The domestic goat or simply goat Capra aegagrus hircus is a subspecies of C. The goat is a member of the animal family Bovidae and the subfamily Caprinaemeaning it is closely related to the sheep. There are over distinct breeds of goat. Female goats are referred to as does or nanniesintact males are called bucks or billies and juvenile goats of both sexes are called kids. Castrated males are called wethers. While the words hircine and caprine both refer to anything having a goat-like quality, hircine is used most often to emphasize the distinct smell of domestic goats.
Inthere were more than million goats living in the world, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Nanny goat females originated in the 18th century and billy goat for males in the 19th. Goats are among the earliest animals domesticated by humans. Neolithic farmers began to herd wild goats primarily for easy access to milk and meat, as well as to their dung, which was used as fuel, and their bones, hair and sinew for clothing, building and tools.
Historically, goat hide has been used for water and wine bottles in both traveling and transporting wine for sale. It has also been used to produce parchment. Most goats naturally have two hornsof various shapes and sizes depending on the breed.
Unlike cattle, goats have not been successfully bred to be reliably polledas the genes determining sex and those determining horns are closely linked.
Breeding together two genetically polled goats results in a high number of intersex individuals among the offspring, which are typically sterile. Goats are ruminants. They have a four-chambered stomach consisting of the rumenthe reticulumthe omasumand the abomasum. As with other mammal ruminants, they are even-toed ungulates. The females have an udder consisting of two teats, in contrast to cattle, which have four teats. Goats have horizontal, slit-shaped pupils.How To Milk A Goat!
Because goats' irises are usually pale, their contrasting pupils are much more noticeable than in animals such as cattle, deer, most horses and many sheep, whose similarly horizontal pupils blend into a dark iris and sclera. Both male and female goats have beards, and many types of goat most commonly dairy goats, dairy-cross Boersand pygmy goats may have wattlesone dangling from each side of the neck. The allele which codes for this pattern is located at the agouti locus of the goat genome.
It is completely dominant to all other alleles at this locus. There are multiple modifier genes which control how much tan pigment is actually expressed, so a tan-patterned goat can have a coat ranging from pure white to deep red.
Goats reach puberty between three and 15 months of age, depending on breed and nutritional status. However, this separation is rarely possible in extensively managed, open-range herds. In temperate climates and among the Swiss breeds, the breeding season commences as the day length shortens, and ends in early spring or before. In equatorial regions, goats are able to breed at any time of the year.
Successful breeding in these regions depends more on available forage than on day length.
Does of any breed or region come into estrus heat every 21 days for two to 48 hours. A doe in heat typically flags vigorously wags her tail often, stays near the buck if one is present, becomes more vocal, and may also show a decrease in appetite and milk production for the duration of the heat.
A Simple Guide to Raising & Milking Goats
Bucks intact males of Swiss and northern breeds come into rut in the fall as with the does' heat cycles. Bucks of equatorial breeds may show seasonal reduced fertility, but as with the does, are capable of breeding at all times. Rut is characterized by a decrease in appetite and obsessive interest in the does.
Some does will not mate with a buck which has been descented. In addition to natural, traditional mating, artificial insemination has gained popularity among goat breedersas it allows easy access to a wide variety of bloodlines. Gestation length is approximately days. Twins are the usual result, with single and triplet births also common.Interested in learning more about dairy goat breeds? Here are the top 5 dairy goats for small homesteads!
Next to chickens, goats are the most common animal added to a small or urban homestead. They have the ability to provide you with milk, meat and fiber depending on the breed you choose. Today I am going to focus on the 5 best dairy goat breeds for the small farm or homestead.
It is one of the top choices for those homesteading on a small piece of land. They can give from quarts a day- which is pretty impressive considering they are only around 18 inches in height! That means their milk is very creamy and makes delicious cheese, ice cream and yogurt.
Because of their size they make great goats for kids as well as those in a more urban setting. Nubians are a medium to large sized goat with adorable cute floppy ears. They come in a wide variety of colors and patterns and have the ability to produce up to 2 gallons a day, with the average being closer to 1 gallon a day. Nubians are my personal favorites!
Alpines originated in France and are a steady, dependable goat. They are medium to large in size and are very consistent milk producers with one of the longest lactation cycles.
Alpines come in almost any color imaginable and are adaptable to almost any climate. The average size of an Alpine doe is lbs. LaManchas are a medium sized goat that are most easily recognized by their lack of ears! They have a friendly, easy going temperament and are very hardy animals. Saanens are the largest of the dairy breeds and are often considered the Holstein of the dairy goats.
Saanens can produce a lot of milk- up to 3 gallons per day- with an average production closer to 1. While they do produce a lot of milk the butterfat content is low compared to some of the other breeds. These girls are big, so you will need to make sure you have enough of a pasture for them to stretch their legs in and a fence strong enough to withstand a larger weight.
