This week I popped over to see local goat breeder, Zoe. I have known Zoe for quite a few years now and we actually first met doing local craft and gift fairs together. Zoe keeps a small herd of dairy goats which as well as showing at local agricultural shows, also runs 'Moorend Moisturisers'. Using her own herd's goats milk, Zoe, produces luxurious hand creams, body moisturisers and soaps. It is wonderful to meet a small holder who is so passionate about her stock and turning her passion into a kitchen table business, producing a quality product which is in high demand. I spent the afternoon with Zoe learning more about her goats and the benefits of goats milk for our skin.
How long have you had goats and how did you become interested in them?
I have kept goats here in Stibbard since 2003 but we had nanny goats at home on the farm,( they lived with the chickens and pigs) when I was growing up.
What breeds do you have?
British Alpine, British Toggenburg and Saanen
Zoe with a British Alpine doe. Zoe with a British Toggenburg doe.
A couple of this year's Saanen kids.
You have dairy goats, how often do they need to be milked?
My dairy goats are milked twice a day, every 12 hours.
How many goats do you have?
At the moment I have 7 nannies.
How many kids have you had this year?
This year I had 10 kids.
A couple of the British Toggenburg kids enjoying their day with the Sheep and Chickens.
How many kids does a doe have in their lifetime?
I usually breed my does bi annually and normally they will have 1-2 kids. 3-4 kiddings is enough for any doe.
How long do you keep the kids with their mother’s?
No longer than 1 month as the mother needs to get back into condition before the start of the showing season. The kids are bottle fed for up to 4 months.
What do you plan to do with this years kids, do you plan to sell them on to other breeders or retain them for your own breeding stock?
I have already sold some of the females, I’m keeping 1 british toggenburg kid as her mother is related to several breed champions. The males may be sold as wethers (castrated) for pets or butchered at 6 months.
A very inquisitive kid.
You run ‘Moorend Moisturisers’ making hand creams, lip balms and soap from your goats milk, how did you first start this?
It all began in 2014 when I was given a voucher to go on a potions course as a birthday present. Luckily the tutor was a qualified chemist and I asked her about how one could make cosmetics from goats milk. She gave me lots of advise to help me devise my own recipes.
What are the positives about using your goats milk products on our skin?
The naturally occurring lactic acid in goat’s milk acts as a gentle exfoliant, resorting and rejuvenating tired skin by removing the dead and dry skin cells. This is ideal for sensitive, dry or chapped hands.
Moorend Moisturisers NEW logo which I designed recently for Zoe.
Moorend Moisturisers, Zoe makes hand creams, moisturisers and soaps from her goats milk.
Zoe selling her products at a local craft fair.
What is your favourite thing about owning goats?
Goats are very intelligent and inquisitive, so great fun to have around although you never know quite what they will do next.
What advice would you give someone looking to get goats?
Contact a local goat club for advise to buy from a reputable breeder.
I would like to say a big thank you to Zoe for taking the time to introduce me to her herd of goats and for telling me more about her business and where it all begin. Keep a look out for Zoe and 'Moorend Moisturisers' at local craft fairs in Norfolk.
I am Izzi, farmer’s daughter and textile designer at IzziRainey. If I am not designing or sewing you will find me out in the farmyard with my cattle. I am constantly seeking inspiration for my prints, not that I have to look very far. Growing up on the farm, I have always been influenced by my surroundings and this combined with my passion for farming is what inspires my designs. I love spending time on the farm but I also enjoy learning about other people’s animals, passions and stories, which are also influential to my design process. I hope you enjoy reading ‘Over the Farm Gate’