It’s not hard to see why this cute trio captured the hearts of the judges for a national photo contest put on by the Farm & Food Care Foundation.
The picture of three of Chris Grab’s Nigerian Dwarf goats won first place, and a $600 prize, in the All About Animals category of the contest.
“They’re standing on a wooden (cable) spool,” said Grab, who with husband Rudi, has an acreage south of Leduc.
“I have a few of those around for them. They love to play on them, jump on them and push each other off. I have a picnic table and other things in a goaty playground for them.”
Grab has bred goats for more than two decades and has 30 does on their 80-acre operation, Country Magic farm. Some are Nubians, but the Nigerians are her favourites.
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“They’re a miniature dairy goat and (the does) don’t get any taller than 21 inches high — so they’re also called ‘knee-high’ goats,” she said. “They produce amazing milk for their size, but they’re also very personable and make excellent pets.”
The goats in the picture, taken last year by Grab’s daughter-in-law, Ashley Erin Grab, have arresting tricolour markings, but “you never know what you’re going to get” with the pint-size breed, she said.
“You can get just about any colour, a lot of solid colours. Getting patterns takes a bit of doing. In fact, I tried the same breeding this year to get more like that — not a hope, I got buckskin (black on the head, neck, and shoulders and a solid, lighter colour on the body).”
It was the first year for the photo contest put on by the Guelph-based Farm & Food Care Foundation, but it attracted more than 650 entries. There were six categories, with one category winner — Sheri Mangin of Manitoba — selected as overall contest winner. All of the winning entries can be viewed at www.farmfoodcare.org and many more will be featured in the 2014 edition of The Real Dirt on Farming, a publication that answers common questions asked by the public about food and farming practices in Canada.