People and Places
Half-pint heartbreakers will steal the show By Kate Sears

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These guys are adorable. There’s no argument here. They are breaking hearts all over the Mornington Peninsula. 

Seleena, a teacher at Padua College, has acreage and about 40 kids — the goat variety, that is. She began with two miniature goats 12 years ago when they were purchased for the school’s agriculture and horticulture studies. Seleena would take the pair home on the weekends and the rest is history — it’s now a fully-fledged stud called Riverstone Miniature Goats. 

The heritage of her favourite miniature goats comes from a bloodline in the US that is considered half-Nigerian. In fact, this breed has only been in Australia for four years. Her pride and joy is currently Riverstone Heart Breaker. This little cutie is the Best in Show winner from the 2018 Red Hill Show. She is a total sweetie and has already won a few titles. Her twin sister is Riverstone Heart Throb, and their mother is Riverstone Queen of Hearts and is an Australian champion. Not only do the names describe these adorable goats, using a similar theme enables Seleena to keep track of the bloodline. 

“She’s a real sweetie. The judges love her. She’s what the judges are looking for — a sound structure with a friendly outgoing temperament,” said Seleena. 

Seleena is a judge too, and her goal is to breed well conformed goats. This means that they have a correct structure, are sound for the job and have good udder composition for milk production and breeding. Nigerian goats are generally used for their milk, which is high in butterfat. Given this, you can drink the milk and use it to make cheese and soap.

Her goats are joined on the farm by her sheep and german short-haired pointers, which look like giants next to the female miniature goats that are about 40-50cm. Miniature goats can grow to a maximum height of 57cm (to the shoulder) for a female, while the males grow up to 60cm. By comparison, they are a third to a half the size of a standard dairy goat and are growing in popularity for hobby farms because they are low-maintenance pets. Funnily, they do require shelter because as soon as there is the smallest drop of rain they bolt for shelter. Apples, carrots, sultanas, Weet-Bix and even banana peels are favourite treats of these doe-eyed beauties. They make perfect pets because of their loving and playful nature and love of children. 

Visit the 2019 Red Hill Show on Saturday, March 9, to pat these darlings at the goat show, which is run by Seleena’s Padua students. 

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