Last year's events

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Norwich Cathedral Crib Service

December 3rd 2021

The Crib Service is held each year outside to commence the start of Advent.

I was invited by the organizers to come along with some goats. Farm animals, which included a cow, a donkey & some sheep have always been invited to to short service to bless the outdoor crib.

The crib is near the West door.

I brought along Gilly (BS) & Bertha (boer kid).

The Very Reverend Jane Hedges & Reverend Canon Andrew Bryant took the service along with the Norwich Cathedral choir.

Hundreds of people attended which was a lovely start the season of “Good will.”

After the service we were all invited to walk the candlelight labyrinth in the cloister and enjoy warm mulled wine & mince pies.

Zoe Mitchell

Crib 1 Crib 2

(My goats were very unruly and were only interested in eating the Christmas tree which was positioned next to the crib!)

Harfest - Norfolk Show Ground

Saturday October 5th 2021 by Zoe Mitchell

The N.D.G.C. was invited by Holly Whitaker and the R.N.A.A. to support them once again at the Harfest. This year it was decided to hold it on the Royal Norfolk Showground because there was more space.

It was a ticketed event to keep the numbers to a containable amount thus adhering to all the covid restrictions.

Harfest is a celebration of food, farming and the countryside. It included a farmers market in the food hall which helped to demonstrate the range and diversity of local produce.

Farming displays and activities inside and out show-cased the science and technology that lies behind farming in the 21st century.

We shared one of the cattle sheds with the Norfolk Rare Breeds society. I brought along the club’s education displays, my Boer family and my British Sannens.

We entertained the crowds on what was a cold, but initially dry day until lunch time; then the heavens opened.

Bo, Richard and Mark, Toby and Marc, Frances, Sarah, Mary and Malcolm, and myself took turns to talk to several thousand interested persons and promote all things goat related, as well as our club.

Harfest 1 Oct 2021

The three musketeers

Harfest 2 Oct 2021Harfest 3 Oct 2021

Our display of all things goat related.

Harfest 3 Oct 2021Harfest 4 Oct 2021

The public were fascinated with the Boers and keen to understand the difference between a dairy goat and a goat bred mainly for meat.

It was a great day just to be out with the club and talk all day about goats and the struggles of getting through the last 18 + months. Everyone seemed so happy to be at the Harfest and interact with lots of animals.
Zoe Mitchell

Report on Goat Husbandry Course at Hazel's 12/6/2021

This was a joint course for Norwich and District Goat Club, and Norfolk Smallholders' Training Group, held by Hazel Francis at her lovely smallholding .....with plenty of friendly goats to look at.

It was well attended by keen prospective goat owners. Several more experienced goat keepers including Sally, Richard, and Creena were also present, and contributed to the teaching and discussions.

The day was a great mix of theoretical presentation, questions and discussion, as well as practical experience, trying showing techniques, milking, and hoof care with Hazel's well- behaved goats.

Goat Husbandry Course June 2021

All the important areas for novice goat keepers were covered, including: various breeds, obtaining suitable goats, providing appropriate accommodation, feeding, health care, grooming, hoof care, milking, etc. There was a useful display of resources including books, leaflets, and types of food.

Goat Husbandry Course June 2021

Thank you very much to Hazel for such an enjoyable and informative day.

Goat Husbandry Course June 2021

I understand some of the participants have already acquired their own goats. I hope we shall be hearing of their adventures in future newsletters!< /br>Frances

Goat Husbandry Course June 2021

Harfest -Norwich Cathedral October 5th 2019

The N.D.G.C. was invited by Holly Whitaker and the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association to support them at Norwich Cathedral Harfest. This is a farming event bringing the farm to the city and is a celebration of food, farming and the countryside. Entry is always free to encourage as many as possible to come along. There was an amazing farmers’ market in the cathedral cloisters which demonstrated the range and diversity of local produce. Farming displays and activities show-cased the science and technology that lies behind farming in the 21st century.

We shared a marquee with the Norfolk rare breeds organization. I brought along the club’s education displays and Sally brought the kids. We entertained the crowds on what was a cold, but dry day. Hazel, Francis, Sally, Mary, Malcolm and myself took turns to talk to several thousand interested persons and help promote all things goat related, as well as our club. We sold goat shaped biscuits too to boost club funds.

Zoe Mitchell

September Shows Report

Setting up the pens Thursday went seamlessly and quickly. The straw arrived and in no time the building was set up for the show.

We had already had the inspection by APHA who were happy for the show to go ahead. Goats and owners arrived Friday and made it home for the weekend. The weather played its part by being sunny with a warm breeze, other than at night when it became chilly, especially in a tent I’m told.

Saturday our judge was Tim Baker and we enjoyed an excellent informative show. On Saturday evening many of us enjoyed a meal together from the local chip shop. Tables and an assortment of chairs and benches were set up outside the goat shed.

On Sunday the judge was Chris Hagar. He also made it a knowledgeable and enjoyable day. - It is particularly nice if the judges have time to chat after the show and we were very pleased to have them both enjoy social time with us.

