Getting Started with Dairy Goats

Evie, the matriarch of the Villa Pacis dairy goat herd.

We’ve never yet owned any dairy goats, but after our old Jersey cow (Nana) died in February, we decided to give them a try since we’ll have to wait until next year for fresh cow milk anyway.  We will be adding 2 Nubian does (already in milk) and a Nubian buck to our farm around Mother’s Day and will begin collecting and using fresh goat milk here on the farm.

As always, we sought good does and a better buck–all purebred, registered and show-quality–and found them locally for just under $900.   It may seem like a significant investment…and it is.  However, whenever the cost of farm animals iw considered, we have to consider the fruits.  These ladies will provide us with close to 2 gallons of naturally homogenized milk daily for the next 8 months.  If we do some math and consider the cost of 2 gallons of store milk ($4/gal) times 30 days/month we end up gaining $240.00 worth of milk each month here on the farm.  Multiply that times 8 months of milking and you’re pressing towards $2,000 in milk.  Plus, they’re going to reproduce and do it all over again next year…and the next year…and the next.  Makes $900 seem pretty cheap huh?  Welcome to farm economics.

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