We have a small herd of nanny goats that live in our yard in the centre of the Farm.
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.
This year our goats gave birth in early May, their kids are over five months now and as such the males have moved out into their own pen on the other side of the Farm. The young females sleep in a large pen together, to give their mothers some rest in their individual stables in the barn.
We have two different breeds of goat in our herd: Toggenburgs and Anglo Nubians. It is easy to distinguish between them: the Toggenburgs have small upright ears and a slightly concave facial profile, while the Anglo Nubians have a curved ‘Roman’ nose and long drooping ears.
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!
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!