We must thank Callum and Teigh who worked tirelessly to ensure the show ran without a hitch. Tea, coffee and to our delight, home-made cake was available all weekend, and a successful raffle took place to bolster funds. I can thoroughly recommend members to come along and see the show, or join us in showing your own goats on either day in the future. Everyone is always more than welcome.

Hazel Francis

Notes on an ‘Introduction to showing goats” course: April 15, 2018

Introduction to goatsIntroduction to goatsIntroduction to goatsIntroduction to goatsIntroduction to goats

First a sincere thanks to Dreda and Roland for hosting a most interesting day. The course was held on their farm near Huntingdon and was well attended. We started in the classroom adjoining the riding stables. Dreda led the morning session, ably assisted by Toby who provided additional perspective from the point of view of a show steward. We were taken through the necessary paperwork to participate in a goat show, the requirements for caring and managing the animals were explained, as were the procedures to follow in the ring and for the milking competitions. All this was most valuable for the novice.

We then enjoyed a shared lunch (with delicious goat’s cheese made by several members!) and afterwards joined Roland for a demonstration on keeping goats’ feet in good condition. We had a chance to see the goats in their quarters, followed by a demonstration on washing a goat provided by Dreda.

The final session of the day involved participants acting out showing goats in a ring to gain experience in how to lead and present a goat for the judge. Three different age groups of goat – goatlings, yearlings, and nannies – were provided and all participants had the chance to actively lead and show each age group.

This was a most useful course and I hope will be followed up by more courses of this kind. Below, I make suggestions for how to develop this course further which, from the point of those new to showing, would make an excellent follow-on.

However, the list is NOT meant to be a criticism of any kind regarding the Randall’s course

1. Biosecurity: The need for, and the methods of, preventing the spread of disease both on the farm and at shows.

2. Clear guidance on what the judge will be looking for in each category of goat and why. An understanding that judges may have their own ‘preferences’ on the look of a goat eg for colour etc. which could help the novice understand why at some shows, the morning or previous day’s show is repeated but with a different judge.

3. What is regarded as correct conformation that the judges will look for in each breed and also age of goat.

Malcolm Blackie

Tea & Cakes Day – Stody Lodge 19th May 2019

Richard Hulbert asked the club last year if we would like to serve the teas at Stody Lodge Gardens, Briston one Sunday in May, where he is the head gardener. The gardens are amazing - full of every kind of rhododendron and azalea and a beautiful water garden too. We agreed to take this on as the club really needed to do some fund raising.

Stody Lodge Teas Stody Lodge Teas

After Easter I started to organize the event with the committee and some of their families and friends. On the day there were 23 of us armed with cake….. and more cake. We were expecting to serve tea to at least 1000 people. We also had to help with the car park and road crossing. These we did with great enthusiasm and lots of fun, on what proved to be a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon. We even held a tombola which also added to our fund raising. We raised £1345 for the teas and cakes and £50 on the tombola. - Not bad for an afternoon’s work!

Our thanks to Mr and Mrs McNicol for allowing us to fund raise for our club at their Open Gardens.

Well done team Stody.

Zoe Mitchell

Well done to Zoe & the other club members & helpers who did a brilliant job with the tea & cakes raising a magnificent sum for club funds. Many thanks to Richard for facilitating the event for the club.

Once again we looked after the animals in the orchard area & manned the clubs education display. This time Richard’s kid goats were in their ‘rainbow goats’ guise. The little orphan Jacob lamb was also there having now returned to Richards care, our goat who had adopted her having now produced her own family. On several occasions we had to point out that she was actually a lamb & not a goat.

Sarah & Graham Craske

Kids for Kids Family Fun Day at Stody, 5th May 2019.

A very good turnout of Goat Club members helped by family and friends led to a successful day at Stody again this year. Unfortunately the weather was not quite as good as last year, perhaps reducing the number of visitors, but we were lucky to have only one very light shower.

Fun Day

The Kids for Kids provided by Richard were obviously the stars of the occasion, but other livestock including Sarah and Graham’s miniature horse, poultry, and small furry animals were also very popular.

The Goat Club ran several games, including Hazel, Jayne and David’s Treasure Map Game; Mary and Malcolm’s Tombola; Zoe and Bo’s Spinner Game, Sock Game, and Card Game; Michelle’s Bean bags up the Ladder Game; and Splat the Rat and Bowls Games both ingeniously built by Dave. Visitors seemed to enjoy themselves, and our hosts at Stody were pleased with our efforts, and invited us back next year.

Fun Day

Apart from being a good opportunity to provide information about goat-keeping, the afternoon was fun for both stallholders and visitors, and we were fortunate to raise £384 for goat club funds.

Fun Day

Many thanks to all who worked so hard on the organisation and preparations, as well as those who took part on the day.

Frances Martyn

Whilst other club members provided children’s games & entertainment on the lawn we participated in the animals section in the orchard area. There were cattle, sheep, donkey rides & small animals.

Richard provided kid goats & the orphan Jacob lamb which Sarah had been bottle feeding, Sarah took along her miniature pony, Henry the very friendly male turkey, a selection of bantams, goslings, a rabbit & some baby pigeons which she was hand rearing. We also manned the clubs education stand, which Zoe kindly set up.

