Author Topic: Dairy Goats  (Read 6305 times)

simple_pilgrim

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Dairy Goats
« on: January 28, 2009, 02:12:23 PM »
My wife and I are planning on adding a pair of dairy goats to our homestead.  I picked up a copy of Storey's guide to Dairy Goats, and am currently reading it, as will my lovely wife.  We have 3 kids, and the milk would be a welcome addition.

Questions for the crowd that I haven't read yet.  What's the best time of year to buy goats?  Anyone have any experience with dairy goats?  Books can only cover so much, I prefer first hand experiences.

Offline chris

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Re: Dairy Goats
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2009, 02:22:04 PM »
Do you like goat's milk? If you're planning on using the milk, I'd get some first and try it. Supposedly keeping the males and females sperately will improve the flavor. Could be an urban legend. I was raised on cow's milk and goat's milk, at least the ones I've had, tasted like crap. But lots of people liek and even prefer the flavor.

simple_pilgrim

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Re: Dairy Goats
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2009, 04:16:49 AM »

Offline chris

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Re: Dairy Goats
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2009, 06:43:37 AM »
Sure do.

Then your're set. Goat's kick ass. :)

Offline splinter99

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Re: Dairy Goats
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2009, 06:47:51 AM »
One thing I have to say is fences, fences, fences!  We had Pygmy's for a while and they got out of everything, which wasn't really the bad part, they ate EVERYTHING.  All my grapes and berries and just about anything else I didn't want them to.  If you've never had a buck goat, I can tell you that they are the most disgusting smelling animal I've ever experienced.  Of course many people raise them, and they are wonderful for many other people.  I would also recommend that you get them disbudded, our buck tore out steel walls and lattice fences.

simple_pilgrim

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Re: Dairy Goats
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2009, 08:03:17 AM »
We plan on a couple does only.  We'll get them bred by the seller.

Coyote

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Re: Dairy Goats
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2009, 05:01:48 AM »
Had Nubians in the past.  All I can say is very LOUD!!!  Had to sell them after my company made me a road warrior for a while. Planning on starting again this year.  Having a hard time finding grade animals in my location.

Da Fat Kid

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Re: Dairy Goats
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2009, 07:45:01 PM »
We raised Pygmy goats both registered and grade until my wife had a stroke and it became to much for me to do alone and work full time to.
I used electric fence on the inside of my field fence. I used 6" stand off insulators and set them 6-8" above the ground and again at 12-14". If we had a goat that didn't respect the fence I would hold it's head right behind the ears and touch the nose to the fence. YES WE BOTH DID THE FUNKY CHICKEN but that would be the last time that goat touched the fence. I know that may sound mean but think about if that goat didn't respect the fence it would get out and either get hit by a vehicle or become coyote bait, now how nice would that be.

Offline Beetle

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Re: Dairy Goats
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2009, 02:47:24 AM »
We raised Pygmy goats both registered and grade until my wife had a stroke and it became to much for me to do alone and work full time to.
I used electric fence on the inside of my field fence. I used 6" stand off insulators and set them 6-8" above the ground and again at 12-14". If we had a goat that didn't respect the fence I would hold it's head right behind the ears and touch the nose to the fence. YES WE BOTH DID THE FUNKY CHICKEN but that would be the last time that goat touched the fence. I know that may sound mean but think about if that goat didn't respect the fence it would get out and either get hit by a vehicle or become coyote bait, now how nice would that be.
I accidentally whized on an electric fence once, and it taught me to stay away from them.

Coyote

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Re: Dairy Goats
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2009, 10:46:38 AM »
Never did answer one of your questions...most breeds are kidding right about now.  Should see the wethers posted once they are weened.  Might even see some bottle babies listed (still being bottle feed).  Here's a website with some postings:

http://www.bestfarmbuys.com/


Da Fat Kid

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Re: Dairy Goats
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2009, 10:01:37 PM »
But why would they want wethers (castrated males) if they want to produce goats milk ? Myself I can't stand goats milk. However some people can't drink cows milk and others think goats milk is the best thing going. To each thie own!!!

Offline shadewolf

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Re: Dairy Goats
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2009, 07:59:59 PM »
To keep the goat milk from tatsting 'goaty', it's really important to ensure your milking stand, pail and equipment are all really clean and once you're done milking, get that milk chilled or into the fridge within a really short time. The faster you get it chilled, the longer it will keep and better it will taste. :-D

Offline Aunt Bee

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Re: Dairy Goats
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2009, 12:12:25 AM »
To keep the goat milk from tatsting 'goaty', it's really important to ensure your milking stand, pail and equipment are all really clean and once you're done milking, get that milk chilled or into the fridge within a really short time. The faster you get it chilled, the longer it will keep and better it will taste. :-D

I agree....goat or cow milk must be handled carefully to avoid introducing bacteria that will give it an off taste but it's not complicated at all.  Actually when it comes to raw milk, I prefer goat's milk.  It has a sweeter richer taste to me.  My raw goat milk lasts much longer in the fridge than even the store bought cow's milk.  It's not unusual for it to still smell and taste fresh at two weeks but I'm very particular about cleaning the udder well before milking and getting the milk strained and in the fridge immediately. 

Milk goats are a big commitment in time.  They must be milked daily no matter how sick, tired or busy you may be...I milk once a day but most folks milk twice.  They like a routine and if you get them in one right away, they do pretty well.  Ours rarely have gotten out of their pen and it's always been our fault if they do.  They like their pen and will run back to it when we let them out to browse.  We have an electric fence around their browsing area but they won't hardly stay in it alone LOL.

Goats aren't exactly low maintenance animals.  Contrary to popular belief, they can't eat everything.  They need routine in their diets too,  their hooves need trimmed once a month and they must also be wormed regularly.  I love mine and they are are my best prep item and I'm not trying to discourage anyone...I think everyone should have a couple but definitely do your homework and research before making the commitment.  It took me two years and I backed out twice before I took the plunge.  Here are a few sites that helped get me started.

http://fiascofarm.com/

http://dairygoatinfo.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=84tlr2mkuopdpfbuhnp6hg6611&

http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/forumdisplay.php?f=17

« Last Edit: March 07, 2009, 12:15:08 AM by Aunt Bee »

Coyote

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Re: Dairy Goats
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2009, 04:35:41 AM »
I agree....goat or cow milk must be handled carefully to avoid introducing bacteria that will give it an off taste but it's not complicated at all.  Actually when it comes to raw milk, I prefer goat's milk.  It has a sweeter richer taste to me.  My raw goat milk lasts much longer in the fridge than even the store bought cow's milk.  It's not unusual for it to still smell and taste fresh at two weeks but I'm very particular about cleaning the udder well before milking and getting the milk strained and in the fridge immediately. 

Aunt Bee is right.  Cooling the milk as soon as possible is very important as is cleanliness.  Small volumes may cool fast enough (<40F in under 30 minutes is what I've seen quoted).  Larger volumes may need to go into an ice bath to get the temp down.  I read somewhere that a gallon of milk straight from the udder requires 24 hours in the fridge to equilibrate temp wise which gives bacteria time to grow.