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Old 12-31-2012, 12:10 PM   #11
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Re: Goats/cows for milk...

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If you haven't had goat milk, buy some from the store before you get any goats. IMO I don't like the taste of goats milk. It's very " gamey" tasting to me. We buy local raw milk from a farm.
Nooooo! Goat milk from the store is nasty. It's handled and therefore shook to much. The best advice I can give you is to try the milk from the goat you want to buy. Or at least get fresh milk from a farm. My Nigerian Dwarf Goat gives milk that tastes like half and half if I milk her early in the morning. If I'm late getting to her it tastes like whole milk but a bit sweeter.

The nice thing about goat milk is that it is naturally homogenized so it won't separate much sitting in the fridge like raw cow milk does.

A well-bred doe can easily give you a gallon or two a day depending on her breed and how you manage her. F.e. feeding, how many times a day you milk, and whether or not you pull the kids.

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Old 12-31-2012, 02:49 PM   #12
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Re: Goats/cows for milk...

First goats milk from the store is NOTHING like fresh, raw goats milk. So I wouldn't suggest that.

Ok so we have two goats that we milk and are getting ready to get set up for a full dairy. I have a lot of milking friends so this may be long. (Sorry!)

First, how much land do you have? You need to think of how you will feed them. If you have enough fenced in area for grass then you may be able to do a cow, however if not a goat would be best because they eat less. Also are you doing grass fed? Our goats are grass fed therefore they will need more grass than grain fed (that is up to you to decide which is best).

In your fenced in area you need to keep an eye on what weeds are growing. Some weeks will make your milk taste off. We walk around often just to make sure. Also, when it is time to breed are you going to buy a buck/bull or going to take it somewhere? If you have goats and keep them near your milk goats later down the road your milk will taste more "gamey". We take our girls to be breed and wow they smell when they come home

So now let's discuss costs. You can get a good fresh goat from less than $200, however a cow is going to be a lot more! If you are not sure if you will stick to it then goats are best. You also can looking to mini cows (like a mini jersey) but they are even more money than a standard breed! But, they eat less grass... On top of the cost of the animal you need to think of hay, feed (if you decided on it) costs, and breeding costs because they will have to be breed.

Also are you wanting the cream? I'm able to make cheese with my goats milk, but not butter. The cream never separates out. I have heard some do, but I haven't seen in it in any of the breeds they say it is common in?

How are you going to milk? Hand, machine? It takes a lot longer to milk by hand a cow, you get a lot more milk. If not the equipment is going to cost you. By hand I can milk my goat out pretty quickly. I do have to have a stand. My 5 year old son was able to go out and milk the goats by hand (just careful they don't tip the bucket). But, they are small enough for the kids to handle and it makes it fun!!

Now after we have the milk I strain it, put it in a mason jar and mark the amount and date. That's it. That is all we would do for our consumption of milk. I feel when you boil it you are getting rid of all the good stuff. If you know you have healthy stock and they are eating right then I wouldn't do that (personal decision).

Finally, goats make great pets for kids. My kids love going out and snuggling the goats, they follow them around like watch dogs, and aren't big enough to knock them down and hurt them. You want an animal that is going to be friendly and not require a ton of training when you start out. Also, a goat doesn't have to be milked twice a day. It just has to be consistent. We did twice a day until this fall and then we went down to morning only. We could have also built her back up if we wanted (supply demand like humans). But, her production did drop off. She is bred now and we will let the baby nurse for two weeks before doing once a day milking and the baby on the morning. Everyone has a different way to milking. We go for a more natural method.

But overall you need to think of what you want, how committed, how much area you have, how much money you want to invest, and how much milk you want! Goat milk does taste a little different, but after a while you won't notice
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:53 PM   #13
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Re: Goats/cows for milk...

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We have Nigerian Dwarf goats and plan on milking after babies in March. They are small dairy goats and perfect for a family wanting to milk.
This is my mom! She just three, two does (one for us- we will get the milk. How awesome is this! We haven't had goats milk in a long time ), and then a buck.

They are pretty cute, too
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:31 PM   #14
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Re: Goats/cows for milk...

Wow! Thank you ladies for all the wonderful information! I'm going to pass all this on to hubby so we can make a decision.