As always the goats were a big attraction for the children with a queue to get to pet them. The turkey caused great amusement as the children discovered that he will often ‘gobble’ in response to their turkey impersonation or in response to a sudden noise. The baby pigeons attracted a lot of interest, many parents had no idea what they were & there were the usual comments about how ugly & ‘prehistoric’ they look at that age.

Sarah & Graham Craske

Spring Fling 11th April 2019

by Zoe Mitchell

Spring Fling Spring Fling

So here we are again at the Royal Norfolk Show Ground for the Spring Fling which is now in its 20th year. Three thousand more tickets were sold this year even though this year no hog roast was included in the entry fee. The event was also spread out more this year.
The family day is aimed at children aged 4-14 years and is a unique opportunity to learn about the countryside, agriculture, food and farming and especially the link between the countryside and what appears on our plate.
This year we returned to one of the cattle sheds with Mr Mawkins farm. It was very cold and draughty, but was more centralised within the Spring fling setting on the show ground.

Hazel, Sally and Richard (appearing as Wally from ‘Where’s Wally?’) brought along an array of different types of kids and goats for all to see.

With a sterling team of 18 of us, which included several of our younger members, we were able to cover all areas of our stand throughout the day as well have a little free time and a free hog roast too.
We set up the educational displays, children's goaty books and colouring area for all to touch and learn everything there is to know about goats. From the child's point of view it is much more rewarding to learn from a practical hands-on experience rather than looking at a picture or listening to someone telling you how to cuddle or look after a goat.

Spring Fling Spring Fling

Throughout the day the team interacted with the general public, letting them bottle fed the kids and groom the goatlings. The goatlings were also taken outside into the display ring so that the general public could learn about goat husbandry.

Lots of people always enquire about keeping goats and we are more than willing to advise and maybe find them one or two!

Our fame is travelling far!!

Sarah’s and Mary’s photos were in the EDP, each holding a kid.



Stody Family Fun Day Sunday 6th May 2018

What a glorious day Hazel & her team had at Stody Open Gardens Kids for Kids fun day.

This event was well attended by the general public, families & friends.

Thanks to Richard, via Mr & Mrs McNicol (owners of Stody Lodge Estate) for allowing the N.D.G.C. to put on their own fund raising event in the form of a min fete; on the front lawn & animal petting area in the orchard.

Richard provided the kids, Sarah & Graham the chicks, ducklings, guinea pigs and pony. Also there were cattle & sheep in the animal zone provide by local farmer Duncan Jeary.

Zoe promoted the club with the education displays.

Azaleas and rhododendrons

The wonderful azaleas and rhododendrons.

Petting area.Petting area.

Petting area.

Mini fete

Hazel, Frances, Christine, Dave, Jayne, David, Sally, Malcolm & Mary running the mini fete.


Raffle, splat the rat, bowling /ball games, find the lost kid on map, cuddly toys to buy, tombola, mask making, delicious goat shaped biscuits to buy.

Spring Fling 2018 by Zoe Mitchell

So here we are again at the Royal Norfolk Show Ground for the Spring Fling which is now in its 19th year. Thousands flocked onto the show ground on Tuesday 10th April. It was a sell out success with over 70 interactive stands & over 50 animals.

The family day is aimed at children aged 4-14 years and is a unique opportunity to learn about the countryside, agriculture, food and farming especially the link between the countryside and what appears on our plate.


This year we set up in the re vamped farm barn (or pig shed) with Mr Mawkin and the petting farm, although a little draughty it was more centralised within the Spring fling setting on the show ground.


Hazel brought 8 gorgeous kids and Christine & Jo-Anne brought the very well behaved goatlings.

With a sterling team on 15 of us we were able to cover all areas of our stand throughout the day as well has have a little free time and a free hog roast too.

We set up the educational displays, children's goaty books and colouring area for all to touch and to learn everything there is to know about goats.

kidseducational displays

From the child's point of view it is much more rewarding to learn from a practical hands-on experience, rather than looking at a picture or listening to someone telling you how to cuddle or look after a goat.

Frances with one of Hazel’s kids.

Frances with one of Hazel’s kids.

Throughout the day the team interacted with the general public, let them bottle fed the kids and groom the goatlings.

The goatlings were also taken outside into the display ring where Finn gave a running commentary on goat husbandry.

the crowds

Lots of people always enquire about keeping goats and we are more than willing to advise, and maybe find them one or two!

Gilly was in charge of the Mr Mawkin's official stamp with Christine and the team also handing out stickers.

Our fame is travelling far!

I was interviewed by Mustard TV and explained to the viewers just what our club contributes to the Spring Fling. This was aired that evening on the TV and we also got a mention in the EDP.

Aylsham Show 2017

Aylsham ShowAylsham ShowAylsham Show

The Norwich and District Goat club were invited to provide an educational exhibition this year with a few goats for members of the public to look at. The tent was full all day with interested people and children. A rota for everyone to 'man' the tent ensured everyone had the opportunity to look round the show at their leisure which isn't always possible when you are showing in the ring. The weather was brilliant with sunshine making it extremely hot. Both helpers and members of the public enjoyed the day.


