Triplet pygmy goats were stolen from a 15-year-old smallholding farmer in Dunamaggin, Co Kilkenny, on Friday night.
The newborn goat kids were taken at just two days old from a paddock “only across the garden” at some stage after 6.30pm, according to the teenager’s father, Francis Nesbitt.
The two females and a male had been born on Wednesday to a first-time nanny goat which his son had received as an early Christmas present last autumn.
He was keeping the goat herd along with a small flock of sheep, which are due to lamb soon, and some calves as part of his first farming enterprise and was already making breeding plans for the next generation with the two females.
Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, Francis Nesbitt said his son is “really worried” about the triplets’ mother. The nanny goat is “freaking out” bleating and has “swollen with milk” to the point where he is concerned that she will get mastitis.
Nesbitt went to feed the goats on Saturday and immediately noticed the triplets were gone. He is convinced they were stolen and blames the fact that he had posted pictures of the new arrivals on social media the night before.
Well, it seems that it was a bad idea to post this on SM. Last night, the 3 baby Pygmy Goats were stolen from their mother. Wasn't a predator, not a drop of blood and they were in a well fenced paddock with Alpacas. Poor mother is bleating like mad to call them back?? pic.twitter.com/G9JenmHSyD— Francis Nesbitt (@NesbittF) March 26, 2022
“We reckon someone pulled in and parked on the road and walked across to them,” he said.
He explained that there was an alpaca left in the field which would protect the animals from any fox or other predators. He said he examined the whole paddock and there was “not a drop of blood” to be found.
Nesbitt said the pygmy goats would have been stolen due to their high value. He explained that with female kids being worth as much as €600 each and males around €200, the triplets could fetch a combined price of €1,400.
He believes that whoever took them will have bought a bag of Lamlac and will likely rear the goats in that way before looking to sell them on.
The smallholding farmer said that there have been other thefts of pygmy goat kids recently in Kilkenny and Kildare and it is possible that these cases are connected.
“We were delighted with the triplets. Not for a second did we think they’d be stolen,” he said.
Thomastown gardaí responded to the incident on Saturday morning and are investigating the matter. Anyone with information on the goat kids is asked to contact the station on 056-775 4150.