TURNERS FALLS — Superintendent Richard Martin and Director of Career and Technical Education Matthew West are pleased to report that veterinary and animal science students at Franklin County Technical School recently assisted in the birth of several baby goats.
On March 1, a Nigerian dwarf goat named Addie belonging to FCTS Veterinary and Animal Science teacher Kimberly Barry showed signs of labor while Barry was preparing to leave her farm in the morning. Barry decided to bring the goat with her to school so she could monitor it.
While her 10th grade class was in session later that day it became clear Addie was going to deliver, and the students gathered around to watch and assist in the birthing process.
Some of the students even helped to “catch” the baby goats (called “kids”) while they were being born. A total of three kids were delivered.
“This was a great lesson in normal caprine birth and the steps that need to be taken immediately after kids are born,” Barry said. “One of the things we always stress at Franklin County Tech is giving our students real-world experiences in their fields of interest, and this experience was as ‘real-world’ as it gets. It was great for the students to see this birth up close and be able to ask questions about what they saw.”
Students in Barry and Regina Parsons’ classes have been learning firsthand about postpartum care for both newborn goats and their mother in the past week, and have been discussing the normal behavior of kids and how to raise them in a safe and healthy environment.
Since the birth the mother goat has rejected one of the kids (a common occurrence in livestock), so the students are now learning how to properly bottle feed newborn goats as well.
“Assisting in the birth of these goats and the subsequent care for them is something that these students won’t soon forget, and it was a special way for them to learn more about animal science,” Director West said. “Our veterinary program has a long history of hands-on education and this is just the latest example of that.”
For more information on the Veterinary and Animal Science program at FCTS, click here.