Who doesn’t love baby animals?
The Lethbridge Corn Maze is using some cute faces to its advantage as a way to give back to the food bank.
What are they doing exactly?
“They’re very, very nice to cuddle,” said farm owner Theo Slingerland. “They’re like a puppy almost.”
The idea came to Slingerland last year when he saw a similar thing happening in the United States.
“My wife Esther says, ‘Hey, that’s something that we can do,’ and I said, ‘Are you serious? Nobody’s going to come to that.'”
Slingerland couldn’t have been more wrong.
They started offering goat-snuggling in late June, and it was a massive hit.
“We ran out of goats before we could finish the snuggling,” said Slingerland.
A portion of the proceeds raised from goat-snuggling was donated to the food bank. It’s their way of saying thank you.
“We actually get all the leftover food from the Lethbridge Food Bank that is not suitable for consumption anymore or outdated for our animals,” said Slingerland.
Last year, goat-snuggling raised close to $1,100. And this year, they want to do better.
For $30, you can book a one-hour goat-snuggling session for up to five people in a socially distanced pen. Signs are hung up asking people to “please respect the snugglers.” After an hour of cuddles, the goats are returned to their mother for about an hour and a half to rest up before the next round of snuggles.
“Goats are very social creatures,” said Slingerland. “You can put them on your lap and they’ll fall right asleep.”
People were out on Saturday morning getting in their baby goat cuddles to start a beautiful weekend.
“My girlfriend was on Facebook and basically told me I’m coming to snuggle goats,” said Ed Johnson, as he held a sleeping baby goat.
“But I’m super happy I came. This little guy just snuggled up on me and fell asleep.”
Nicki Van Eck was sitting in the pen with another sleeping goat in her lap.
“I’m so relaxed here. Almost as relaxed as this baby goat,” she laughed.
Van Eck said she saw the Lethbridge Corn Maze post about the snuggle sessions on Facebook.
“There’s not a lot going on right now because of the pandemic, so it was just something fun to do,” she said. “They said you could do it in a group of five, so I signed up knowing that I may have my family come with me, and if they weren’t interested, I would just come by myself.”
In another pen was the Rasmussen family. Rylee had a big smile on her face all morning as she ran from goat to goat in her pen. Her mom, Jessica, said they came three times last year.
“If you come early enough in the season, you get to see them grow up a bit,” she said. “Because by the time we come at the end of July for Rylee’s birthday, they’ll all be bigger and you can actually feed them.”
Global News asked Rylee if goats were her favourite animal. After a slight pause, she said, “Yes, and cheetahs.”
Sadly, there are no cheetahs at the Lethbridge Corn Maze. But people can find pigs, cows and peacocks — and of course, lots of goats ready to be snuggled to raise money for a good cause.