Goats

The Rare Breeds Centre is the only such centre in Kent and is approved by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST).

What do you call a group of goats?

The proper name for a group of goats is a 'trip'. But they are unlikely to trip as they have cloven hooves well-suited to grip rocky surfaces as they climb. Baby goats are called kids. Females are called does. A domestic male is sometimes called a billy and a female a nanny.

What do they eat?

There are lots of myths about what goats will eat. They don't eat tin cans for example. But they like sheep and cattle, are ruminants, and have a 4 chamber digestive system enabling them to digest very coarse vegetation. Goats prefer to browse rather graze, and will quickly strip any trees or shrubs within their reach, whilst completely ignoring even lush grass at their feet.

Where do they come from?

The goat is very ancient and was the first animal to be domesticated by man around 7 - 8000 years ago. There are an estimated 450 million goats in the world.

By choosing to keep rare breeds you will help conserve vulnerable and rare British breeds.

Goats

We only breed from our Pygmy and Bagot Goats and sell the kids from six months onwards.

Goats on the RBST watchlist are highlighted below in purple

Bagot: The Bagot breed comes under the classification of 'vulnerable' by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST). Bagot numbers have fluctuated for a variety of reasons but the breed is now secure as herds exist in many locations, and numbers are increasing, although though it is not a productive breed, except possibly for meat. The breed is found in records of the Crown going back to the 14th century. King Richard II gave one of these goats to a Sir John Bagot of Staffordshire as a reward and this is thought to be the origin of the breed's name. The Bagot is a medium sized black and white goat, with long hair, large swirl back horns and a nervous disposition Purchasers of Bagot stock should ensure that it is pure-bred. At one time a grading up programme was operated to increase numbers and decrease inbreeding. Bagot males were used on any female goat and progeny were backcrossed. With hindsight this programme produced unfortunate results.

Golden Guernsey: The Golden Guernsey is on the RBST 'minority list' of 201l. A minority breed believed to be indigenous, the breed was recorded by a Miss Miriam Milbourne in 1924 when she saw golden goats running about scrubland goats on Guernsey. Their revival was encouraged by a British Goat Society judge. Golden in colour, they are smaller and finer boned than some other native milking goats. Some of the males have horns and known to be unusually smelly, but both male and female are described as friendly and docile. The first documented reference to the Golden Guernsey in its current form is in 1826 when reference to a 'golden goat' was mentioned in a guide book. However, goat bones from as far back as 2000 B.C. have been found in ancient tombs on the Channel Islands

We have two Golden Guernsey goats on the farm called Huey and Dewey

Pygmy: The Pygmy goat is a small domestic species, primarily kept as pets in the UK as they happily respond to human company. They are fond of exercise, and have been given climbing areas in their quarters. They are friendly and fun to have around. They are also quite hardy, adapting to most climatic conditions. Providing they have shelter and good food they are rarely ill.

They do produce a large amount of milk for their size and can be eaten.

Anglo-Nubian:

The Anglo- Nubian is a large domestic breed of goat, known for its high butterfat content in its milk, higher than in cow's milk. They were developed in Britain from milking stock and crossed with goats from the Middle East and North Africa. They have large pendulous ears and a Roman nose and are also noted for their meat quality.

Photos by Greg Allen

The proper name for a group of goats is a 'trip'

There are lots of myths about what goats eat. They don’t eat tin cans. They do browse coarse vegetation

When we clean out the pen of Nigel our Bagot billy goat, he likes to rear up in what he calls play but which means butting in any other language.

Our Pygmy goats have been named Valentino, Ronnie, Taz, Donna, Tamsin Misty Babs and Herbie.

We have two Golden Guernsey goats on the farm called Huey and Dewey.

We have two Anglo-Nubian goats on the farm called Ja Ja & Binksy

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COT
COT

Set on a beautiful 100 acre farm in Woodchurch near Ashford, Kent, the Rare Breeds Centre was founded by COT in 1992. COT provides homes and life skills opportunities on the farm and in other locations to people with learning disabilities

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