Passionate about goats

Margaret Tomes and her champion goat Garberdine. Photo by Sally Rae.
Margaret Tomes and her champion goat Garberdine. Photo by Sally Rae.
Dairy goats have been a passion for Margaret Tomes since she was first given a kid by a friend 20 years ago.

"I couldn't not do the goats. They get under your skin," Mrs Tomes explained.

She has enjoyed considerable success over the years with her Toggenburg and Saanen goats.

This season, she won the New Zealand Toggenburg Society's associate record doe of the year with Lagooncreek Garberdine, goatling of the year with Gar-berdine's daughter Georgette, and breeder of the year.

She also won most points in doe of the year, with Garberdine, for Premier Dairy Goats New Zealand.

Mrs Tomes and her partner, Craig Batchelor, farm at Island Stream, near Maheno, and used to milk the goats commercially.

They have since reduced numbers to about 100.

Goats were the only animal she knew which "love you to bits - forever".

The Toggenburgs were inclined to be mischievous while the Saanens were more placid.

Mrs Tomes, who has exported goats to Korea and Thailand, encouraged people to consider keeping dairy goats.

They were ideal for lifestyle properties, but she urged people to keep and breed "good" goats.

The standard in New Zealand was fairly good at the moment. .

Exhibiting her goats at A and P shows was a way for her animals to be seen and also to raise public awareness of dairy goats, she said.

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