Animal Service Norwich Cathedral 23rd July 2017

Animal service

We represented the NDGC at the animal service at Norwich Cathedral on Sunday the 23rd July. It was a very pleasant afternoon, the weather didn’t look very promising to start with but The Dean said she had it on good authority that it would stay fine and consequently it did.

We took Little Man who has become a particular favourite of The Dean since his appearance at Harfest last year and we also took Jeanie our BT kid. As well as many dogs, one cat and a parrot brought along by the general public there was a Suffolk horse with a large foal at foot and another foal on the way apparently, rare breed sheep, a donkey, greyhounds, pat dogs and Easton and Otley College brought along some ferrets.

After the service it was quite amusing to see The Dean walking Little Man around amongst the congregation and having photographs taken (see attached photo).

Best wishes to all club members,
Sarah and Graham.


Club ShowClub ShowClub ShowClub ShowClub ShowClub ShowClub ShowClub ShowClub Show

Not having judged in East Anglia for a while, it was good to be back with the ‘Home Crowd’ and doubly so as we had a lovely lunch provided by the Club Members to celebrate Jean Cunnington’s 80th birthday. The weather was kind, sunny and not too hot so that it was pleasant for people and livestock.

Sadly, the turnout was a bit lacking but I think this was down to two things: firstly, the entry was restricted to CAE - monitored animals and secondly many British people, including goatkeepers, had gone to Europe that week!!

However, we had some quality goats present and Best-in-Show and Best milker went to Tereza Fairbairn with BT Anjo Carys and Reserve to Lynn Jermy with her spotty AN milker, Jemaly Pimpernella. Best Kid was Sally Wilman’s Prastens Pasithia with Lynn’s Jemaly Shallon Reserve. Best Goatling was Tim Francis’ Jacmar Thea, bred by Jean Cunnington and Reserve was Lynn’s Jemaly Peony.

Matthew Fairbairn gave a very promising performance as Young Stockperson as did Poppy Bennett, but I felt that, proportionately, Matthew had a greater challenge which he coped with very well.

Needless to say, the whole event was extremely well organised by Jo-Anne Lamb and her team: Toby Mitchell, Callum Williams and Linda Gibbons. It was a pleasure to be Judge.

Dreda Randall

Photos from the Male Show 2017
Sunday 16th July

Male Show 01 Male Show 02 Male Show 04 Male Show 05 Male Show 06 Male Show 07 Male Show 08 Male Show 09 Male Show 10 Male Show 11 Male Show 12 Male Show 13 Male Show 14 Male Show 15

Gressenhall Rural Life Museum - Open Farm Day
Sunday 11th June 2017

Education displayPen of goats

The Club was delighted to be invited to the Museum's Open Farm day. We arrived early with Richard, Pat, Sarah and Graham bringing a selection of goatlings, wethers and kids for all to see. It was a breezy day, but we were well sheltered under the trees from the elements, and flanked by sheep, Gressenhall bees and some enormous farm machinery.

The museum was open as a family day at a reduced rate of £2.50 so large numbers were expected. I brought along our education displays for all to see. The children just loved touching/cuddling the kids and leading them around (which helped as show training). They were fascinated with little man and his cart.

Overall it was a very busy day with us continuously discussing what it entails in, 'a goaty life style' and the benefits of belonging to Norwich & District Goat Club. Just the norm for us!

Quite a few people were looking to keep goats for pets.

Thank you everyone.

Zoe Mitchell

Norfolk Spring Fling Report 2017

The Norwich and District Goat Club, once again was invited to participate at the Spring Fling on Tuesday 4th April 2017 at the Royal Norfolk Show Ground; under the guidance of Kate Forster, the Education Project Manager. This is an event that attracted more than 5000 visitors, with over 70 interactive farm and countryside stands and exhibits, aimed at children 4-11 years old. The aim is to have a fun-filled day for learning more about food, farming and the countryside.

Therefore our displays included learning all about the different breeds of goats and all aspects of goat keeping. The very informative ‘Did you know?’ facts were hung around the marquee for all to read.

Education information

A goat not only gives us milk but also meat, wool and leather. The milk can be made into food items such as cheese, ice cream, butter, chocolate and yoghurt. Or it can be used to make cosmetic products such as soap, body lotions and hand creams. The leather can be used to make items such as jackets and gloves. The wool finds a variety of uses from jerseys and other items of clothing, to blankets, wall hangings etc. Our display included as many of these products as possible and the ‘tester’ creams and lotions were a great ‘hit’!

This year we were again left to our own devices in Mr Mawkin’s marquee with the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. We spread our wings to incorporate 4 separate sheep hurdle pens for the 15 kids (thus enabling children to see and touch the goats freely) and several pens which held goatlings, nannies and wethers.

Bottle feeding

The kids were bottle fed by children throughout the day.

