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Shamba Harness Goats

Sampson and Julian, twin Golden Guernsey wethers born in May 2020, were my firstborn kids. Their mother, Peaseblossom, was one of my first two goats. Now, I can’t comprehend anyone turning living goats, with their huge personalities, into anything as boring as chops and steaks, but I do think that animals should have a job to do in the human world. So harness goats were the obvious solution.

I have only kept goats since 2018. That is hard to believe, as it feels like a lifetime! Having retired and owning a house with a little land, I have been able to indulge my lifelong wish to keep lots of animals. I am afraid I am quite impractical about it and make no attempt to make the animals pay their way. As well as the goats, we have Ouessant sheep, ducks and hens.

I first met members of the Harness Goat Society at a show, before I even had goats, and joined the Society soon after. Sampson and Julian were encouraged to walk on the lead from a very young age. Training is currently proving a little difficult, as they are very lazy and dislike walking on wet grass.

Interviewed about his career plans as a harness goat, Julian thought his best gait would be the Stand and Look Noble. Sampson said he planned to specialise in the Sit, especially when combined with the Eat. (I think that is what he said – it filtered indistinctly through the hay that was filling his mouth.)

Barbara Le Gallez, Nov 2020

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