The goat sounds more up our alley. I've heard about drinking raw milk, but wasn't sure if it was safe or not. I've read that people who have milk allergies can drink raw milk with no problem.

Right now, we're on a little over an acre, but, Lord willing, we will be relocating some time this year. We're looking to get at least 5-10 acres minimum.

Are all goats docile? I have 3 small girls, from 21 months -9yrs old and they LOVE animals. I think it's such a wonderful experience for them to take part in caring for their animals
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:22 AM   #15
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Re: Goats/cows for milk...

If you don't like goat milk and a full-sized cow would give too much milk, you could look at mini cows. I've looked at Dexter cows before. They're dual purpose (meat/milk) and about half the size of a standard cow.

In fact, I'm seriously considering a mini cow for us. She would have to be kept "in-milk", so she'd have a calf by her side every year. Then, when the calf is big enough, you have him butchered and put the meat in your freezer.

Just what we've been thinking here!
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:23 AM   #16
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Re: Goats/cows for milk...

Not all goats are docile and some will try to but you. Therefore when we were first looking we made sure ours were friendly. Goats that are milked are *usually* more friendly because you mess with them all the time We do have one that is always getting out of our fence and it's a running joke with our friends in the neighborhood.

Also if a child has an allergy they are allergic to the protein, the protein is in the milk even if it is RAW. However, if it is lactose intollerance they will do better with RAW milk and goats milks protein gobules are more easily digested.

Now that I say this my husband and I are thinking of expanding production and starting a small dairy where we sell cow shares. We are looking at 10 head to start with. It becomes addicting!
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:32 AM   #17
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Re: Goats/cows for milk...

As with all animals it depends on how they are handled. My goats were a little flighty when I got them, because no one had touched the mama since before she kidded, but they settled down after I handled them more. The doe I milk can still be a pill on the milk stand and if she was as big as a cow there would be no way I could handle her on her off days much less want my children around her, but since she is small, it isn't a big deal. My 4 year old can milk her even when she's being a snot.

So maybe the question to ask is how involved do your kids want to be with this? If they want to be very involved a goat or an experienced cow would be what you need.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:09 AM   #18
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Re: Goats/cows for milk...

from what we have learned, that icky taste from goat milk is due to not being refrigerators quick enough. as for cow milk, our farm that we buy our raw milk from actually milk s their cows only one time a day for the last 15yrs. better and healthier milk and cows from what he has discovered.
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:05 PM   #19
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Re: Goats/cows for milk...

I have 2 dairy goats, that I milk twice daily by hand. We drink their milk raw. You can't judge goatmilk on the " stuff" you buy at the store, which is absolutely though babies don't seem to mind our 2nd son drank alot.
If the goats are fed good hay and grain,you use proper santitation of your equipment, handle the milk properly(chill quick and keep cold) and drink the milk fresh (within 24hours). You can not taste the difference between cow and goat milk. We have had several 5-6 different families try it and they all agree.
If you heat it up especially after the 24h window, you will notice the goat flavor. I have used it in baking and pancakes without this problem.
goats are easier to keep than cows-simply because of their size.
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:09 AM   #20
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Re: Goats/cows for milk...

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I have 2 dairy goats, that I milk twice daily by hand. We drink their milk raw. You can't judge goatmilk on the " stuff" you buy at the store, which is absolutely though babies don't seem to mind our 2nd son drank alot.
If the goats are fed good hay and grain,you use proper santitation of your equipment, handle the milk properly(chill quick and keep cold) and drink the milk fresh (within 24hours). You can not taste the difference between cow and goat milk. We have had several 5-6 different families try it and they all agree.
If you heat it up especially after the 24h window, you will notice the goat flavor. I have used it in baking and pancakes without this problem.
goats are easier to keep than cows-simply because of their size.
Totally agree! I won't drink goat milk from the store, it is so gross. We have a small herd of Nubian goats and we drink fresh, raw milk from our does. My oldest claims to not like any milk product from the store (also doesn't like creamy sauces cause they taste milky) but she loves goat milk from our goats. It is really all in how well the milk is handled and also how clean it is. Our milk has always just tasted like wonderfully creamy, clean tasting milk.

Goats are a ton of work but so worth it to us. Our girls are such sweeties and taking care of them in the mornings actually turned me into a morning person
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