Kooter the goat, the agriculture department’s student-designated school mascot, which has been in attendance at nearly every home football game and several other athletic and campus events over the past four years, recently gave birth to twin daughters.
The babies, known as kids in the goat world, were born last week at her owner’s home. According to Dr. Bobby Lane, the goats’ owner, this is the first time Kooter has given birth.
“Brian VanDelist came to me about five years ago seeking an animal that could be used as a university mascot. Apparently the only real Bearkats are the ones that are either attending or have attended school at SHSU,” Lane said. “So he suggested using a goat and I told him I had just the right one.”
This particular doe had been exposed to a male goat twice and had failed to breed, so, at the time, Lane “didn’t really have much use for her.”
“Brian worked with her to get her to lead well and get her accustomed to being around crowds,” he said. “Since Brian’s graduation, pre-vet major Michael Thomas has taken on the charge.”
According to Lane, contributions from several students who worked with Kooter had a noticeable effect on the goat’s personality.
“This year, when I brought the billy into the pasture to breed my does, I noticed that Kooter was cycling, (in heat or estrus), and that she and the billy hit it off quite well,” he said. “Turns out he must have been a real Romeo.”
Though it is somewhat late in Kooter’s life to begin the process of motherhood, Lane is optimistic about what has gone on so far.
“It’s really quite unusual to have a doe kid for the first time at five or six years of age, but she has been a very good mother and is providing abundant milk for the kids. They are healthy and growing fast,” Lane said. “Since she will be busy taking care of her young ones most of the summer, we have discussed retiring her as Kooter the mascot.”
The search for Kooter II will begin soon. His debut is planned for the first home football game next fall.