We have a small herd of eight nanny goats that live in our yard in the centre of the Farm.
We have two different breeds of goat in our herd: Toggenburgs and Anglo Nubians. It is easy to distinguish between them: the two Toggenburgs have small upright ears and a slightly concave facial profile, while the five Anglo Nubians have a curved ‘Roman’ nose and long drooping ears.
This year four of our nanny goats are due to give birth from the end of April 2022. They will stay inside the goat barn, to keep warm and bond together quietly for the first few days, then they will be out in the yard with the rest of the herd.
A male goat is called a billy, a female is called a nanny, and baby goats are called kids. All the adult goats at Surrey Docks Farm are nannies. Both females and males have horns, but often these have been removed for safety reasons. In bearded breeds, both sexes can also have beards.
Goats are wonderfully curious and mischievous – they will nibble at anything they can reach, and have an insatiable interest in eating! Our goats 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!
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 bred mainly for meat, which is sold in our farm shop when available. Most importantly however, the goats provide some of the best animal interaction and entertainment!