Raising Goats For Milk
Everyone knows that milk from cows are what people usually drink, but a great number of consumers drink goat’s milk for easier digestion and because this is a safer beverage for people who are sensitive to dairy. This is why raising goats for milk is a good idea.
Goats are strong animals but aren’t hard to keep. Aside from not being expensive, they don’t need a home that is too big like a farm. Goats are easier to handle unlike cows that require larger space. Also, since they’re as intelligent and friendly as other farm animals, it’s good to have an animal like this one. Another plus: goats are curious and agile, which makes them fun to observe and watch what they’re doing.
But in order to make them productive, here are a few pointers to raising goats for milk.
1. Look for a good dairy goat breed
If one wishes to raise a dairy goat successfully, the first thing to do is to know the different breeds of dairy goats. Though there are several kinds of goat breeds, there are only few that are frequently used as dairy goats such as Toggenburgs, Oberhalsis, Saanens and Alpines all originating from the Swiss mountains. They can adapt well to low temperatures and not too perfect weather conditions. The Nubian and LaMancha goats originated in tropical areas and can do well in warm temperatures.
2. Sheltering Dairy Goats
Dairy goats must be sheltered in a dry, clean, and draft-free place. When the winter comes, the goat’s barn needs to be enclosed and of course, it has to be warm. Providing more than enough food and water for the goats will make them happy and healthy as well. Also, it is important to have a sturdy fence for the goats to be kept in the territory, and keep the predators out too.
3. Feeding the Dairy Goats
In order for the goats to be productive, they need to consume more than enough grasses, woods and shrubs so they can roam around and eat until they’re full. Feeding them freely with high quality hay is commonly done to dairy goats, and when there are no fresh food to be fed to them, hay can help sustain their stomachs. There are tricks and tips on how to keep goats well-fed, that’s why it’s important to learn them to keep them happy and healthy.
In addition, keeping the goat’s forage area away from plants that are possibly toxic to them is a must.
4. Keeping the Goats Healthy
An important part in raising goats for milk means that they should be free from illnesses and contagious diseases. Prevention is better than cure. It is way easier to keep the goats healthy than to cure the disease they have. Know the basics on how to care for sick farm animals. When things go out of hand, consult a veterinarian.
5. Managing Milk
Breeding is a must for goats once a year. They need to be 8 months of age or 80 pounds at least before breeding. They are usually bred in the fall. The bucks need to be separated from the does until they come into heat. The does come into heat for 3 days every 3 weeks. Once they are bred, they need to be separated again, or else, the milk might have a dull taste.
Usually, goats that are giving birth takes place about 5 months after they are bred. The does’ offspring usually come in twins and occasionally, triplets. After giving birth, does will start producing milk. If continually milked, she’ll be able to produce them for about 10 months.
One should let them dry up at least 60 days after months of producing milk before starting the breeding process once again.
Goats produce a large amount of milk, that’s why letting its offspring have some too is just alright. Majority of goat farmers keep the kids away from their mother when they’re 2 weeks of age and then do the morning milking. After they milk in the morning, the kids may nurse as much as they want.
6. How to Milk a Goat
Goat milking isn’t actually a hard task, especially if one learns about it from a farmer who is experienced. Does are usually fed grain during the milking process. Keeping the milking time consistent is important. Either milk them 1 or 2 times a day, with a 12-hour interval. Be sure that the milking area and equipments are clean, and be sure to have the milk chilled as soon as the goat has been milked.
Goat’s milk is naturally homogenized because the fat globules are smaller than those in cow’s milk. The cream will not separate in goat’s milk, making butter and cream difficult to make. However, goat’s milk products are creamy and because of these small fat globules.
Learning how to raise goats for milk can be a fun job. Having shortage on dairy won’t be a problem, plus they automatically become pets. Also, raising goats for milk can be a good business that can make a lot of money.