We made sure that interactivity was the key to learning with 2 members of the team at each pen chatting to the general public. Their knowledge of goat keeping proved invaluable.

The colouring table was constantly in use by everyone and used as a resting place for parents whilst their children cuddled the goats.

Colouring table

Cuddling a kid

We sold goat shaped biscuits (50p donation) making £105 for the club.

Mary and Malcolm selling biscuits

Outside in the ring, we gave hoof trimming, foot care and grooming demonstrations in which the children were allowed to join in.

Finn hoof trimming

Sarah and Graham brought along their wether (Little man) with his cart to demonstrate that goats can be used to carry people or loads.

Luckily the weather was good and the rain kept away.

Our team included Richard, Rob, Pat, Toby, Sheila, Sally, Graham, Sarah, Chloe, Francis, Christina, Mary, Malcolm, Nicola, Callum, Jo-Anne, Hazel and her grandson, Maggie and Finn.

Thank you to you all and well done!

Zoë Mitchell (Education Officer)

Norwich and District Goat Club Annual General Meeting 11th February 2017

Chairpersons report 2017 AGM

Firstly I would like to say well done and thank you on behalf of the Committee to you all for contributing to another successful year for NDGC. I would also like to thank the Committee for everything they do to ensure the clubs smooth running throughout the year.

Thanks to you all in this past year the NDGC has gone from strength to strength.

We have continued to put on good quality well ran successful shows.

We have a fantastic interesting newsletter four times a year.

We are solvent financially.

We offer a quality educational portfolio with training available to our members and to the wider community.

We continue to support each other and beyond in promoting good goat husbandry.

We put on social events to enable our members to get to know each other better, and to enable good informal communication regarding goat keeping and the sharing of ideas.

We also provide a lifeline to some members often not goat related through friendship, a sense of belonging, providing emotional support and understanding.

All of this is not too bad really considering all the club in simple terms sets out to do is promote goats, and goat keeping.

Additionally we are becoming a role model for other goat clubs who are seeing our club as successful and are looking to us to provide help, and support in their clubs future success.

The BGS Autumn conference was probably one of the unexpected highlights of the past year, for two reasons, Unexpected because we took on the job at very short notice, and highlight because we actually pulled it off. We were congratulated by the BGS for putting on an event that broke the mould of the previous conferences as well as it being professional informative and friendly, and also most unheard of for a BGS event we even managed to make a profit.

With everything I have said already perhaps you won’t be surprised to hear that our membership is on the increase both in the NDGC and the milk recording group.

However with that increase in membership comes some responsibility, and that is not to sit back and measure ourselves on past successes, we need to look forward to see how the club can evolve and improve, we need to find a way to do things better than we have done them before. We need to review what we do and when appropriate update and modernise.

My personal highlight of the year was taking on the Show Secretary role (albeit with lots of support) for the September and Breckland shows, I once said I would never take on a Show Secretary role, but I actually did enjoy it! Then again I also said I would never keep male goats, exhibit my goats at shows or be on the committee. I guess though in a club like ours you never know what you will end up doing!

I wish the club a successful 2017.

Richard Hulbert


It’s not quite such a good year to report this time in that we have spent more than our income by just over £450. It would have been more than this if we hadn’t had a profit of £214.50 from the BGS Conference and things like the sale of biscuits at the Spring Fling and profit on sale of shirts, mugs and goat badges.

On the positive side we have made some one-off purchases which have greatly helped the club’s activities – weigh scales for the milking competitions, a gazebo, a table and display stands. We also have in hand mugs and goat badges to be sold in the coming year.

Turning to the show figures you will see that we had a fairly hefty loss on the Spring and Game shows and a not quite so big loss on the September Dairy and Breckland Show. It is hard to imagine this could be otherwise when you see that the entry fees do not even cover the cost of showground hire and prize money, let alone judges’ expenses and all the other costs. So I think we wlll have to work even harder at other sources of income to make up the difference. Speaking of this I should like to thank, on behalf of the club, Zoe for an enormous amount of hard work on her fund-raising projects and also to thank those who have thrown open their homes for events, which not only raise money but provide enjoyable social occasions which I believe are an important ingredient in our success as a thriving, lively and happy club. And so I plead with you to support generously every event you can in the coming year and if you can organise an event, however small or have ideas with which you need help please let your committee know. Here’s to a good year in 2017.

Linda Gibbons

Norwich and District Goat Club -Education Officer’s Report

I was officially appointed the goat club’s education officer last year. This task I embraced with enthusiasm as education is one of my many passions. I was determined to bring the club’s image up to date and enthuse everyone with an interest in goat keeping. The Royal Norfolk Agriculture Association (RNAA) now insist that all their events/shows with livestock have educational displays incorporated into them by the invited clubs/organizations. Our previous chairman Mr Alan Williams initially ‘got the ball rolling’ and spent many hours designing wonderful posters educating us about breeds and also about world-wide issues where so many countries use goats as part of their staple diet. He also designed a quiz and some hands-on activities. I then picked up the pieces… as I have a large shed to store everything in (!!!) and started to expand it. With the help of my family we now have enough resources to allow two events to be stocked with educational displays at any one time. We have updated the posters and display boards, and designed leaflets to help new goat keepers. Children just love to touch and feel everything i.e. goat skin, wool, children’s books and toys. We have designed a funny goats picture board and a ‘goaty photo booth’. We even sometimes borrow Roland and Dreda’s artificial wooden milking nanny. Adults too seem to be fascinated by the fact that a goat can give us so much; not just cuddles and milk, but also cheese, cream, yoghurt, ice cream, meat, leather, wool, soap, hand cream and much more. It’s an added bonus when we have many club members willing to allow their goat kids to be available for visitors to handle, cuddle, groom and feed.

