Field Trip: Happy Goat Farm in Balik Pulau
This summer we hope to get out an around Penang more, finding cheap, kid friendly activities. We have some other families that want to get out there with us as well and so for this first time out, we found this goat farm out in Balik Pulau.
I first found this goat farm through its web site. I shared it with the Living in Penang facebook page because they have a page about kids for sale. After a double take, I clicked on the link to see that they indeed are selling baby goats, not human children.
I called the number on the website about tours. I interacted with Ivan, in English, and while he said that he was available only on the weekends to visit, he did have staff there all the time that could give us a tour of the place. The families were free on a Friday morning, so we made arrangements to get there.
Ivan SMSed us directions to the goat farm in Balik Pulau. His directions took us in from the south, so I had to ask again for directions from the north.
Here’s what I can tell you about directions from to the goat farm. Do not rely on a GPS. Do not depend on a map you can download off the internet. The road to the farm is not yet registered in any online database. It is far afield.
We turned off the main road of Balik Pulau at BotanicaCT, and went under a sign that said Kampung Pematang Pasir. From there we followed a street that started off as a two lane road, then a one lane road. At the end of the road, we turned right and the road went from one lane of paved road, to a dirt path. When we thought we had gone too far, just ahead on the left was the sign for the Happy Goat farm.
The man we met there is named Eng Soon. He is a Balik Pulau native. He met us and spoke to us in Bahasa Melayu. He showed us the large building that holds the goats. We were able to open a window and peek in to see where they live all the time. The rest of the 5 acres of land is for growing feed grass. Mr Eng said that they grow their own grass so that they can control the quality. They tried giving the goats from outside and they would get sick.
Mr Eng did not have a tour ready, per se. But he was ready to answer any questions that we could come up with. There are 57 does and 1 ram on the goat farm. And together they’ve produced 50 kids. They consume 150 kg of grass twice a day. The does are milked throughout the day as well. The milk is bottle there and sold at the Pulau Tikus market.
Two kids were brought out of the enclosure for the kids to enjoy. As you can see she was very popular. I think the human kids could have pet them for much longer but the goat kids started getting antsy and so were taken back after a while.
The human kids were not disappointed though because Mr Eng brought out the goat milk and goat ice cream. Both were excellent and well worth the trip. The ice cream is made in Pulau Tikus and is occasionally available for sale. We were told to contact Mr. Ivan about it.
I asked about goat cheese. They didn’t have any on hand, even though the website did mention it. We’re still figuring that out.
While we were sitting on the grass with our wonderful snack, we got to chatting more with Mr Eng, and it turns out that he speaks Mandarin. So we ended up spending the rest of the visit speaking in Mandarin.
The verdict: Happy Goat Farm
In terms of price, they only charged us for the milk and ice cream we consumed. I also ended up buying another large bottle of goat milk. If you aren’t comfortable in Bahasa Melayu or Mandarin, you’ll need to arrange a time to visit when Ivan can meet you at the goat farm, and he said that would have to be weekends.
It is very far off the beaten path, and so if you’re ready for something different, it’s a good change of pace. There isn’t much in the way of rain contingency, no covering for people, so pick a clear day.
Goat milk is available for home deliveries depending on Mr Ivan’s availability. He can be reached at +60164191881
And of course, they have kids for sale. I don’t think we’ll explore that until we have older human kids who can handle the responsibility.