Hay River farming institute overrun with cute cashmere goats

The Northern Farm Training Institute in Hay River purchased 19 goats last summer from a farmer advertising them on Kijiji. But many of the goats were pregnant, and now the number of goats at the institute has risen to 28, with more on the way.

Northern Farm Training Institute bought 19 goats last summer. It now has 28

Hay River's Northern Farm Training Institute purchased 19 goats last summer from a farmer. The institute now has 28 goats on its hands. (submitted by Northern Farm Training Institute )

The Northern Farm Training Institute in Hay River, N.W.T., has a lot more cashmere goats than it bargained for.

The institute purchased 19 goats last summer from a farmer advertising them on Kijiji. But many of the animals were pregnant, and now the number of goats at the institute has grown to 28, with more on the way.

"We knew that it wasn't our feed that was making them get them that way," said Thomas Schenkel, the animal manager at the institute.

"So the inevitable conclusion was that they had been bred without our knowing."

A white-and-chocolate-brown baby goat the the Northern Farm Training Institute. (submitted by Northern Farm Training Institute )

It's the latest headache for Schenkel. Initially corralling the goats after purchase proved a two-hour ordeal.

"They were just wild, running along the river, jumping fences, going into the neighbours' yards," said Schenkel. "I had no herding dog, no horse, so I had to do all the running myself."

He says he had to wrestle each goat into his trailer individually.

So why go to all the trouble?

Schenkel says cashmere goats are known for their fibres and their milk and are very good at improving pastures and clearing land by eating willows and saplings.

Still, the institute plans to sell some of the goats, complete with free consultations.

And not pregnant.  

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