Goats are special animals to have on your farm. And the multiple uses of what they offer has gained much attention in the market. However, it’s not new about the demand for goat products. It has been known especially since the beginning of the 1900s, and its introduction in North America during the 16th century.
In general, cow’s milk is known as preferable drinking milk. But dairy goats have their own consumers which increases their dairy value.
As the demand from a niche market of goat milk consumption rises, you should not hesitate to consider commercial production through raising dairy goats.
As our topic completely lingers around dairy goats and specifically raising them, let’s right away get into it.
Raising dairy goats for milk
Goats are considered to be very friendly and adaptable. In fact, it’s easy to raise goats. But as we talk of dairy goat farming, the process needs to appropriate care and understanding.
Simpler, and basic following of some important things can ensure good profit once you sell your breed’s milk in the market.
So, to raise goats let’s take a look at some of the major aspects that should be taken care of.
Selecting the breed
There are standard breeds of dairy goats that can really give you a good start.
As the purpose will be primarily to produce milk, the milking ability of the breeds should be the concern. It depends upon the amount of milk daily produced, and the period till its next breeding.
There are a lot of breeds in dairy goat farming, but only some of them are commonly used because of their high milk supply and quality. As we have already gone through the major breeds, understanding them with regards to your business plan can encourage high yield.
Other breeds like Toggenburgs, Oberhalsis, Girgentana, Guernsey, British alpine, Garganica, Appenzell goat, etc are also high-quality breeds that can promise you high milk productivity.
Housing and sheltering your goats
A strong three-sided structure is basic to goats housing. Now, the other aspects come with the facilities you want to provide in terms of the milking process. Therefore, milking stands should be mandatory.
It’s better to have a small isolated cover at the nook of your shed. This could help in serving pregnant goats.
Fill the flooring with straw or waste grasses thickly. This would add a layer for comfort. Most goats or the kids are playful in nature, there are chancing that they might jump around carelessly. Therefore good fencing can ensure the strength of the housing. Wiring over 5 feet high can keep your dairy goats well within the shed.
Feeding your dairy goats
For a definitely good outcome, the core aspect is to serve your goats with a fulfilled nutritional diet.
Dairy goats must be provided with ample free feeding of hay and grasses. With regards to most of the cattle, when there’s a lack of pasture, hays play a major role as feed.
If you prefer to let your goats forage make sure that the pasture is free of any toxic plants.
Other than these general feeding, alfalfa, grasses, cereals, oats, corns, wheat, and barley are a major source of minerals. This will ensure fertility and weight in the goats. A formulated feed with a good amount of protein and amino acid is good supplemental food for a balanced diet.
Above all, water is the crucial source of energy for goats or any other cattle. Make sure the pregnant goats are given ample water with the required temperature as per the season.
A good mix of fodder involving protein, vitamins, minerals, and energy is essential for quality milk production.
Doe and baby goats
You are free to breed your doe when she is around 9 to 10 months old. Certain signs like consistent bleating, urinating more than often, swollen vulva, the flagging tail could help you know when the doe is pregnant.
Does give birth to their kid in 150 days after conceiving.
Ensure impeccably, and tender care of the doe. Feed her accurately with ample food supply and a good amount of freshwater. Make sure that she has a secluded place away from the noise. Look for signs on a regular basis.
After the birth, clean the kids, and disinfect the cord with iodine. Prepare warm bedding for the kids and the doe. Colostrum, the first milk should be necessarily served to the kids through the doe’s teat.
As goats can provide ample milk you need, it’s a fair choice t let the doe feed the kids herself.
Dairy goats should be necessarily milked twice a day with a 12-hour gap. If the doe is milked continuously she can lactate for around 10 months.
There are some basic proceedings while milking.
- Feed your doe during the milking process. Wash the udder with warm water and clean it delicately till it dries for ensuring clean milk. Both sides of the udder must be milked otherwise you may miss the fat content.
- Remember that just how it’s important to have fresh milk in a household, similarly it’s important to keep its quality alive while selling it in the market.
- Once the milking is done, cooling is crucial. Make sure the milk is placed in a clean surrounding. This is done to remove the heat away from the milk before placing it in the refrigerator.
- However, these aspects may not give you a broader perspective to raise dairy goats but definitely will help you in a good start.
Make sure that no compromises are made in terms of a high-quality yield. That’s means a good feeding, and a comfortable environment for your dairy breeds.
Major dairy goat breeds
Some of the best dairy goats for producing milk are listed below
Medium to large in size, This breed is well known for its high milk productivity, at the same time ensuring good quality. Alpines are very much adaptable to any conditions with producing milk of up to two gallons per day.
They are considered among the list of top milk-producing goat breeds. Alpine milk has high nutritional values, and they are also easy to handle.
They are mostly white in color. Their color represents milk productivity too with most farmers gaining success raising Saanen. They are one of the largest used goats in milk production after Alpines.
Sannen can be recognized by their especially erect ears and easy-going temperament. they can serve up to 2 gallons a day.
A mixed origin of Asia, Africa, and Europe, Nubian goats have high milk productivity by providing almost 2 gallons per day.
Although they are loud and large in size, Nubians are quite playful. Relatively the goat might produce less milk, but they are known for its protein-rich quality.
Don’t fall for their name as they are known as the finest goats with high milk supply. You can gain up to a quarter in one milking process. They have their origin from West Africa and later developed in America.
They are also very playful and can be easily accommodated due to their small size.
La Mancha goats
They might be last in the list here, but not at all the least milk suppliers.
La Mancha is an American developed breed with milk production up to 2 gallons on an average. Beyond all, they can stay in extreme conditions as well as yield good supply. Also known for their friendly temperament La Mancha is especially known for its high butterfat content.
let’s consider a few points before raising dairy goats:
- Buy goats rather than just having a single one, to begin with. You can have two does or a doe and a buck.
- Make sure you have a good budget for a shelter. Sometimes farmers just underestimate that aspect. goats can be a little feisty and playful. Hence, ensure tight fencing.
- Access to a good veterinarian more than important. Regular visits or medication can help to ensure the health of your goat.
- You can try to visit a neighboring farm to know how dairy goats are actually kept and managed. It will give an idea of how to set up your own farm for the right breeds.
- Don’t go for the business if you don’t like goats or hate goat milk. Loving what you do, as we all know, is the base to success.
- Create a business plan in your head systematically. Have a research on what kind of breed will provide you ample milk supply, and the market you are targeting with respect to the location or region.
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Farm Animals Guide
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