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New kids in town!

Posted onPosted on 12th Mar

Two new kids at West Nottinghamshire College in Mansfield are settling into their environment well – with plenty of activities, attention, and straw in their shed!

These new recruits are actually goats and are the latest addition to the college’s animal care curriculum.

Two-year-old male pygmy goats Galaxy and Jerry are enjoying life in their specially-created paddock, which was developed in 2022 thanks to funding from national social enterprise, Volunteer it Yourself (VIY).

Up to 50 animal care and employability students worked with VIY mentors in the winter of 2022 to turn a grassed area of the animal unit’s garden into land suitable for the goats. It needed to offer a hard-standing areas, sheds for shelter and feeding, and a secure boundary fence.

Now this area is being fully-utilised by the goats, which is helping animal care students understand the habits, behaviours, and needs of small mammals.

Beginners’ Certificate in Animal Care Level 1 student Zoe Offley said: “We’re enjoying settling the new goats in – they’re real characters. We have to ensure that they have plenty of enrichment, so we have large tyres and pallets for them to climb, and footballs and a treat ball to play with.”

Programme area leader for Level 1 Animal Care studies Stacey Allcock added: “Our students are getting to know the goats well and are learning how to clean them and feed them appropriately. They’re fed every morning with hay, and they get walks on the leads on our college fields.

“Other students from the college will be getting to meet them throughout our animal unit tours.

“The tours of the unit are enhancing students’ skills such as speaking in public, problem-solving, time management and leadership skills.

“We’re looking forward to plans later in the year to have members of the public come along for animal encounter days. Our Level 3 students will use this business model to form their learning company and bring in a small income.”

Pictured are Scarlett Dickinson, Zoe Offley, Lorna Edwards and Demi-Leigh Smith with goats Jerry and Galaxy.