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Glenda Goatley wheels a wheelbarrow full of animal feed across 15 acres of land in West Melton.
You can hear the farm animals getting excited for their morning feed. The ewes are baaing, with lambs flanked to their sides and the piglets are squealing trying to suck on their mother’s teats.
With beautiful trees in flower, animals in their pens, and a pond full of ducks and lily pads, Glenlothian Farm looks like your average farm, but it is far from it.
Visit Glenlothian Farm and be introduced to 20 different rare animal breeds, including some of the first ever breeds of sheep, goats and rabbits bought into New Zealand. You may even see some baby animals!
One particular breed, the Arapawa Island goat, is one of the rarest goats in the world, introduced into New Zealand by Captain Cook in 1773. The Arapawa Island goat was first introduced on Glenda’s property in 2013 which started her passion for looking after rare animal breeds.
“I came from a farming background, so I’ve always had a love of animals and country life.”
Glenda says it’s just by coincidence that her surname is Goatley and she looks after goats, but the name of the farm had more thought behind it.
She explains that Glen comes from her own name, and Lothian from her Scottish background, West Lothian being the area her clan, Ramsay is from.
Glenda decided she wanted to share her love for these animals and give people a nice experience learning about them, opening Glenlothian Farm to the public two years ago. Today there are 40 different types of animals on the farm, from alpacas to wallabies and lots of birdlife, including peacocks and guineafowl.
Glenda says she enjoys seeing how people interact with her animals on the farm.
“I think animals are very therapeutic. One of our visitors comes out regularly with his daughter who has anxiety. She comes to play with the rabbits and he said it’s really helping her.”
Over the school holidays, Glenda does art and craft afternoons for kids and is hoping to host more of these types of activities and workshops in the future.