We have now built up the overall image of The Norfolk and District Goat Club well. Apart from our own club events and shows, we are being invited to other events with our education displays and goats. For example, the club was represented at the Norfolk Smallholder Training Group Show, Stody Open Days, Gressenhall farming events, the RNAAs Harfest and Spring Fling as well as at many other country events. Other like-minded organisations are inviting us to host courses and give goat keeping talks.

We have an amazing network of club members whose overall knowledge is phenomenal. It is ‘the icing on the cake’ at all events as the general public are always very inquisitive about goats. Our members really enjoy sharing their knowledge and funny tales. They are also always on hand to help each other in times of need.

Thank you to all of you for supporting me in my role within the club.

Zoe Mitchell

Show Co-ordinator’s report – AGM, Feb 2017


Last year was my first full year as show co-ordinator. It was an interesting year, and quite a steep learning curve for me! I’d like to thank all those who helped out with the shows, the Show Committee and everyone who gave their time to help out. The shows couldn’t have happened without your support.

Exhibitor numbers for last year appear to have been similar to the previous year. Looking at the income we need to try and increase numbers at the Dairy Shows, hence why the schedules will be available on the website very soon. Please help to publicise the shows and pass on my contact details if anyone would like a paper schedule.

I will keep an eye on numbers over the coming shows so we can see how many exhibitors attend and how far they are travelling.


Venues, licences etc. are all arranged for the show programme for 2017, which is as follows:
Spring dairy – Saturday 29th April, Judge – Graham Godfrey
Game Fair Dairy – Sunday 30th April, Judge – Gordon Webster
Stody Youngstock – Sunday 7th May, Judge – Gerry Pitcher
Male Show – Sunday 16th July, Judge - Vicki Hardy
Club Show – Sunday 13th August @ Gressenhall, Judge – Dreda Randall
September Dairy – Saturday 23rd September, Judge - John Rudkin

Following the interest generated by the Club’s attendance last year, we have also been invited to hold a show as part of the Wayland Agricultural Show, taking place on Sunday 6th August. This will be a BGS recognised show and the Judge is Chris Nye. Please note an early closing date, 14th July, so that all entries can be included in the show programme.

Schedules for all shows are finalised, apart from the BGS awards, which we are still waiting to hear about. Copies are available now but the award for each will be added to the versions available on the website.

We have been approached to take part in Open Farm Sunday at Gressenhall on Sunday June 11th. I understand this will be much like the Spring Fling, in that it aims to raise awareness of small holding/agricultural life amongst the general public.

Jo-anne Lamb, Show Co-ordinator

Milk Recording Group

Computer Officer’s Report, February 2017

This recording year we have had 12 members recording with the club (two more than last year), with a maximum in summer of 34 goats being recorded. This is the largest number for some years. Several goats also changed hands and moved in and out of the Club. This involves quite a bit of cross-referencing, so please bear with us if you find the occasional error in your monthly statement. If this happens, please let us know, and it can be corrected easily. Nothing goes to BGS Milk Recording Committee until the end of a lactation, when everything is double-checked. We automatically produce a 365-day lactation certificate but if you require a certificate when the goat has dried earlier, or if the goat moves home, please let us know as it is not always obvious to us whether or not this is needed unless we are given dry dates and a request for an end-lactation certificate. Similarly, if a goat moves to another owner or another Milk Recording Group, we need all the details, including dates, in order to make the data transfer. We will NOT know unless you tell us what has happened and when.

We have had many fewer spoilt samples this year; but we have also had many of our samples dealt with at a different NMR laboratory!

The highest recorded goat in our group for 2015-2016 was Mr Will’s 2nd kidder, R247 Timyon Minisavi Q*5 BrCh S008244D, who produced 2478kg milk with 4.06% butterfat and 3.03% protein.

The highest yielding first-kidder for 2015-2016 was Monach Lantana Q*7 BT028652D with 1947kg milk at 4.59% butterfat and 2.94% protein.

Hopefully, we can put this information on the website along with an encouragement for other members of our Club to join the Milk Recording Group. I know of one person who intends to join us next year.

As ever, our thanks go to all recorders and check-weighers for their diligence and good time-keeping. It makes our life so much easier.

We still have some recorders and check-weighers who do not round-up their weights to the nearest 0.05kg, but instead to the nearest 0.01kg. The programme does not allow us to record to this detail, so please record to 0.05kg!!

