Big welcome for Graves Park goat herd’s first new arrivals

Harriet Dyson, aged two, with one of the African Pygmy goats
Harriet Dyson, aged two, with one of the African Pygmy goats
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SPRING has sprung at a city farm in Sheffield - with the birth of a clutch of new baby goats.

The kids - five Anglo Nubians and four African Pygmies - are set to be a top attraction for youngsters visiting Graves Park Animal Farm for a half-term day out this week.

And more goats are expecting their young over the coming few days.

The births are the first new arrivals of the year and there will be several weeks’ wait before any of the other animals give birth, with the sheep and cows not due to have their lambs and calves until April.

Peter Fletcher, manager at the farm, off Hemsworth Road, said: “The Nubians are from the desert, while the Pygmies are from Cameroon, so their body clocks are different from animals native to the UK.

“It means they give birth earlier than British goats, who usually have their kids in April.

“We have six females and one male of each breed and, so far, two of the Nubians have given birth - one to twins and the other triplets. Of the Pygmies, one has had one kid, another has had two. There are more on the way - one Nubian is expecting and three of the pregnant Pygmies are blown up like frogs.

“The births have gone well so far. We’ve been keeping an eye on the mothers to make sure they are alright.”

Mr Fletcher said the arrival of the new goats has ensured the farm is bright and cheerful at a time when the weather has been anything but - with sleet and snow last weekend.

He said: “Seeing the newborns helps people get out of Seasonal Affective Disorder - depression because of the winter weather - lifting the spirits of people coming to the farm.

“We hope the kids will be a highlight for our half-term visitors this week.

“After that, we won’t have any more births for a few more weeks. Next will be our flock of 50 ewes at the start of April, followed by the cows.”

Mr Fletcher said some of the new goats will be kept by the farm to replace older ones but the majority will be sold to the public.

“The Nubians are bought by people to produce milk, whereas the Pygmies make better pets because they are quite mischievous,” he said.