The leggy golden Guernsey is three weeks old and is proving a popular attraction at Church Farm Rare Breed Centre, at Stow Bardolph, where shepherd Sarah Sear was called in from holiday on the life-and-death night.
“The nanny goat had pregnancy-related problems and bless her, she’d put everything into her kid, sacrificing her own life in the process,” recalled Sarah.
“She was going downhill very quickly and the vet agreed the kindest thing was to put her down before she suffered any more. Once that was done we had literally three or four minutes to open in which to carry out an emergency Caesarean and when we did we found this full-term little kid, but it was a lot of work to get her breathing.
“Our gamekeeper Nigel Davies was also there and he was so taken with seeing the birth he offered to sponsor the kid in his wife Christine’s name.
“The kid is called Anya, which is an abbreviation of a much longer unpronounceable Celtic name meaning victory over death, which is just what it was,” said Sarah, who has been bottle feeding Anya through the early stages of her life.
“She is an amazing golden colour with big ears like her father, Sammy, and she has very long legs. We had to stomach tube her at first and then she got pneumonia, but responded so well to treatment she was suckling four days later,” added Sarah.
Anya is now settling into her new life at Church Farm, soaking up the fuss she gets from visiting children. And after nursing another orphaned goat last year and this season’s orphaned lambs Sarah finally has ‘orphan-free’ evenings to herself for the first time since before Christmas.
Anya will be one of the animals in the children’s petting pen during the Not Just a Woolly Weekend at Church Farm on Saturday and Sunday, July 10 and 11, 10am-5pm.
The popular weekend has become an annual calendar event giving an insight into rural tasks and crafts, including sheep shearing demonstrations, a working farrier, making horse shoes and items for sale, spinning, felt making and willow sculptures.
About 20 craft stalls are expected on both days, with several crafts people offering tips and taster sessions where possible.