How did you get started with goats?

In 2014, Amanda brought home an FFA bottle baby goat as her Animal Science project.  He was only with us for 6 weeks before he was adopted and sent to his home.  We were heartbroken to have to let him go.  We were hooked! The baby goat was so sweet, smart, and loving that we knew we had to have goats of our own, permanently.  So, the following year, Amanda got another bottle baby and she is still here!  Sweety. 

Sweety was quickly joined by several others and our addiction was fully confirmed. We began showing our first two years only at Delaware State Fair. 

In 2017, we had our herd in front of 10 judges and were pretty successful for a new herd.  We have three Junior Grand Champions in our herd, one Junior Reserve Grand Champion, and one Senior with 2 Reserve Grand Championships.  

2018 was a very busy season with lots of nice show placings, but no major victories.  

2019 brought 3 Finished Championships to our herd: Nova, Codie, and Windy are all now permanent champions.  Nova and Codie also got their milk stars, making it 3 so far in our herd and certainly more to come in 2020.  We also gained several more legs towards championships for other herd members.  2019 was a fantastic year for our little herd!

2020 didn't give us many opportunities for showing.  However, in the limited shows, our bucks brought home several championship legs and our sweet Josie was the Champion Oberhasli at the Delaware State Fair and Dancer took Reserve to her.  

2021 First show out, we brought home a Jr Grand Championship for Ruby and a Reserve Jr Ch for Mimi.  Excited to see what the rest of the season holds.  

Why Goat Yoga?

Why not? Goat yoga is one of the newest trends sweeping our nation.  We are the first farm to offer it in Delaware.  Our first classes were in November 2017.  They were organized as a fundraiser in conjunction with Sigma Alpha, a professional agricultural sorority, to raise money to be donated to UDance, an organization that donates all proceeds to benefit Pediatric Cancer Patients and their families.  All 3 classes sold out.  They were a great success.  So, with that under our belts, and continued demand, we decided to go for it!

We needed an instructor.  Well, an instructor found us and asked about doing classes.  Her timing was perfect!! Sue McCarthy of Lewes Yoga worked with us to set up our initial classes and Goat Joy Yoga was born. 

What is the address for the Goat Joy Yoga Class?

22114 Ritter Lane, Harbeson, DE  19951.  This is located just off Beaver Dam Road, Behind St. George’s Chapel.  From the road, you will see a 2 story blue house and 3 silver grain bins. Ritter Lane runs along the brick wall of St. George’s Chapel. Bear to the left when you come up the lane.  Park in front of the fence where marked.

I don’t do yoga. Can I just watch?

No yoga? No problem! Please sign up for a Goat Social session.  The socials are designed especially for you!  We have been told that being watched makes the yoga participants uncomfortable and that is the last thing we want.  This is all about relaxing and having fun! Goat Socials were created with non-yogi’s in mind.

Do you allow Spectators/Observers?

We do not allow spectators/observers.  Everyone coming onto the property should purchase a ticket and plan on coming into the event.  We have chairs if you need them.  No, you cannot hang out and interact with the other goats in the other pastures.  We supervise all activities on the farm.  Call us control freaks, we call it being responsible and caring owners.  If your goal is to take pictures, the view inside the event is much better!

Can I get a discount for several people coming together?

We keep our pricing as low as possible so that everyone can have a chance to experience Goat Joy.  We are not making huge profits. Truthfully this does not even fully cover all of the goat’s expenses.  This is just a way to supplement and share the joy of goats.

Are there refunds for classes?

Sorry, no refunds, but you can sell your ticket to a friend.  Just drop us a quick line to let us know the friend’s name to put on the list in place of yours. We can also re-schedule you if you contact us at least 24 hours in advance.

What is your rain policy?

We always try to hold the event.  We look at the weather radar in the morning then about an hour prior to the event.  We will notify you at the email and phone number used when you purchased the even tickets IF there is a change.  Many times, it will be raining at the beach and beautiful here, so don't just assume we are rained out.  If necessary, we will reschedule or refund.  It is very rare that we are not able to hold our events.  Very soon we will have an indoor area, so all events will be held rain or shine.

How long is the class?

Each class is about an hour but you may come about 10 minutes early and stay up to 20 minutes after.  Much more than that and the goats are just exhausted. Most classes end up with the littlest goats napping on your mat anyway. 

What kind of goats do you have?

Most of them are Nigerian Dwarf.  There are also some Oberhasli, Lamancha, and Alpine.  None of them have horns. All of them are 100% fun and adorable! We use the youngest ones for our yoga classes and socials.  

Do you milk the goats?

Yes! All of our goats are dairy goats first and foremost.  The ones that have kidded, we milk twice daily.  Yes, we use the milk. It is the most wonderful, sweet milk!  We make ice cream, cheese, and anything else you can think of that is made out of cow’s milk can be made with goat’s milk.  I could write a book here!  We are currently working on opening a Grade A dairy so that we can sell it and you will be able to enjoy the same delicious milk that we do!

Can we pick up the goats?

There is a specific way to handle the goats.  Please do not attempt to pick them up until you have been shown how to do it properly and safely.  Goats are ruminants and have 4 chambers to their stomachs.  Improperly picking them up could cause one of these chambers to twist and lead to very expensive and painful surgery if caught in time or a very painful death if not.  So please, do not pick them up until we have shown you the proper way. 

Don’t the goats poop or pee during the class?

Well, sometimes, but it is in the grass so it becomes fertilizer.  Goat poop is just little round balls (think Raisinettes) and does not stink.  If it gets on the mat, just shake it off.  If the mat gets peed on, we have extras and will swap out. 

Can I bring my dog or my goat with me to goat yoga class or to a goat social?

Absolutely not.  Please do not bring a dog in your vehicle either.  We have our own dogs and they view other dogs as threats no matter how friendly or if they are in a car or not.  Goats are prey animals and are very threatened by strange dogs around them no matter how well behaved.  Another goat coming in is a concern because of our working to become a Grade A Dairy. 

Do you sell goats?

Yes, once they are completely weaned, which is at about 12 weeks of age we will sell some of the goats.  All of the wethers will be available to a proper home.  Very limited numbers of does may be available. We have a waiting list.  Let us know if you are interested and we will discuss ownership responsibilities and care with you.  

Do you take in rescue goats or buy other goats?

No.  Because of working to become a Grade A dairy, we are careful about the animals that are brought onto our farm.

Will you come to my location?

No.   It is cost-prohibitive to do this for a private event and a bio-security risk to our goats.  (Plus, we cannot control all elements of the environment - think chemicals on lawns, plants in the environment, other animals around, waste from our goats, etc.) Thank you for understanding.

Will you host a private event like a birthday party or a club activity?

Yes! We will do private goat socials or goat yoga events.  We can do birthdays, team building, bachelorette outings, family gatherings, vacation outings, youth club activities, educational programs, you name it!  We can even provide tables and chairs for your group if you want to do refreshments afterwards.  We provide a photographer and the link to the Google drive for you to download all the pictures as well.  Contact us for all the details.

Can I bring treats?

No.  We do not feed the babies treats because most of them are just still drinking milk from their moms. They are just learning to eat hay and grain.  Treats are confusing to them.  Also, dropped food items in the yoga yard have to be picked up and that's just another chore.

Can I take a walk around the farm?

Only with a family member or employee.  Goat Joy is located on our busy, fully operating Ritter Family Farms.  There can often be tractors or trucks moving about and it is best for you to stay within the designated parking and yoga/social area.  If you have any questions about the farming side of life here on Ritter Lane, Brad is typically around on Sundays during our events and will be happy to bend your ear!
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