Due to the flood and ongoing clean-up in the Lismore region, which also affected our garden columnist, Maree Curran is having a week off. Our thoughts are with all those who have faced the disastrous weather.
WHEN it comes to quirky family pets, miniature goats are the new kids on the block.
About half the height of a normal goat, the mini version only grows to about knee high.
Fe Everett, from Zodiac Mini Goats, one of the biggest breeders in New South Wales, says the pint-sized larrikins will bounce off objects and provide their owners with hours of fun.
"We have a mother and daughter who love playing on the dog kennels," Fe says.
"They run from one to the other - we call it Game of Thrones."
Fe says miniature goats would make a great addition to any family with the space to accommodate them.
"They are full of personality," she says.
"If we are mowing in the paddock they try to get on the mower.
"They are really friendly and make great pets."
Australia has its own breed of miniature goat, the Aussie Mini Goat, developed by Sue Ludwig, the founder of the Mini Goat Breeders Association of Australia.
They were bred as a pet, rather than for livestock production. There are now thousands of miniature goats registered in Australia.
Fe says there is a great demand for miniature goats as they are so easy to contain and handle, and they are kid-friendly with a great temperament.
"Like dogs you can train them, they are really smart," she says.
"And because of their small size there is a low impact on the land."
Zodiac Mini Goats, which has 60 mini goats and is in its fourth breeding season, was the first stud in NSW to start breeding the Nigerian dwarf, one of two new breeds introduced to Australia in the past couple of years.
Mini goats make great family pets due to their gentle temperament.
This dairy goat has the highest butter fat content of any goat and can produce up to 1.8 litres of milk a day.
The other new breed is the pygmy miniature goat.
Check with your local council for regulations surrounding keeping goats.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.