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Goat Husbandry Course 22 May 2018

This was a joint Norfolk Smallholder Training Group and Norwich and District Goat Club event and was held at Hazel Francis’ home. Hazel led the day, with Frances, Karen and me helping with tea making and scone, cake and biscuit distribution. (Thank you Hazel’s mum who provided the delicious cheese scones!) The group of attendees were all would-be goat keepers, with a range of background experiences in smallholding and/or goat keeping. Callum’s husbandry notes were used as structure to help take us through all the basic information - goat breeds, housing, feeding, health and general care etc, but everyone’s questions and the resulting discussions took us well into more detailed information sharing.

We covered the good bits and the ‘horrid’ bits like, problems requiring vet visits and of course when needed, the dreaded trip to the abattoir. Hazel also gave us a demonstration on how to trim goat feet and Frances was given the job of checking and replacing the salt licks!

Hazel’s goats were most interested in meeting us all ……. even one of the billy goats who managed to escape to find out what all the commotion was about, and to join in the fun! The goats and the kids were of course a delight and everyone was, I’m sure like me, figuring out a way to sneak one of the little ones into the boot of my car to take home. (NO I didn’t….and no one else did either, but it was a jolly tempting idea!!!!)

So in all, it was a lovely day with fun, laughter and learning in the sun! Thank you Hazel and thank you everyone (including all you lovely goats!)


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Norwich and District Goat Club AGM 10th February 2018

Show Co-ordinators Report

Last year was a busier than usual show year, with 2 new shows on our calendar. For the first time we ran back to back male shows at Gressenhall, and goats were again part of the Wayland Show, after a long break.

Running 2 Male shows on one day was quite a challenge, but despite the weather we had a good day and everyone was very positive, if a little tired! The Wayland was a lovely day, and although numbers were small we were very well looked after, had a wonderful marquee for the goats and had the largest number of children in the Young Handlers class we’ve ever seen (most of them related to Hazel and Tim!!). The Club Show was blessed with good weather and gave us an opportunity to celebrate Jean’s birthday.

Sadly, last year saw the last Stody Show but enormous thanks must go to Richard for all the time and effort he has put in to the preparation for the show, in what is the busiest period of the year for him workwise.

The Dairy shows were both very relaxed affairs and exhibitors and judges alike gave us some positive feedback. Looking forward we need to find ways of attracting more entries, particularly for the Spring Show. We have put a lot of thought in to the dates for this year, to make sure we don’t clash with other shows in the area. Hopefully, this will help both our club and others to attract healthy numbers of entries for this year. The dates are now all confirmed as well as most of the judges. All Show Schedules for shows where Judges are confirmed are available today and if anyone is able to help distribute schedules to anyone outside the club, please let me know.

Spring Dairy28th AprilNorfolk ShowgroundMr Richard Wood
Heytesbury Dairy Show29th AprilNorfolk ShowgroundMrs Vicky Hardy
Male & Youngstock22nd July amGressenhallMr Tim Baker
Male & Youngstock 222nd July pmGressenhallTBC
Wayland5th AugustWatton ShowgroundTBC
Club Show12th AugustGressenhallMr Gerry Pitcher
Aylsham27th AugustBlickling ParkMr Teigh O’Neill
September Dairy15th SeptemberNorfolk ShowgroundMr David Brace
Breckland Dairy16th SeptemberNorfolk ShowgroundMr Terry Hanna

Finally, I’d just like to thank everyone who helps with the organisation, setting up and running of the shows. Particular thanks to Callum, who is taking on the Show Secretary role at the Spring and Club Shows, Richard, who deals with the September Shows, Toby, Hazel and everyone who turns up before each show to set up and stays behind after everyone else has gone to make sure it’s all tidied up. Without you we wouldn’t be able to run as many shows as we do, and I really appreciate all the support you give me over the year.


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Norwich & District Goat Club - Education Officer’s Report

By Zoë Mitchell

This is now my second year as the goat club’s education officer.

This task I have continued to embrace with enthusiasm as education is one of my many passions.
By doing this we, as a club, have brought the clubs image up to date and enthuse ones interest in goat keeping. We now have enough resources to allow two events to be stocked up at any one time. We continue to update the posters, display boards & leaflets to help new goat keepers.

The RNAA insists that all their managed events/shows with livestock have educational displays incorporated into ones stand.

Children just love to touch & feel everything i.e. goat skin, children’s books & toys.
We have designed a funny picture board & a photo booth. We even sometimes borrow Roland & 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 & milk, but also cheese, cream, yoghurt, ice cream, meat, leather, wool, soap, hand cream.
Its an added bonus when we have goats available to handle, cuddle, groom & feed.

We have now very successfully built up our overall image. Apart from our own club events & shows we are being invited to other events all over East Anglia with our education displays & goats ie. Norfolk’s smallholder’s club, Stody Open days, Gressenhall farming events, Harfest, Spring Fling, country fairs & fetes, lambing weekends, Wayland show, Aylsham Show, Green build.

Other like minded organizations are inviting us to host courses & give goat keeping talks.
Other goat clubs throughout the UK have been picking our brains too to help them enhance their image.
We have an amazing network of club members whose knowledge is phenomenal & is the icing on the cake at all events where the general public are concerned as they are always very inquisitive about goats.

Our members really enjoy sharing their knowledge & 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.


Polo shirt Club mug

We are now able to offer polo shirts and mugs with the Norwich and District Goat Club logo to all club members. Please go to the SALES page where you will find the order form for the polo shirts and details of how to order the mugs.

Further information will be added as it becomes available.