Thursday, August 2, 2012

Outdoor Fun! A trip to Hay Dairies Farm

Being the kampong girl that I am, I love all things outdoor and I love farms. I am very pleased to have June from mamawearpapashirt pop over this week to share with us her visit to Hay Dairies Farm.


Did you know that there are about 440 million goats worldwide, and although America has the largest number of cows worldwide, the number of cows stand at only about 10 million?

Did you know that goat’s milk is good for people with asthma, arthritis, eczema, jaundice, sinus and stomach ulcer?

Did you know it takes 4 hours to digest cow’s milk, but only 1 hour for goat’s milk? (Apparently, this is gentler on our digestive system.)

Well, you’ll find these out, and more, if you make a trip down to Hay Dairies Farm at Lim Chu Kang. This sign below means they are the seventh stop on the Kranji Heritage Trail.

We’ve been drinking goat’s milk from Hay Dairies since Vera turned two. My kids are lactose intolerant and because I’m still breastfeeding baby Javier, I’m on a cow’s milk-free diet too. So I thought it would be worthwhile ordering fresh goat’s milk every week, since at least both of us would be drinking it.

That’s also why we were excited to visit the goat farm. Vera has been drinking the milk, but now she’ll be able to witness the actual milking of the goats.

Which incidentally was the first action that we caught upon our arrival – milking!

Milking takes place daily between 9 - 11am. About 8-10 goats are milked at one time. After a batch is done, they will return back to their barns, and the next batch comes trotting in through another lane. (Yes, they’ve got a two-way street going on, presumably to avoid unnecessary scuffles.)

This is how they keep the goats busy and happy while milking – by feeding them of course.

(Erm, as a nursing mum, I know this aspect is of absolute importance, and I was glad to see that they had this part covered.)


Here’s Vera looking on at all the milking action. I’m sure she would have jumped if they allowed us to have a go at milking the goats with our bare hands! But alas, due to hygiene reasons, visitors are no longer allowed to touch the goats. (I heard from a friend that they used to allow that though!)

In fact, throughout the entire process of milk and homogenisation and pasteurisation, the milk does not come into direct contact with human hands at all. Also, freshly processed milk is sold on the same day as it is milked.

We were lucky that there was a pre-school tour going on, so we managed to catch most of the introduction by the staff. (If you’re planning to visit, I recommend checking beforehand if there is a school tour going on that day, as you get to learn more about goats.)

We found out some interesting facts, such as the farm actually removes the horns of pregnant female goats as the horns make them more playful and active, which in turn increases the chances of miscarriage.

The staff is holding on the a bag of mixed grains – goat feed.

This is what I call the long march. It is the only lane that runs around the farm. As you walk down this lane, you can view the adult goats on the left, and their kids on the right.

Why do I call it the long march? Well, because of the strong ammonia smell that comes from the animal wastes. Even the pandan plants that have been strategically planted along the lane are unable to fully mask the stench. So, it feels like a longer walk than it actually is…you’ve been warned.

Here are the adult goats lazing around.

And a kid trying to get a drink of water.

You may be glad to know that Singapore does not have any slaughter house for goats, so these goats will not be eaten. (The mutton that you find in soup kambing comes from sheep, not goats.) At the end of their life span of about 12 years, they will be either sent to the animal hospital or to the universities for research purposes.

All in all, we enjoyed the trip. The farm was quite small, so other than the milking and introduction at that time, and the short tour around the farm, there wasn’t much else to do. But the kids didn’t mind at all. They were quite happy to rest and relax, and have some chocolate-flavoured goat’s milk! (Which is a real treat for Vera, because we only get the plain version at home.)

If you’re planning to visit Hay Dairies, remember to check out the other stops along the Kranji Heritage Trail.

If you’re looking for other fun outdoor ideas, do check out our Out & About articles and Weekend Dreams!

About June

June is mother to two lively kids - Vera, a chatty three year old and Javier, a curious one year old. She is passionate about building strong families, children’s learning activities, and writing. She blogs at mamawearpapashirt, a place for parents to find love, confidence, hope and delight.


  1. It was fun getting out there into the wild, thanks for sending me on the mission, Alicia! ;)

  2. Thanks for being such a sport and contributing to this June! :)


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