Every once in a while, I hear a cascade of “bleeeeats” from my laptop speakers. For the past several weeks, I’ve been leaving a live stream of goats running while I work. It’s not really something you tune into for 30 seconds and then peace out of: this is a stream you keep on in the background, do some work, and then revisit for a soothing break in your day. And don’t worry, the goats will let you know when it’s time to tune back in. Bleeeat!
You’ll hear the baby goats — kids — bleat as they explore different parts of the farm throughout the day. The most dramatic moments occur when, all of a sudden, all of the goats start bleating at once as they rush toward their bucket of milk.
You might be wondering, “What’s so special about these goats?” Well, first of all, they are baby goats. Second of all, there’s the simple fact that baby goats are out there living their best lives on a farm, totally carefree, with no knowledge as to what’s happening in the wider world around them.
My work breaks now consist of grabbing a cup of tea and checking in on the little goats. They just spend their days playing, eating, and sleeping on repeat. Some of the questions that frequently run through my head as I watch: did the baby goats eat yet? Are they playing? Do they miss me?
The goats live in the “baby barn” on a farm owned by PJ Jonas and her family in Scottsburg, Indiana. Their farm is mostly known for making goat milk soap and other goat milk products. In 2015, they decided to become a “destination” for people to experience life on the farm with the animals and set up their live stream.
Jonas has noticed an uptick in viewers since the start of stay-at-home orders. “The live cameras are a way to share our baby goats with people who are not fortunate enough to grow up on a farm,” Jonas tells The Verge. “There are many people and children who live in the city and never get to experience the joy of baby goats. This gives people a chance to see them.”
There’s also a baby goat pen live stream, which gives you an inside look at where the baby goats sleep at night. They snooze in their pen and then emerge in the morning, bleating up a storm. The Jonas family takes care of dogs on the farm as well as barn cats.
As we search for content outside of coronavirus headlines, animal live streams have become more popular than ever, giving viewers a positive outlet as they stay at home during the pandemic. You can watch live cams featuring sharks, elephants, sea otters, pandas, apes, and more. Scanning these feeds has kept me distracted; it’s very hard not to watch them for a few hours to see what the sea otters will do next.
The most comforting part of all of this is simply seeing these animals happy, despite everything going on around the world. These times are stressful, but seeing animals living their best lives is a reminder that maybe they don’t have to be.