Saanens are usually all white in color and very mild mannered. This is the breed we started with- on a 1 acre lot in a subdivision! Related Reading: 5 Overlooked Goat Breeds.
Each breed is a little bit different. If you are very short on space or only need enough milk for fresh drinking, Nigerians might be the best way to go. If you need a large quantity of milk to make yogurt, buttermilk, cheese, soap or just to feed a large family you will probably want to go with one of the standard breeds.Learn about the benefits of goat milk and the value dairy goats provide to the homestead.
Whether your property is one acre or several hundred, sloping or flat, crowded with brush or completely forested, you can still raise dairy goats for milk. Two goats will produce enough quality fresh milk — with each doe averaging 3 quarts a day for 10 months — to feed your family all year.
Add a few more goats and you'll have enough milk for making cheese, yogurt and even ice cream. Goat milk ice cream? Some of you might be raising your eyebrows right now because you've heard goat milk tastes funny. We could blame the funny-taste fallacy on a conspiracy concocted by those comical Far Side cows. But more likely it is because someone kept the buck among the herd, especially at milking time. A buck can be quite odoriferous, and his strong, musky scent can permeate the milk.
The fact is, properly collected goat milk tastes just as good as cow milk. Some people believe it tastes better. Gail's friend bought a carton of cow's milk from the store for her visiting brother. After he emptied the carton, his sister refilled it with fresh goat milk. The scenario continued until a week later, when he noticed the carton looked a bit worn around the edges. She admitted he'd been drinking goat milk all week. He became an instant convert.
More of the world's people consume goat milk than cow milk. Goats are hardy animals: They adapt well to heat and cold, productively forage and graze, require little space, and are inexpensive to keep. Since mature does females usually weigh between and pounds dwarf breeds can weigh between 35 and 85 poundsthey're much easier to handle than hefty cows, which can weigh 1, pounds each.
Goats may surprise you in other ways, as well. They're highly intelligent, remarkably friendly creatures. And, since they're active, extremely agile and very curious, their antics can amuse you for hours.
With all that in mind, it's easy to see why dairy goats can be the ideal addition to today's family farm or homestead. There are more than different goat breeds worldwide; six primary breeds dominate the dairy goat arena: Alpines, Oberhaslis, Saanens, Toggenburgs, LaManchas and Nubians. While all breeds generally do well in most of the country, the first four breeds listed are well-suited to cooler climates since their origins can be traced to Swiss mountain regions.Goat is one of the most popular animals for milk and meat production.
For this and many other reasons, the demand for goat milk is higher than ever. When looking for a good goat for producing milk, goats must be able to produce a lot of milk. These goats derive from the French Alps, so they are also often called French Alpine goats. The Alpine goat can produce 1 — 2 gallons of milk again. The average about of fat in the milk is 3. This milk is used to make many thick substances made from milk, such as butter, cheese, and ice cream. LaMancha goats are not only great for milk, but they are also friendly.
These goats have a great personality. They can also be raised in America. However, these goats originate from Spain. Their milk has 4. They can produce. The Nubian goats have long, floppy ears, and they are the largest of the dairy goats. Because these goats weigh more and have more meat, they can also be used for meat. Saanen is the biggest dairy breed.
Males can grow to be over pounds. They can have 1 gallon of milk every day. This milk will generally contain 2.
These goats can be used as pets and used for meat production as well.Reading Time: 11 minutes. There are many good reasons for raising dairy goats, and this article is the best place to start for more information about the best goats for milk. Maybe your children are looking for a 4-H project.
Some people would like to start a home business based on goat milk. But the reason is important because to a great degree, that will determine how you will raise them, and how you should get started. Put your goat milk to good use with our easy recipes for home dairy delights your whole family will love!
Learn how to make yogurt, churn butter, make ricotta in slow cooker, make mozzarella cheese in seven easy steps, and so much more! Therefore, our goal will be to help you explore the possibilities. But only you can decide why you want to raise them, and therefore how much time, money, effort, study and sheer dedication you will allot to the enterprise. Even if you have never met a goat in person, you probably know, from pictures and reading, that they are friendly, docile, curious and intelligent.
And of course, they produce rich, delicious milk. The main reason is that most goats will produce a lot of milk — often a gallon or more per day — soon after kidding. After that peak, production declines, sometimes slowly, sometimes not so slowly. A good goat should produce for months of the year, although the last part of the lactation milking period might only amount to a few cups a day.
A not-so-good goat might only produce for a couple of months before going dry. While there are hundreds of breeds of goats throughout the world, only eight are generally recognized as dairy breeds in the United States and thus the best goats for milk. The most popular is the Nubian goat. More on that in a moment. Saanen goats have a reputation for being the best milk producers, but with the lowest butterfat production.
