When I started doing Facebook Live videos of the actual goat births, it was with the intention of helping other goat owners learn how to prevent and handle problem births.
I never intended for it to become so popular with people who didn't own goats. I never expected people to love watching them so much. And I certainly didn't plan on it taking so much of my family's time to record the videos and respond as needed to the comments.
And unfortunately, it has simply become unsustainable.
We often receive comments from people who get mad at me or upset with the family if we don't film a birth live. Yes, they try to make it sound like they are being friendly, but the passive-aggressive comments aren't very helpful.
Many people also expect us to film in the middle of the night and on Sundays and let us know that they aren't happy if we don't film a birth that happens during these time frames.
And the reality is that when you are constantly told how much you disappoint people because you didn't film a birth or because you never choose their baby goat name recommendation, it takes all of the joy out of doing anything nice.
My family are all hard workers. But right now, we're working too long. The children are all growing up and developing lives outside of the farm. And so we've been putting plans into effect for the Jonases and Wersts to actually have a 5 day work week instead of a 6 or 7 day work week. And that means re-evaluating everything we do.
For 3 years now, we've tried to catch every birth and film it because we love our followers and we always try to exceed their expectations. But going into Kidding Season 2020, I was already worn out and simply couldn't do it anymore.
And so I started the season asking my children to do most of the live videos. And some people (even before the haters arrived en masse) were terrible and mean to my little girls. And so that's why Colter took time away from all of his jobs he needs to do and started narrating a lot of the live videos - to spare the girls.
But we knew that wasn't a sustainable solution either. Because our time is finite and because of these issues, after the 2020 Alpine birthing season, we decided that we would have to make a major change to how we shared the Facebook live goat birth videos.
And then in early/mid-February, the Facebook live goat birth videos were inundated with haters and trolls. We'd always had haters and trolls in the past, but this achieved a new level with people attacking me, the family, and the children as individuals. It wasn't simply disagreeing with the way we run our farm, it was attacking our motives, spewing hate, and maligning our love for our animals.
And so the haters and trolls moved up the timeline for us to implement changes to the way we live video the births.
And so, for the emotional and physical well-being of my family - which directly correlates to the well being of our goats - we will no longer continue to Facebook Live all the births for free.
Going forward, the birth videos have to pay for themselves and the resources they consume, in order for me to be able to devote resources to them. If a Jonas/Werst family member is recording the video, we either have to work extra hours to make up for that time, or we have to pay somebody else to do the jobs we would have done during that time. And as I've mentioned, that is no longer sustainable.
We are also hoping, by no longer having the videos be available for free, that it will prevent the haters and trolls from spending their time attacking us. We will also now have complete control and the ability to remove them which we don't have directly on our Facebook page.
We would love to have you be able to continue to watch the live birth videos. You can do so by supporting us at our Patreon page and becoming a Patron.
Once you become a Patron, for as little as $5 a month, you will have 24-hour access to all 8 live streaming barn cameras (9 cameras when you become a "Goat Hero"). You will also be added to a private, Patron-Only Facebook Group where we will do the Facebook Live videos of the goat births.
I'm sorry for those of you who cannot afford $5 a month to continue watching these birth videos. We still have the free camera available that shows the baby goat experience pen. And we will continue to do Facebook live videos as time allows, simply not of the births.
I hope that you can understand that I can no longer continue to video the goat births for free and subject my family to online attack and the threat of actual attack.
We love our goats. We love our fans. We love our customers. And we love our Patrons. (Many of you overlap those groups!) Thank you for all the care and concern you've always shown our family. It's the good people out there that keep us going!
We appreciate your continued support and hope to see many of you in the private, Patron Only Facebook group.
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