Mama Africa Goat Story
Mama Africa Farm was a dream of Rob and Dominique for many years. They searched and searched and saved and saved until they found the beautiful farm of their dreams nestled below the Lady Slipper mountain. Their vision was a self-sustainable and healthy living lifestyle and ultimately to breed rare game and buffalo. Mama Africa farm needed, and still needs, a lot of tender loving care and hard work. Alien plants need to be removed so the land and stream can be restored to their former glory and ready for the future goals dreams and many many hours are spent working on the farm.
In the quest to have a self-sustainable and healthy living lifestyle Rob and Dominique farm with free range chickens to produce the most tasty farm free eggs that are hormone and antibiotic free. See their egg story for more information on this… They also have a mixed Boran Nguni herd of cattle and Swiss Toggenburg Goats. And how the Toggenburg goats came to be on a potential game farm is a story on its own…let us share this story…
Driving down the driveway for the first time Rob and Dominique saw two brown goats and having never seen such before in South Africa they wondered what they were. The previous farm owners said they were Swiss milking goats and asked if they could be adopted by Mama Africa Farm. Of course they were adopted and fed fat and loved dearly, like all animals (and people) at Mama Africa farm J Hearing that the goats were Swiss milking goats made Rob and Dominique think of the old children’s story from Switzerland named “Heidi” and so the one goat was named Heidi and the other goat named Klara, after Heidi’s best friend in the story. Heidi and Klara were real characters, true to goats we have learnt.
Sadly Klara passed away from old age and Heidi was very devastated and cried and cried day and night. All the Mama Africa staff begged Rob and Dominique to buy Heidi a friend and seeing that milking goats would tie in with the theme of a self-sustainable and healthy living lifestyle at Mama Africa Rob and Dominique started the search for a Toggenburg goat friend for goat Heidi. It was with this search that they realised Toggenburg goats are really rare and sought after in South Africa and after stumbling across a very well-bred Toggenburg ram for sale so started Mama Africa Toggenburg goats. And with that we met Andy! Andy is truly a handsome goat, or mommy’s boy as he prefers to act. He comes from the Tupelo Dandy Bloodline from New Zealand and is really magnificent. He waltzed onto Mama Africa along with his Toggenburg ladies Jane, Lilly and Rose, all of whom come from a good bloodline too which is rare in South Africa. Heidi was thrilled with her new friends who looked just like her! Life as a Toggenburg at Mama Africa was good. Jane gave birth to beautiful Spring that stole everyone’s heart, and then Lilly gave birth to the cutest ever little ram and Rose was heavily pregnant with a baby on the way.
And then the unthinkable happened and tragedy truck with residents from the area dogs that managed to get onto Mama Africa and savagely attack and kill all the goats except Andy and Lilly’s little one week old ram. The pain and suffering was horrific and almost unbearable. The dog owners were completely irresponsible by not locking their gates and rumour has it this has happened before. Terrible that such people own animals and even more so the pain and destruction they and their animals caused.
Rob and Dominique were heartbroken and devastated. And words cannot describe the emotions. They had to however focus on Andy who survived the attack and the tiny week old ram they named uBomi, named after the meaning of “life-to live” in Xhosa. UBomi urgently needed goat’s milk and love to survive and Andy needed a lot of love, care and attention as he started to slip into depression from his ordeal and losing his family. Rob and Dominique, with the help of family and friends, searched for milk for uBomi and Toggenburg companions for Andy. It was hard and the days seemed dark at Mama Africa but life carried on and everyone tried to focus on helping little uBomi and Andy survive. The search for Toggenburg ewes for Andy stretched across the whole of South Africa and took 3 weeks before we were fortunate to find some Toggenburg ewes for sale from a breeder in Limpopo 1200km away. The only reason the ladies were for sale is because their owner was down scaling, otherwise we would not have found Toggenburg ewes to continue Andy’s bloodline. And even with the tragedy and heartache we felt it important to continue the Tupelo Dandy Bloodline and introduce more Toggenburg into the South Africa farming system ! And we owed it to Andy and uBomi. During the companion search rescue donkeys were adopted from the East Cape Horse care unit for protection for the goats, apparently a widely used and successful predator control method on farms…we wish we had done it sooner…and a group of mixed Saanen Toggenburg goats, who used to live with Andy some years back were fortunately sold by their previous owner to Mama Africa all in the name of saving Andy. Through the pain Rob and Dominique and Mama Africa were blessed with kind hearted people and the brave fighting spirit of little uBomi.
The sun and God’s blessings continues to shine at Mama Africa and Andy is eating well again and surrounded by his new ladies and feeling rather important again. Our new well bred Toggenburg ladies Jani, Leani, Pamela, Kitty and Chloe are champion milkers and settling in well at Mama Africa. They produce rich creamy delicious tasting milk that is converted into the most tasty cheeses by Dominique. The new Toggenburg ladies love roaming freely on Mama Africa farm and enjoy the sunshine and various plants from which to naturally graze. They are not fed or injected hormones, as is the case with many dairies today, and antibiotics are totally avoided unless the illness is life threatening. A balanced breakfast and supper is provided daily too while milking by hand is done. Andy’s other companions of Saanen Toggenburg cross ladies named Snow, Sweatpea, Maggie, Coco and Bella are truly unique characters that love kisses and cuddles and keep the happy farm vibe alive. The goats eat and sleep under the watchful eyes of the rescue guard donkeys Willeman and Rooibos who have settled in nicely and take their job seriously. uBomi grows stronger daily and will be kept as a second breeding ram as he has excellent genes from both his parents side. The fact that he lives is a blessing and daily we count our blessings at Mama Africa farm…along with our litres of fresh rich and creamy milk and tasty cheeses.
We truly believe the goat’s milk and cheese we produce is much tastier & healthier for you as they have no traces of antibiotics or hormones and are ethically produced in a loving, happy & healthy environment. Full of farm fresh goodness like the good old days…