What is it like caring for the baby goats, chickens, cows, horses and all 234 of the animals at Deanna Rose? Although it may seem effortlessly charming when you visit, there are teams of employees working hard behind the scenes keeping Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead going. We sat down with Animal Care Supervisor, Sarah Higgerson to see what a day in the life of the Farmstead’s crew looks like.
Q: What does a typical day look like for you?
A: Checking on animals and their pens, making sure they are fed and have water and are cared for. It’s a big job! We also keep their vet records and make sure they are up to date on cleanings, medicine, and maintenance, etc.
Q: What is your favorite part of the job?
A:The babies! I love seeing the babies have babies. I call myself and my team the goat midwives. We are there every step of the way during their pregnancies and births for emotional support, sanitation, and sometimes a whole lot more. It also warms my heart when the little kids get to bottle feed and pet the baby goats. The kids get so excited to be with them.
Q: Is there a certain animal that you bonded with most?
A: Aurora. She is a momma goat, and the first baby I had to take home. Her goat Mom wasn’t making enough milk, and so when that happens we take them home with us to feed them and care for them overnight. I was there for Aurora’s first birth too, so I got to see her go from baby to Momma. She is blue tag #15.
Q: Why did you choose to work at Deanna Rose?
A: I’ve always loved animals and I grew up coming here as a little girl. There’s actually a picture up in the barn of me as a little kid visiting here. I got my degree from Kansas State in Wildlife Management and Ecology and worked as a vet assistant, in New Orleans at the Audubon Nature Aquarium. There was a big oil spill recovery effort that I was a part of and we worked on cleaning up sea turtles. I spent time at Garden City Zoo too, and then I wanted to move closer to home and landed here at the Farmstead.
Q: What is something we might not know about Deanna Rose?
A: The animals stay at the farmstead during the winter. A few go to local farmers, but the majority stay here. The off season is actually busier for me because there are less workers during that time. Also, that the baby goats are born here. There are 34 moms and 1 buck.