Emily & Roland Randall

Nitty Gritty Kidding Course January 14th 2017

The course was held at Stody village hall on 14th January, 2017 and was presented by Will Stevenson, a vet from the Three Rivers Practice. The venue was excellent; plenty of seating at comfortable tables so it was easy to take notes. Will made good use of his overhead projector to illustrate the talk. It was well attended by club members, experienced ones as well as novice goat keepers. Everyone I spoke to was very complimentary regarding both the contents and the presentation. I certainly gained some very important new knowledge.

Will started his talk with a little quiz so sharpen us all up. The focus of the quiz was the importance of goat production on a world scale. Then we moved quickly into focusing on the problems likely to confront the small scale producer. Starting well before kidding, he emphasised the importance of careful nutrition throughout the life of the goat. Feed too much and you get over fat animals (both male and female) who are quite content to potter about and to show little enthusiasm for the hard work of breeding and pregnancy. He demonstrated the importance of Increasing the ovulation of the doe through skilful flushing (extra nutrition) around the time you want her to take the billy. He provided details of how best to control worms and parasites and to avoid disease throughout the pregnancy, and of the need to keep her in good condition with sound feet. What I had not thought through adequately before the course was the challenge of feeding the pregnant and the milking doe. Both need considerable supplies of energy rich food to meet the demands of their body. But it becomes a fine balance between adding extra energy through additional concentrate feed (and risk the potential problem of acidosis) and supplying the needed fibre through hay and similar feeds and filling up her gut with too much material. There are no fixed rules; just careful attention to condition and need during the crucial stages of later pregnancy and milking. We were also reminded of the vaccinations needed at critical points both before and during pregnancy.

Then we moved into the actual kidding event. The first message is the variability – both of pregnancy and of kidding. Goats, like all animals, vary around a mean – so be prepared several days before you think she is due to kid. Goats also can extend their pregnancy to wait for better conditions which adds further variability. So have your materials to hand ahead of the expected date - including artificial colostrum (never borrow colostrum from a neighbour, it is just too risky). My notes include a camp bed with a good mattress – I would add, based on my lambing experience as a student, a very warm sleeping bag. The second message is keep calm. Kidding is an extended process and can take upwards of six hours. So check on her regularly but do not intervene prematurely. If a single leg emerges and she is straining, then that would indicate a problem (probably the other leg presenting badly). If you do intervene, make sure you are well washed and lubricated and then take your time. It is difficult to sort out the tangle of heads, legs, and bits just by feel. Take it easy and make sure you are confident what the problem is before starting to sort it out. The books all recommend using sterile gloves to avoid infection but they can compromise your ability to feel exactly what is happening inside the womb. Will emphasised the need to keep the kidding area fresh and clean, and careful washing of hands and arms before and after any intervention.

Finally we covered post parturition nutrition and management. The doe is producing a lot of milk for her size and needs plenty of energy. A careful balance of foods will be needed to satisfy this. The kids need to take up about 10% of their bodyweight in colostrum in those important first few days so monitor their feeding carefully. We then went onto a wide ranging and interesting question and answer session which covered a multitude of goat related issues.

Then finally, the group tidied up the hall and left for Richard Hulbert’s goat operation on the Stody estate. I was very impressed by the warm shelter provided by the straw bale housing and the fencing layout to enable easy separation of different groups of goats.

Overall an excellent day. Thanks to Will for a thoughtful and interesting presentation, and to Richard for hosting the event and his organisation of the whole process and to Dawn Will, Finn’s mum who ran the refreshments kitchen for us – much needed on a freezing cold day!

Malcolm Blackie
26 January 2017

Nitty Gritty Kidding Course January 10th 2017

A dozen of us gathered together to hear about kidding, what we might expect and some of the aspects we may encounter. It was a really friendly session and is likely to be followed up by informal chats over a cuppa from time to time.

I had a goat kid that day but the attendees missed the event by about half an hour. A single female pure Toggenburg kid, was born and is doing really well. Hopefully there will be further training sessions in place throughout the year so if you missed out this time or have something specific you would like to learn about please let us know.

Hope everything goes well with your kidding.

Hazel Francis

Last year's events

September Dairy Show 2016

We all know that a goat show is a place we go to show our goats, but ….. it is so much more. We catch up with our old friends, and sometimes make new ones. We exchange tips and stories, we listen to a few ‘moaning minnies’, and laugh, and sometimes we cry. We do our best, and our goats are sometimes good and sometimes impossible.
This autumn show was all of these, and so much more! Our chairman Richard and Jo-Anne made this into one of the best shows I have seen. Any problems, which were few, were dealt with quickly. Toby, Hazel and Linda did a good job, and although the first judge was not everyone's ‘cup of tea’, our second judge was well liked by most, and had a very nice manner with a good sense of humour.

The weather was not the greatest but it cheered up just enough for us to do the shows pretty well. The Saturday night BBQ went down very well, with a big thank you to Zoe and everyone who helped. Although a lot of our goats milk was down, (and no wonder given that the weather was suddenly so cold and wet) it seemed to me that most of the people, even the ones who did not win, went home in good spirits.
A big THANK YOU goes to everyone who put up the pens and took them down again. I hope to see you all at the BGS conference in October, and that all your old and new goats have a good end to the year.

