As if the coming summer wasn’t busy enough, we’ve had a troop of new arrivals at the farm. If you’ve popped down in the past couple of weeks, you might have noticed a rather handsome looking group of goats has turned up! They are currently in isolation in one of our large pens on the farmyard, but hopefully it won’t be long before they can go out and join the other livestock grazing in the paddocks.
There’s more to these goats than meets the eye though! These are Cheviot Landrace Goats, a truly Old English breed. Without getting too complicated, if you were to go back in time these are the goats you would find roaming feral across the English countryside. They were deemed a pest, and bought very close to extinction. The 9 goats we’ve got at Deen City Farm have come from a Thorndon Country Park in Essex, and will form the start of our breeding group!
Even though these goats have been used to living without much human contact, it’s amazing how fast they can settle in! The kids are still a bit shy, but the adults are very happy to come over and check out any hands for tasty grass nuts. Did you know that goats are the second fastest animal to adjust to living feral? (Cats being the fastest!), it seems the opposite is true too, and they’re very quick to get used to people as well!
The goats that were chosen from the herd to come to Deen City Farm were picked out with the assistance of our colleague (and master of all things goat!) Ray Werner, an expert on all things Cheviot Goat. When it comes to picking the ideal goats, it’s not just about picking out the ones that you like the look of, you need to know what to look for (hence Ray’s expert input!). The one male and three females were picked out from the crowd based on their colour patterns, good conformation and movement as well as meeting the breed standards devised by the Cheviot Landrace Goat society.
After a nervous few days, it wasn’t long before the goats have settled well into city farm life, generally minding their own business unless there’s any tasty snacks on offer! The kids are a little bit nervous, but we’re getting there! Come down and say hello to them during the summer!