Meet Astra and Zeneca, the first newborns to kick off kidding season at a goat farm in Victoria’s north-east.
It’s an exciting time of year for Donovan Jacka and wife Melissa who run Tolpuddle farm at Tarrawingee.
- Kidding season has started at Tolpuddle goat farm in Victoria’s north-east
- Its first twins of the season receive COVID-themed names
- The farm is expecting more than 100 kids this season
Each year, the couple choose a theme for the kids’ names — the pandemic was an obvious choice for 2021, with the first set of twins named after a COVID vaccine.
“We’ve actually just hit the ground with babies everywhere. It’s only midday and we’ve already had seven newbies.
“I can guess there’s another 10 or so mums who will be ready to drop by the weekend.
“It’s all systems go, we’re not milking yet and we won’t start milking properly for another week or so.”
Mr Jacka said the farm had around 60 expecting does and would likely see more than 100 kids born this breeding season.
“We will definitely hit the 100 mark, we could get as high as 130. Goats are incredibly reliable and almost always have twins,” he said.
Female kids will stay on the farm and be used later for milk production, however the males will sold.
“It’s not artificial insemination or anything so we do get 50-50 boys and girls,” Mr Jacka said.
“The boys stay with their mum until they are about six months old, and then we can sell a few off as pets or we sell them to local restaurants and butchers.”
Kidding marked the start of the farm’s agricultural season, he said.
“Kids are a little bit smaller than sheep, so you want to have your kidding season a bit later in the season.
“Sheep owners tend to be happy to have their lambs in the middle of winter, but we want a little bit warmer weather because they are susceptible to the frost and the weather.”
Naming the kids
The farm also runs a goat sponsorship program that allows the public to name a kid.
With the amount of kids expected this year, however, the Jackas will still have plenty of names to find — politicians being a likely theme.
“This year we’re going to definitely name one Gladys,” Mr Jacka said.
“We’ll do a Jaala after (western Victoria MP) Jaala Pulford and also Jaclyn Symes, who is our local member.
“How could we do Brendan Murphy — Brenda Murphy maybe? Jeroen Weimar?
“All of those people who didn’t want the limelight are all going to get baby goats named after them this week.”