Friday, 21 January 2011


You can see feral goats in several parts of Islay, including, especially, The Oa, the Rinns, and the north coast. A census a few years ago found about 750 of which 400 were on The Oa. They are all descendants of goats which were once kept on farms not just for meat and milk but also because where farms included coastal cliffs, the goats were deliberately put into the cliff-top pastures in the hope that they would graze patches of grass down the cliffs and thus reduce the temptation for the sheep to do likewise. Goats are sufficiently sure-footed and agile to be able to do this without falling off. Sheep, on the other hand............!
Photo: Carl Reavey

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