I’ve just finished a week of goat sitting Matilda and Pip – two Toggenburg goats who live on the edge of Hobart. My daily trips to milk Matilda, pat Pip and lean on the gate watching them jump up onto high stuff in their paddock has got me all dreamy and desiring some of our own.
Pip’s the chilled one, while Matilda (the milker) a bit more bossy – I love them both. I love that milking just one of these relatively compact animals provides more than enough milk for a small household to make their cheese, have milk on our porridge and tea/coffee plus give some away to friends.
My first day of milking them saw me with this image above – an almost full bucket of milk on the ground. Trying to milk a goat and wrangle a *very* excited one year old who likes eating goat poo and trying to hug goats is hard work guys. Milking was more peaceful when she stayed at home!
The internet tells me that there are over 300 goat breeds worldwide and the Toggenburg is considered the oldest breed that was registered sometime in the 1600s. I like them as they don’t conquer any fence (i.e. they can be contained), are fairly stocky and wonderfully natured. Our one year old daughter spent 1 second being a bit scared of them and the rest of the time trying to hug them.
As we live on an urban block (1300m2) full of edible food, we don’t have space for our own goats. One day we’d like to be able to have goats in our neighbourhood, closer to home – perhaps shared with others. A little paddock we can walk to daily to milk and admire our goat friends. Until then I’ll be the first to put my hands up (both of them) to do any goat sitting in our neck of the woods.