Again, please reserve judgment for a moment. Sables are Saanens that are not all white or light cream. Like Saanens, their ears are erect but their face may be straight or dished. One of the easiest breeds to identify is the LaMancha, which often appears to be earless.
The ears are very short. LaMancha goats can be any color or combination, and are generally considered to be fine dairy animals. Toggenburgs are easily identified by their color pattern, which is always a shade of brown with white markings, most notably stripes on the face. The common generalization is that Toggs have long lactations but with butterfat on the low side.
Alpine goats come in the whole spectrum of goat colors and patterns, which the official breed standard describes in great detail.
Raising Dairy Goats and the Benefits of Goat Milk
Less common is the Oberhasli. These are bay-colored, or reddish-brown, accented with black markings. And finally, the Nigerian Dwarf. Goats of any breed and either sex can have horns. There is no best breed. There is far more variation among animals of the same breed than there is between one breed and another. Some Nubians produce much more milk than some Saanens. Some Saanens produce more butterfat than some Nubians.Sure, cow's milk is the standard "drinking milk," but goat's milk enjoys a niche market for certain consumers.
It's easier to digest and some folks with dairy sensitivities can consume it safely. Goats are hardy animals that are easy to keep. They forage well on less-than-ideal pasture for cattle and are inexpensive to keep. They're much smaller and easier to handle than cows. And as highly intelligent, friendly farm animals, they're a good animal to have around. They're also agile and curious, which can make for some fun goat-watching as well as some trying times you will need good fencing.
The first step to raising dairy goats for milk is to learn about the different standard dairy goat breeds. Although there are hundreds of goat breedsonly a handful are commonly used for dairy goats. Alpines, Saanens, Oberhalsis, and Toggenburgs all originated in the Swiss mountains and are very adaptable to cooler climates and less-than-perfect conditions.
How to Raise Dairy Goats for Milk
LaMancha and Nubian goats have more tropical origins and do well in hot summers. Dairy goats need a clean, dry place that's free of drafts. If you will be kidding over winter, you'll need a barn that's warm and enclosed.
Providing plenty of forage for your goats is key to a happy, healthy herd. And you will need to make sure that you have extra sturdy, probably electric reinforced, fencing for your goats.
Goats do best on a foundation of good forage: woods, shrubs, and grasses for them to roam on and eat to their heart's content. Free feeding a high-quality hay is also a common practice, and if you have seasons where fresh forage won't be available, hay will be your mainstay feed for these times.
There are some tips and tricks to keeping goats well-fed, so be sure to learn the details of feeding goats properly. Make sure your goat forage area is free of any plants that may be toxic to goats.
Checking with your county extension agent can help you figure out if you have any of these on your land. Managing your herd means keeping them free of diseases and illnesses. The saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is very true when it comes to goats. It's a lot easier to keep them healthy than to heal them once they're ill.
Learn the basics and what to look for when they're sick - and when to head to a vet. Your does will need to be bred once a year. Does should be 8 months old or at least 80 pounds unless a small breed before being bred. Typically, does are bred in the fall. Does come into heat for three days every 17 to 21 days. Keep does separated from your buck until they come into heat.
And once bred, they should be separated again, or the milk may taste off. Kidding, or giving birth, typically happens about days after breeding. Does often have twins and sometimes triplets. After birth, the doe will freshen, or begin to produce milk. If she is continuously milked, she will lactate for up to 10 months. Does should be allowed to dry up for at least two months after a run of milk production before being bred again.Sorry, you're either currently a non-member or your membership has expired.
Would you like to renew your membership? For thousands of years, goats have been used for their milk, meat, hair, and skins over much of the world. An ideal family dairy animal, the dairy goat is easily handled and can be kept on small parcels of land. It is alert, intelligent, socially inclined and affectionate.
A loving and loved animal, it returns the cost of its feed in a valuable and healthful food product.
An aspect of the dairy goat industry that is steadily increasing is the modern commercial dairy. Goat milk is fresh, raw or pasteurized, condensed and dried. Grocery stores and specialty shops offer gourmet cheese and ice creams made of goat milk, as well as body care products such as soaps and lotions. There is no perceptible difference between the flavor of properly handled goat milk and that of cow milk. Goat milk is whiter than whole cow milk. Butter and cheese made from goat milk are also white, but may be colored during processing.
A Beginner’s Guide to the Best Goats for Milk
Goat milk is delicious, nutritious and wholesome. It may not be a miracle food, but it does have distinct characteristics that make it beneficial.
Those who are allergic to cow milk may tolerate and thrive on goat milk. Goat milk is used for drinking, cooking and baking. It is used to make cheese, butter, ice cream, yogurt and body products. Goat milk is naturally emulsified.
Cream does not rise readily, but can be obtained with a mechanical separator. The meat of the goat is chevon or cabrito. It can be barbecued, baked, fried, broiled or stewed. Goat leather is soft and fine grained when well cured. It is used to make many kinds of quality leather items.