A lot of goats are sent to market and this is a bad end for them because most go for ritual slaughter which is still legal in the U.K. This is not a fate that any of our rescued goats has to endure, when they come in they are here for the rest of their lives.
Rusty, the spotted Anglo-Nubian goat on the left in the picture above, was never destined for a market fate. He is a young male with an illustrious pedigree and would normally command a high price for either showing, stud duties or for export. Our well bred U.K. stock goes abroad to improve native herds. Goats are valued in much of the world, they make the best of arid conditions and thrive and provide food and milk, where many other animals could not.
But Rusty, although handsome and well reared, has faults that mean he is of no value for either the show ring or export trade. When we first heard about him he was destined to be slaughtered, he could not be kept as a pet in a commercial herd. We halted his demise in the nick of time and Rusty knew nothing of his narrow escape. When he was first brought in he did a lot of bleating – mmrrr, mmrrr, mmrrr. He’d left his own herd and friends and companions. Where is everybody? Oh dear.
We didn’t know how long it would take him to get used to things here. Rusty had never seen ponies and there are lots of them. Dogs are everywhere. Chickens, cockerels, owls, hedgehogs. We decided to pal him up with Buffy, a laid back lady goat who knows her way around.
We needn’t have worried, the initial head butting only lasted a few minutes and then Rusty and Buffy were friends. She introduced him to the ponies and they took to him right away. Rusty is a friendly goat who likes people and runs up to say hello, then dashes back to be with his friends. He loves being free and wandering round with them – goats do roam and Rusty is no exception.