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In Memoriam of Barley, March 2017 – May 2022

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We're a working livestock City Farm so death is an obvious reality for us.

Most of the time, we determine life and death for the animals that we care for...

But when death appears suddenly and unplanned, it can get quite emotional for everyone... not only for those in our team who'd prefer we didn't kill animals at all but for every single one of us (volunteers and service users included), and especially when the sentient being in case has been around for a while and given so much to everyone.

On the evening of Monday May 2nd I witnessed how Farmer Bill continued to give Barley antibiotics and pain killers.

I did this whilst helping the kid goats feed one last time from their mother...

Barley died during the early hours of Tuesday May 3rd due to a womb infection after giving birth to triplets on Sunday May 1st and delivering a still birth on Monday May 2nd.

Read more about her last days in our last blog post...

As follows is an historical account of Barley registered in spring of 2018. We hope these words bring some comfort for all those who got to know her.

Barley was born in March 2017 on a goat milking farm near Staple Cross, Devon.

She is a crossbred goat, a mix of Golden Guernsey and Anglo Nubian breeds. Both are types of British dairy goats and known for their rich milk and friendly personalities.

Barley has the hair colour of a Golden Guernsey but with subtle patches and a larger nose from her Anglo Nubian father. Her amazing half up, half down ears are only seen on this sort of cross-bred, and goat keepers usually either love this feature or hate it… guess what, Farmer Bill loves those “aeroplane” ears!!

Barley hasn’t been at the Farm very long and so our Farmers are still learning her individual personality. She seems quite calm, friendly and perhaps a little stubborn at times and we think she will become the herd leader and probably start bossing the other goats around.

Barley and her sister Acorn represent an exciting new project for St Werburghs City Farm as we start demonstrating goat milking from summer 2018.

Barley and Acorn gave birth to their first kids in May 2018 and we began milking them by hand, once a day.

Milking the goats is an amazing animal interaction activity for our students and volunteers and a great educational demonstration to groups of school children.

The milk is fed to our hungry pigs as we do not, at least for the moment, have the procedures and equipment necessary to make it safe for human consumption.

If you’d like to learn more about goats and their milk why not come along and see Barley & Acorn being milked?!

Barley’s official numbers indicate the farm she was born on (UK374605) and her individual number (282). She isn’t a pedigree goat and so doesn’t have any special numbers or names based on her breed.  

You’ll find out more about Barley’s activities throughout the year when you receive your quarterly updates. 

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