Goats

We have a small herd of nanny goats that live in our open yard. Visitors are welcome to go in the yard and say hello to our goats. Please be calm and quiet around our goats as they are due to kid in April.

We have three different breeds of goat in our herd: Toggenburgs, Anglo Nubians and Boer goats. It is easy to distinguish between them: the Toggenburgs have upright ears and a slightly concave facial profile, while the Anglo-Nubians have a curved ‘Roman’ nose and long drooping ears and the Boer goats are mainly white with dark heads. Some of the younger goats are a cross between the breeds.

A male goat is called a billy, a female is called a nanny, and baby goats are called kids. Both females and males have horns, but often these have been removed for safety reasons. In bearded breeds, both sexes can also have beards.
Most of the adult goats in the farmyard are nannies; the billy has its own pen elsewhere. The nannies give birth in the spring, often having twins.

Goats are reared mainly for meat and milk (from which goats cheese is also made) and sometimes also their hides and hair are used.
Here at Surrey Docks Farm, they are kept mainly for meat, which is sold here when available. Most importantly however, the goats provide some of the best animal interaction and entertainment!

Goats are wonderfully curious and mischievous – they will nibble at anything they can reach, and have an insatiable interest in eating, which is why it’s not safe to go inside the yard when bearing food! They eat special goat food, hay and plants. In the wild, goats are mostly mountain animals; they all love climbing and are experts at steep slopes, dangerous jumps, balancing on ledges and scaling summits, and are keen escapists in the pursuit of food, so shut those gates carefully behind you…

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