Ellie was one of our first three goats and was the last daughter born to a Breed Champion in an important line of British Toggenburgs.
She was one of our best milkers and a great character, so we thought it right that the dairy should be named after her. We sadly lost her in April 2010 but her name is carried on by one of her grand-daughters, born to Ellie's only daughter Bunnie, just a few days before Ellie died.
Our chief herd male Fremlin was Ellie's first son and he has sired many daughters who help to produce the milk for Ellies Dairy.
Ellie's picture was taken at the Kent County Show in 2005 and you can see our other two foundation goats, Betty and Wilma, in the background.
Some of our girls out grazing
After morning milking, they are able to wander around and graze outside or just lie in the shade and watch the world go by.
In the evening, after milking they remain indoors for the night in their specially designed large and airy barn so that we know that they are safe and sound.
Of course the boys have an important part to play, too. For many reasons, including the obvious one, they do have to be kept separate from the girls but they share the same barn, and use the same fields at different times to the girls. This ensures that they all feel part of one large herd and makes them happier and contented. And when the boys have to do their duty introductions are unnecessary!
This is Ellie's son and is now our senior herd male. Born in 2006 he is a great soft-hearted beast of a goat with a fabulous beard. Despite his size he is very gentle and good-natured and is pretty laid-back about life in general. He was Shaggy's best friend and was very lonely for a while after Shaggy's death, even though he had the other boys to keep him company. However, he has since made Beamish his special friend and they are often seen hanging out together. We have many of his daughters in our herd and we named our latest cheese in his honour - Fremlin's Kentish Log.
Known to his friends as Max, he came to us as a youngster from a lovely small herd in a tiny village overlooking the Menai Straits in North Wales. He always seems to have a permanent smile on his face and during the mating season he can be heard singing to his ladies. He was a little unruly when he first arrived but he settled in quickly and is now completely at home at Ellie's Dairy.
Shaggy was the first kid born in our herd and for several years was our 'head boy' and chief stud male. We were heartbroken when he died suddenly in June 2009 but his memory lives on in the many daughters that he left behind in our herd. His son, Norville, was born just three days after Shaggy died and has taken his father's place.
We have commemorated Shaggy by naming our camembert-style cheese after him - Shaggy's Beard.
We lost Cherokee in early 2009 but he is too important - to us and to the herd - to be forgotten. A real character, as he shows here, he came from a highly respected herd in Essex, via Somerset and became a great buddy of the others. Several of his children were not born until Spring 2009 but we bet he watched it all happen from that great goatshed in the sky.
Larkin is the son of Wilma who, along with Betty and Ellie, was one of our foundation goats. He was born in 2008 and, together with his twin brother Badger, terrorised Fremlin when he was younger. He soon got put in his place and has now established himself as one of our stud males. His brother is a very busy boy, working in a commercial herd in Somerset, with his friend Tolly. Larkin loves to climb whenever he is given the chance and can usually be found lying on top of a large wooden box or a stack of bales. His coat is quite long and he fathers the most beautiful little shaggy, hairy kids.
Born just a month after Larkin in 2008, Beamish is the son of Cilene and was our first British Alpine male. He has a very characteristic bleat and is a very friendly boy who loves to be near people. He is also usually the first one to get to the feeding troughs at mealtimes. He is very friendly with Max and Larkin but seems to have a special soft spot for Fremlin and often curls up next to him at bedtime.
Navajo is the son of our dear departed Cherokee, born in 2009 just a few months after his father's death. He carries on a very prestigious British Toggenburg bloodline and he is our only polled male in that he was born naturally hornless. Initially quite small when he was younger, he suddenly seemed to grow and, despite being several years younger than Fremlin he is now much bigger than him. On his hind legs Navajo stands well over 7ft tall - and he hasn't finished growing yet! He is a magnificent boy and we suspect that he will take over as 'head boy' as Fremlin gets older.