Farewell to Snowdrop

Goats and kids have always been an important part of Gwalia life with Livy and Harry having kept them for milk for nearly 40 years.  They were an important part of self-sufficiency, yielding enough milk for the family.  Having animals around always keeps you in tune with the seasons and form an important structure and routine to life here.  There were only ever a couple of goats, lots of chickens and usually a few sheep.

When Amy and I moved here in 2013 however there was just Snowdrop the goat and the hens.   Snowdrop’s daughter had died very young and so she had been by herself for quite a long time.  This isn’t ideal for any animal but particularly herd animals.  She was never the nicest of goats, always quite, eh, boisterous…but over time she was just getting downright impossible to be around!  Trips through Snowdrop’s yard often involved dodging horns as she was always keen to “play”.  There was little incentive for us to breed again from her as neither of us really likes goats milk.  A lot of people can’t tell the difference from cow milk but a childhood of being brought up on it had put Amy off for life and I really prefer cows.

And so the time finally came, 5 years after her last kid, when Snowdrop had finally stopped producing any milk.  We didn’t want to eat her but we didn’t want to keep her!  Luckily along came the Dyfi Dairy.  They are based 3 miles away in the heart of the Dyfi Valley and is an ethical, no-kill goat dairy.  It seemed like the best place for Snowdrop to move to.  She’d be surrounded by other goats and could once again breed and produce milk.  It was sad, particularly for Livy and very much felt like the end of an era.  We sometimes visit her and know that she’s having a much happier life now.  It also means that we’ve started to think about getting animals ourselves and planning just how the future of Gwalia might look…