Family Dairy: Goats

Dania milking Evie one of our two Nubian does. (Note: Dania is 7 mo. pregnant in this picture, due in Aug. 2010.)

We are milking two Nubian does that provide our family with about 2 gallons of fresh milk per day.  When we first started the farm I never would have thought about dairy GOATS, but the more we studied them, the more desirable they became.  Our experience with goats was never very good, as we have owned Boer meat goats that are pretty annoying.  There’s a reason why saints are represented as sheep and sinners as goats, you know.

Anyway, we bought two pure-bred Nubian does and a pure-bred Nubian buck to start our goat dairy.  They are not cheap, but we found some wonderful local goat keepers who were interested in selling some award-winning goats to us.  The does are each 2 years old (can milk up to 12 years old).  The buckling is 3 months old…just weaned from his mother. 

Milking is easy and can be handled by any small family farm.  We simply milk twice daily (6a and 6p) using a milking stand we built ourselves and 1-quart canning jars.  We fill the jars in the barn, then pour them through coffee filters into clean jars inside and stick in a freezer to quickly chill.  The goats’ milk is naturally homogenized (cream doesn’t separate like cows’ milk) and does not need to be pasteurized since we drink it within a few hours.  It doesn’t need to sit on a shelf and then in a fridge for weeks after milking…which is the reason why milk is pasteurized today (and only has been since the late 1800s when the cash-based city was invented).

Thus, if you’re interested in starting a home dairy…start with goats.

This entry was posted in Home Dairy. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Family Dairy: Goats

  1. hobbitmom says:

    Wait, I’m confused… I thought you got rid of the fridge/freezer. Or is this a different one, just for the dairy?

    • villapacis says:

      The problem we face is that we have guests coming to stay with us…bringing their families to get a taste of self-sufficient living on a farm–and we love them visiting for a few days. Therefore, we can’t go cold turkey on them and cut everything off. The MOPs taught us how to manage this because they have to do the same thing for their visitors. We’re keeping normal store-bought foods on-hand, air conditioning on (at least in the quest room), etc.. We’ll leave it up to them to say how far they want to go while visiting. Plus, we can’t cut the power as long as the CLAA is running…We can challenge ourselves when we are alone and able to keep our work routine strictly, but have to lighten when guests are with us because we can’t keep the schedule without which the simple life isn’t possible.

  2. Valerie says:

    So, if you weren’t doing the hosting gig, you’d lose the fridge/freezer and drink the milk warm daily? And how does it taste (not that it should matter too much)? Just wondering if the kiddos found it to be much of an adjustment switching to goat milk, even though they are probably among the least picky kids on the planet. 🙂

    • villapacis says:

      First, let’s remember that every mammal on the planet begins by drinking milk that is served warm. Milk is NATURALLY a warm drink. Children (who need milk) usually like it warm. It’s us adults and older kids who want cold milk…for whatever reason.
      Second, my children love goat’s milk. They got their first drink when we got the goats (in milk) and they gulped it right down. They have never once complained about it or wanted cow’s milk instead. Dania and I don’t drink the goat’s milk…it’s for the kids. I don’t need any milk in my diet at all as an adult. Most of our guests have been amazed by how good the goat’s milk tastes.
      Third, goat’s milk gets a funky taste only when (a) it’s dirty, (b) it’s allowed to sit around for a while before filtering/drinking or (c) when the billy goat is in with the ladies (i.e., mating season). Another reason why it’s normally refrigerated is because it is often pasteurized (cooked)…we don’t cook it here on the farm. Think about it, babies drink milk straight from the breast, so it’s not intended to be drunk hours after leaving the breast. On a farm, fresh milk is available in the morning and in the evening, i.e., for breakfast and dinner, so there’s no need to try and store it for days like store-bought milk. Our goats are very clean and stay indoors most of the time. They are fed alfalfa hay and corn/oats/wheat with fresh water twice every day. We clean and milk them by hand so we can sense their condition and catch any problems no longer than 12 hours after it appears. Your store bought milk farm…can’t give you the same. They use power milking equipment on dozens of animals at one time, have little interaction with the animals, feed them all kinds of processing leftovers…pretty gross. They make milk gross. On a farm, it’s beautiful and delicious.

  3. nubians says:

    You actually make it seem so easy along with your presentation however I find this topic to be really something which I believe I’d by no means understand. It kind of feels too complex and very huge for me. I am having a look forward for your next publish, I will attempt to get the cling of it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s