<![CDATA[BILBERRY GOATS HERITAGE TRUST - Blog]]>Mon, 04 Dec 2023 10:52:50 +0000Weebly<![CDATA[Diary of a Bilberry Goat Welfare officer]]>Mon, 10 May 2021 15:32:55 GMThttp://bilberrygoatsheritagetrust.com/blog/diary-of-a-bilberry-goat-welfare-officerPicture

​Christmas Day 1997

It was Christmas Day and the weather throughout that week was extremely bad. Hurricane winds and incessant heavy rain. Winds up to 100mph. I could not get to Bilberry Rock to feed the goats all week.

On Christmas Day the winds were still very high but the rain had abated a little. I knew I had to make an attempt to bring feed to the goats, as I could not sit down to Christmas dinner with the thought of those poor animals starving on the Rock.

My thoughts were with the nannies/doe's who were due to kid at any moment. My heart went out to them. The urge to help them was strong. Emotion probably overruled my head regarding safety. My family were totally against it and I got a berating from them.
I packed three large bags with hay and set off towards the Rock. The winds tearing at the bags, trying to pull them from my grip. It was a struggle just walking and keeping upright. I prayed with every step that I took for protection. A five minute walk turned into a twenty five minute journey, as the winds came against me and I could not catch my breath.

Finally, I got to the Rock, the high pylons rattling as the winds screamed  through them and I hung on to the chainlink fencing surrounding the electricity compound, for dear life. I looked down at the river, it was fast flowing, grey and angry looking. There was no sign of the goats. Panic set in. I had come so far and I could not turn back now. I had to find them or at least let them know I was there. I called out with as much force as I could muster. Then, one by one, they appeared over the Brewery wall. They ran towards me bleating. They were starving and seemed to be so glad to see feed. They gathered around me as I dispersed the hay by pushing it into the gorse bushes and chainlink fencing, while crawling on my knees. It was rough and I was terrified of being blown off the cliff.

I stayed for a moment to watch them feed. My focus was drawn to the scrawny animals before me, with the heavy clumps of hair clinging to the sides of their coats (which is a sign of bad nutrition). They were wet and cold and in need of care and attention.
I gave a sigh of relief as I made my way home. At least I showed them that someone did care.