Goats are more popular now than ever in UK through dairy and meat. And now….at the farm itself.

According to Annual Attractions surveys performed by Visit England, as of 5th August 2015 the British agricultural farm is becoming more popular among the general public. The same survey reports that in the year 2014 there was an average of a 10% increase in visits across the nation. This additional count means that England has witnessed an overall growth of a significant 48% (almost double) of farm days since 1989.

The usual visitor can contact an active farming district for numerous reasons. One could be simply a family day out seeing the animals, another could be farmers negotiating with one another over the purchase of livestock. There is also those of which would be attracted to the farm in order to purchase livestock for the production of dairy products or meat cuttings.

It is plain to see that when you go and visit the local convenience/ grocery store or supermarket chain that the most popular animal stock used to perform dairy is that of Cattle. A calculated 7.5 litres of milk per Cow per annum in fact. It could then be said that the more popular of cut and cooked meats is between Pigs (reported at 9.8 million stocked from local sources) and Chickens (954 million).

This order of popularity is resembled throughout agricultural holdings. Chickens are in desperate need for the local farmer in order to conceive both eggs and meat, whilst an average of 1.6 million Cattle and Calves are reserved simply to produce milk and the churning of cheese and butter.

These statistics could soon change however…

Whilst both bred Cattle and Chickens, and Pigs, are the most populated animals at both the farmhouse and for the production of dairies and meats at the store and butchers, the Goat is imposing the market.

Once an animal that was occasionally vacated for churning Goat’s cheese, it was almost unthinkable of using the same creature as a source of food dishes. Not only did restaurants prevent purchase due to lack of interest in the meat, but the general public saw the cheese as an acquired taste and that the meat would have no flavour and a rough texture.

‘When it comes to meat, we Brits aren’t as adventurous as we might like to think’.

Leah Hyslop, Telegraph.

As cooking and the ranges of ingredients have evolved in recent years the opinions stated above have changed. Goat meat is now making slow waves in the food world.

Chefs have learned that Goats can be a great source of Recipe influenced by ethnic cultures. Along with being cut and cooked in various ways the meat consistency itself can be rich, flavoursome and tender and juicy.

Figure 1 Head Chef of Spitalfields restaurant St Johns favours Goat meat.  Image from www.coolplaces.co.uk

Figure 1
Head Chef of Spitalfields restaurant St Johns favours Goat meat.
Image from www.coolplaces.co.uk

“It braises fantastically, grills like a joy and roasts splendidly. People are always looking for something new but here its ascendency makes sense – it is delicious, and roast leg of goat particularly so. It is puzzling why it is overlooked.”

Fergus Henderson, Founder of Spitalfields restaurant St John’s.

Of course it will take years and a lot of dedication on the behalf of the professional cook to persuade the majority that Goat is tasty. It is believed (according to the Telegraph) that each Goat herder and supplier in Britain on average sells around 3000 livestock each year for the purposes of being added to another dairy stock or to be butchered either diced, on the bone or boneless.

“Not only is goat meat delicious – its taste is comparable to lamb or beef, though the meat of young goats, or kids, is more delicate, like veal – but it’s healthy too. “It has half the fat of chicken, is high in protein and high in iron”

James Whetlor, Cabrito Goat

These positive and beneficial supplements the meat provides has influenced many of the public to notice the Goat that bit more. Surveyors believe that sales in Goats overall will rise to 5000 per annum in 2016. Dairy farmers are visiting Goat suppliers and fellow farms on a more constant basis in order to inspect the animals and negotiate to purchase both the male for meat and female for the production of milk and cheese.

Figure 2 Though the sales of Goats milk and cheese at the marketplace is still a rarity in the UK, it could soon push its way in. It has been reported by The Western Producer that the American state of Ontario expects a rise of nearly 60% in milk Goats. Image taken from www.susieburrell.com.au

Figure 2
Though the sales of Goats milk and cheese at the marketplace is still a rarity in the UK, it could soon push its way in.
It has been reported by The Western Producer that the American state of Ontario expects a rise of nearly 60% in milk Goats.
Image taken from www.susieburrell.com.au

Not only is the daily British farm noticing a rise in visits by the fellow farmer, butcher and livestock owner to either endorse a business in producing meat and dairy products, but also individuals and families alike to simply see the Goat.

Hearing the word Goat on a more constant basis has broken the cautious barrier of people wondering ‘are goats safe?’. Their status within the production line was questioned for decades in Britain, as persons wanted to ignore the milk, the cheese and did not desire the meat. Travelling internationally has helped however in people experimenting with flavours and enjoying all of the above.

The public now understand the creature more and due to enjoying their dairy produce, admire more too. Families on a day at the farm during the holiday period still adore the scuttling Chickens, the brash Pigs and calming Cattle, but have in recent years noticed that the Goat is in fact a sociable animal.

Figure 3 Image from www.teara.govt.nz

Figure 3
Image from www.teara.govt.nz

They usually parade in herds (see Figure 3), which means kids can get close and touch more in one go than they could a shy sheep, and the Goat will not stray away but rather rest and bathe with all those watching. Visitors can also get involved in the feeding process as Goats only eat vegetation’s such as grass, an easy food to get hold of and present to the animal that is ranged.

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