Wednesday, 26 February 2020


Whitianga's lucky and talented pet goats

By Jordan Gower

Eight weeks ago, after some research, Whenuakite School students, Tinca and Kizzy Samson, bought two baby goats from a goat breeder near the Karangahake Gorge.With their school’s Pet Day coming up, Tinca (aged 12) and Kizzy (aged 10) both felt that a goat would be the perfect pet.

The sisters, who live with their parents in a residential neigbourhood of Whitianga, were initially angling for a dog, but their dad’s vote is still out on that question, so goats it was.

Nibbles and Tilly are Saanen Milk Goats, who just happen to be rather good at tricks. The goats are fed three times a day, at 6:30am, 12:00 noon and again at 5:00pm. Tinca and Kizzy are mostly responsible for their goats, but mum Alex helps out and feeds them while the girls are at school. After school, Tinca and Kizzy spend time training their goats and teaching them tricks. “They’re pretty easy to teach,” says Tinca. “Nibbles really loves money tree leaves, so I can just hold some in front of her and she’ll follow me anywhere.”

Both Nibbles and Tilly have a few great tricks to show off. “Nibbles walks up a ramp and then along a thin piece of wood,” says Tinca. “Once she gets to the end she turns around, walks back and then slides down the ramp. It’s really cool to watch.

“And Tilly will jump onto Kizzy’s back while she’s crouched down. And then Kizzy can stand up with Tilly standing on her upper back. It’s pretty funny.”

Tinca and Kizzy believe their pet goats are good luck charms. Twice they’ve taken them to explore the beaches in the Mercury Bay area and both times something heart-warming has happened. The first time was at Hot Water Beach. The girls and their parents were walking along the beach when their dad found some car keys in the sand. The keys belonged to a Dutch couple who had come to Hot Water Beach in a rental car and then lost the keys. After a day and a night of searching, the couple had called a tow truck to take them all the way back to Auckland. Thankfully, with the luck of Nibbles and Tilly, the keys were found and returned to the Dutch couple.

The second goat-good-luck-story was at Wharekaho Beach. While the family was playing on the beach with the goats, a pod of dolphins appeared in the water and Tinca, Kizzy and their friend Chloe went out to swim with them.

The goats are more than just lucky, they’re obviously very talented too, as when Pet Day came around on Tuesday last week, Tinca and Kizzy did very well. “One of the judging sections was for a pet diary the girls had to keep,” says Alex. “Both the girls were marked 100 per cent.”

In the Senior Kid Rearing section, Tinca and Kizzy tied in first place. In the Senior Kid Leading section, Tinca was given first place and Kizzy was awarded second place. Together, Tinca and Nibbles won the Tranquility Cup as the overall winners of the Senior Kid category.

Tinca and Kizzy are very much infatuated by their pet goats, but unfortunately they don’t have the space to keep them forever. These school holidays, Tilly and Nibbles will be staying at Whiti Farm Park (south of Whitianga) where everyone will be able to go and visit them. “We think they’ll love it and enjoy the attention, so they’ll have a great time,” says Tinca.

Once the holidays are over, Tinca and Kizzy hope to find a suitable, permanent home for their beloved goats. “If anyone out there is interested, has land to accommodate Nibbles and Tilly, wishes to continue to raise and eventually milk them and have kids with them, they should get in touch with us,” says Alex. “We would all just love for them to go to a lovely home somewhere local.”

As much as the sisters love their goats, next time they might tackle something a little smaller. “Next year for Pet Day I’m thinking a mouse,” says Tinca.


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The Mercury Bay Informer is a highly popular community newspaper, based in Whitianga. The paper is distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to north of Colville.