Farm's 'Goats at Home' service booms after lockdown
- Credit: Cherry Tree Farm
Ever fancied having a flavour of life on the farm at home?
A farm's Goats at Home service launched in lockdown is allowing families to do just that by renting one of its goats.
Cherry Tree Farm in Methwold launched the service after being approached by the family of a former farmer who was ill, who asked if a goat could be brought to his side to comfort him.
The farm was happy to help, calling Norfolk Trading Standards to check it was legal to rent a goat before applying for the correct licences and launching the service this April.
Tracy Peckham, who owns the volunteer-led farm with her partner Andrew Cooper, says they have seen high demand for the service since it launched.
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She said: "We started in April and it was so so popular, we have been going to care homes, dementia homes, people who were lonely living alone, children that were suffering from being away from their friends.
"It's been excellent, it's lovely to put smiles on peoples faces.
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"It also helps raise money to keep the farm going by doing the goat related stuff during our quiet time."
When the goats are loaned they are put in a 6x6ft pen with a grooming kit and tin of food and drink.
People who loan the goats are then taught how to groom and feed the animals, when the goats visit places such as dementia homes they are walked through the home allowing all residents to get up close.
Ms Peckham added: "It's really comforting for them, when you see a dementia sufferer and they're just staring into space, but then he touches the goat or he looks at it, it's pretty heart-warming.
"We do a full risk assessment beforehand as the animals have to come first."
Following the popularity of the goats, the farm is now beginning to loan its rabbits out for school fetes and other events for children.
To book a goat visit, message Cherry Tree Farm on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/cherrytreefarmmethwold