The Mulhollands’ goats are shown at the fair by a close friend, James Eveleth of Wenham, where a total of eight breeds compete in this official American Dairy Goat Association event.
The Valley View goats were reserve grand champions two years ago, which is “the next down” from grand championship, Mulholland said. Their son Andrew won a blue ribbon in the 4-H Dairy Goat Show last year.
There are 34 goats on 7 acres at Valley View, and contrary to popular opinion, they are actually picky eaters, she said. They do like variety and have a fondness for “woody, herbacious” stuff like poison ivy and wild roses.
But they won’t eat just anything and won’t even touch grass if it’s simply been trampled.
People often ask Mulholland if they can rent her goats to clear brush on their property, but she refuses, because the animals are too valuable as producers of milk.
“We can’t make enough cheese,” she said.
When: Tomorrow through Monday, Oct. 8
Where: Topsfield Fairgrounds, Route 1
Admission: $11 weekdays, $15 weekends. Free for children under 8.
Ride tickets: $22 for 11 rides
More information: www.topsfieldfair.org