Raising Milk Goats


Milk goats can be raised for more then just milk. Individuals that own such goats can also breed their stock for revenue, create goat cheese, skins, candy, sale goat meat or even manure. If there are a number of young male goats or buck kids in stock, these can be sold for their meat if the goat owner chooses not to breed them. Four of the most common milk goats, at least in the United States, are the Alpine, Toggenburg, Nubian and Saanen. The Saanen and Toggenburg were first bred in Switzerland and make excellent milk goats.

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It is very common for a family in some parts of the world to have a goat specifically for milk. There are also larger dairies. Dairies that do supply milk to others or make it available first sale, will have a far different set up and then a single-family who wants to use the goat for personal purposes.

A large dairy will make sure that their goats or well fed, consume a certain type of diet and are well taken care of. They must also ensure that the conditions are very clean and hygienic. The shelter for the goats must be kept very clean. The individuals that work or handle the goats must undergo a physical examination every week. The goats themselves will be administered blood tests to check for diseases. Anything that comes in contact with the goats, such as tools, has to be sterilized. Every time the goat is milked, the udder is cleaned with some type of germicide. The milk also undergoes tests to make sure that there are no bacteria in it or no foreign particles.

If you are looking to purchase a dairy goat, you can visit local goat farms or ranches and pick one to your liking. Goat shows are another great place to visit. You will want to take some time and make sure that you actually taste the milk that was taken from the herd you are considering buying a goat from. This will give you an idea of how it tastes and if it is of high quality.

Make sure that you're prepared for your dairy goats. They will need to have shelter that is ventilated and dry. A fence will be necessary for your property. There also needs to be plenty of space where the goats are able to pasture, run and walk around. It is important that your dogs are never in the pen or around your goats if you're not around because they can and sometimes do attack the goats. You will also want to watch out for plants that may be poisonous. Night Shade and Black Cherry are two examples. You will need to disbud your dairy goats.

Before actually purchasing a dairy goat, ask about CAE testing and those results. You will want to also do a vet check prior to buying. It does take over 300 days for milk lactation. In this time, you should be able to get around 1500 pounds of milk. This is the equivalent to about ½ gallon per day. You can also make cheese from the milk. Some popular ones are Greek Feta, Neufchatel and French Roquefort.

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Until next time,

Valik Rudd
Fellow Goats Raising Enthusiast

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