily to see the goats.
“I think, in many ways, it gets people to relax even more than yoga in a studio,” Murray said. “They’re smiling, they’re enjoying the goats, they’re not taking anything too seriously.”
Ella Crosby, a participant in yoga with goats at the Hux, said she had no interest in yoga, only in goats.
“If they didn’t interact with you, it wouldn’t be fun,” she said. “But since they were jumping on you, it was.”
Jennifer Rehm and Amber Poinsett, who work at a fitness center in Pittsboro and attended a yoga with goats session at Hux, said they liked seeing the differences between regular yoga, which they’re used to, and goat yoga, which they had never done before. They said the goats were a distraction, but a cute one.
“I think sometimes in yoga ... you try to center your mind and you try to push out all distractions that are going on in your regular life. Here none of those were happening because the goats were the distraction. It was a good thing,” Rehm said.
Where to hang out with goats
Here are some places in the Triangle where you can do goat yoga and meditation, hold parties and other activities.
Hux Family Farm
1923 Shaw Road, Durham
Activities with goats: yoga with goats, meditation with goats, open farm days, summer camp, Goat Sundays, goat sponsorships.
Chapel Hill Carriage House
3110 Jones Ferry Road, Chapel Hill
Activities with goats: baby goat yoga, weddings with goats and an alpaca.
4720 Bahama Road, Rougemont
Activities with goats: baby goat festival days, open farm days, volunteer program in the spring.