Sheila Strover

Some photos.

Breckland & Dairy Show 2016 1 Breckland & Dairy Show 2016 3 Breckland & Dairy Show 2016 4 Breckland & Dairy Show 2016 5 Breckland & Dairy Show 2016 6 Breckland & Dairy Show 2016 8 Breckland & Dairy Show 2016 10

The Club Show Gressenhall August 2016

It was a beautiful day to be out in Norfolk, I thought to myself as I rounded the bend and drove into the Gressenhall car park. I wasn’t sure where the goat club event was to be held so looked out for signs but alas there was nothing there directing me to the goat show. I wonder if we can remedy that in the future? As I made my way round to the ticket place, there was that lovely welcoming sound of goat calls and I saw everyone gathered in the bottom field next to the outdoor playground. (Whether there was any information about the goat show in the ticket office I don’t know as I never got that far!)

This was really my first goat show and it was wonderful to see lots of friendly faces both human and goaty! See the picture below of Jo-Anne with one of her goat kids on her knee enjoying the warmth of the sun and looking every bit as relaxed as a cat or dog might be!

Everyone was very cheerful and also stoic about the placing of their goats when being judged, and kind and considerate of others. It was interesting listening to general comments about judges and judging, and noting how comfortable people were in today’s judge. It was after this event and discussion on judges' particular likes and dislikes in goat looks, that I was sent (anonymously), the little story of a Golden Guernsey that I included in our last newsletter. Some judges liked her and some didn’t but she turned out, just like the Ugly Duckling, to be one of the nicest and prettiest goats in the neighbourhood. ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ I guess!

The only negative bit of the day was that Gressenhall staff hadn’t unlocked the gate to the side which meant anyone needing the loo had a long walk round, or a climb over a fence. I chose the latter, just to prove that my recovering broken knee and leg, though stiff and painful times did still work when desperate!

Anyway, the club show was fun, friendly, relaxed and quite quite lovely! Thank you one and all!


Some photos.

Club Show August 2016 1 Club Show August 2016 2 Club Show August 2016 3 Club Show August 2016 4 Club Show August 2016 6 Club Show August 2016 7 Club Show August 2016 11 Club Show August 2016 12 Club Show August 2016 13 Club Show August 2016 15 Club Show August 2016 16 Club Show August 2016 17 Club Show August 2016 18 Club Show August 2016 19

Norfolk Smallholder Training Group Show August 2016

It was a beautiful day for the show again this year with many visitors and some excellent stalls selling or demonstrating a wonderful variety of goods and services. I was on the gate for an hour around lunchtime and can say that it was pretty hectic with visitors coming and going right through the day. The goat club was well represented with Diane, Richard, Sheila, Dave, Zoe, Beau and Peter doing ‘a sterling job’ of chatting to people, explaining aspects of goat keeping. Throughout the day it was nice to see a constant flow of other club members stopping at the stand to say hi and lend a hand. It really is a great day out at the Smallholders Show enabling the club to promote the benefits of goat keeping and of course club membership. As ever, the gorgeous little goat kids proved to be a ‘people stopper’! Three of the goat kids present were under two weeks old and drew quite a crowd of all ages wanting to feed and cuddle them. The parade of goats in the ring in the morning and again in the afternoon went well and served to promote the goats even further for those who hadn’t managed to get through the crowds milling round the goat pens.

Zoe brought along the educational element of the club display, and set it up. It was good to see such a good education stand on behalf of the club, considering at least half was on display at the Wayland show that same day! It’s surprising how much time Zoe has spent, and how much information she has collected.

In a separate stall just next door was Zoe with her goats’ milk cosmetics. There was a great range of goods - soaps, lip balms, creams, lotions etc with testers for you to try too. Everything was beautifully packaged and looked really professional, making a great promotional addition to the goats’ stand.

For the last couple of hours of the show, I was ‘on duty’ in the NSTG members tent and lots of visitors came in to join, having just come from the goats and still full of enthusiasm. The feedback they gave re goats was fantastic. As they signed up to join the NSTG, I was also able to give ‘Why don’t you also join the Norwich and District Goat Club?’ ‘mini-promotion’, so I hope some have done so. All in all it was a great day. Sincere thanks to everyone who came along.

We met some lovely people at the Show and already have signed up some new members from the event. In addition one family has purchased their first British Toggenburg kid after falling in love with her on the day!

Some photos.

NSTG show 2016 1 NSTG show 2016 2 NSTG show 2016 3

Male Show at Gressenhall in July

Gressinghall 1 Gressinghall 2 Gressinghall 3 Gressinghall 4 Gressinghall 5 Gressinghall 6 Gressinghall 7 Gressinghall 8 Gressinghall 9 Gressinghall 10

Photos of the Stody Show in May

Stody Show 1 Stody Show 2 Stody Show 3 Stody Show 4 Stody Show 5 Stody Show 6

See also DIARY page.

Past Events

See Archive page.

More events will be added as information becomes available.