May 2014

Wild goats in the BurrenBurren Food Gem #2

Burren Food Trail member St. Tola Goat Farm claimed the Supreme Champion accolade at the Irish Cheese Awards 2013 and was also a 2 star winner at the Great Taste Awards 2013. Goat’s Cheese features as a staple on more and more menus nationwide and is a favourite of Lisdoonvarna Chefs at Wild Honey Inn, Sheedy’s Hotel & Restaurant and Kieran’s Kitchen. Goats are synonymous with the Burren landscape so we thought a few lesser known facts about goats might be interesting.

  • There are approximately 500 million goats in the world.
  • It is estimated that 72% of the world’s milk consumption is from goats.
  • Throughout the world, it is estimated that more people eat goat meat, drink goat milk and eat cheese made from goat milk than any other animal (Yes, this includes cows and chickens!).
  • Goat Milk Cheese is a great source of a range of vitamins and minerals including; Calcium, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, potassium and niacin .Riboflavin/B2, Vitamins B6, A and Riboflavin B2
  • Like sheep, a goat’s eye is rectangular rather than round. They have excellent night vision and will often browse during the night.
  • Goats discovered coffee. Apparently in Ethiopia a goat herd saw goats behaving more actively and energetically after eating from a particular bush. He then tried it himself and felt uplifted, awake and full of energy
  • Goats are good swimmers.

St Tola GoatsSome interesting facts about St. Tola:

  • The St Tola Herd is made up of a mixture of Saanen, Toggenburg and British Alpine Goats, and the farm has over 300 goats at the moment.
  • St. Tola goats are fed on fresh grass from April to October and then in the winter they are fed haylage gathered from the farm and organic grains.
  • Goats love the herbs and flowers that grow on the pasture in the summer. They love eating willow and can strip huge branches of leaves and bark in minutes!
  • St Tola goats are milked twice a day, 8am and6pm, and at the height of the summer they give around 3 litres of milk per day each, it takes around 6 litres of milk to make 1kg of soft St Tola Goat Cheese.


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