HONEY THE GOAT BECOMES A STAR TURN THANKS TO SPECIAL TRAINING BY SIXTH FORMER NATALIE
AN unlikely double act has become a huge hit with families in Coventry and Warwickshire.
Natalie Ambrose-Hadlum has managed to train Honey the goat to do a whole host of tricks normally tackled by performing dogs.
Standing on her hind legs and shaking hands are no problem for Honey.
She’s been trained at Hatton Farm Village, near Warwick, by sixth-form student Natalie, 16, who works at weekends. The unlikely performing partners are wowing staff and visitors at the farm attraction near Hatton village with their Britain’s Got Talent-style act.
Natalie, of Sydenham, Leamington, now has Honey trained to stand on her hind legs, walk around in a circle, stop on command and reach up to touch her hand with her nose.
“When I met Honey, I thought she was exceptionally bright,” the North Leamington School pupil said.
“She was always first to know where food was and I thought she might have the right temperament to enjoy training. My stepdad works as a trainer with Guide Dogs for The Blind so I understood the principles of teaching dogs to respond to certain commands.”
Natalie began bringing a “clicker” to work an instrument used to train dogs to associate the noise with a command.
“Goats are actually very intelligent,” she said.
“I used carrots as a reward and Honey was immediately alert and responsive.
“After watching her for a day I had some idea about what I could teach her to do.
“She would paw at the fence so I used this natural response to teach her to shake hands.
“She loves the mental stimulation and is always keen to please me.”
Studying maths, physics, geography and English literature; bright spark Natalie now has a full routine worked out with Honey.
Manager Richard Craddock said: “Honey recognises Natalie as soon as she approaches the gate and runs straight over to her.
“The double act have proved a great hit with the visiting children, especially during the birthday parties where the guests are in awe of Honey’s party tricks.