Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Why We Drink Goat's Milk!

First off its Sooooo Good!!! But really here is the why and how we got started on goats milk... We started almost 8 years ago my mom was reading up on different animals that she could care for that would be small enough for her to manage by herself. She started looking at Boer Meat goats... Well Her and I would talk about it discussing the pros and cons.. She brought home Polly and Simon... Two bottle babies from the Sale Barn. Word of Warning to anyone looking at goats unless you are experienced at caring for them DON'T BUY FROM THE SALE BARN!!! She almost lost these guys several times due to Parasites and other things. It was awful But they did grow up and get better. Lots of time and $$ went into them though..
Anyway Simon was a Boer Buck and Polly was a Nubian Doe... She then purchased several Boer does and had a Little herd... Polly was for extra milk if there were bottle babies and for milk to drink...
So all this got me interested.. I started reading about the dairy goats more. I fell in Love with the Nubian's!! They are so cute and come in all different colors. I said I would never have those No-eared Goats!! Yes we now have 3!!
So I started working on their pen.. Well My mom on one of her goat buying trips found a set of Twin Nubian does!! That is were Sunshine came from. I was feeding bottle babies for my mom and she gave me one of the twins for my birthday and the other for feeding all the bottle babies for her... She started an addiction for me!lol
Around the same time we found out that Kara has Hashimotos disease or better described as a Hypothyroidism with a goiter. We also found out later her twin, Kyla also has it.. So I looked it up in my Prescription for Natural Healing book and one of the things they recommended was raw milk among other things. Well You cant get a better raw milk than goat's milk.. Its Naturally homogenized and easier for humans to digest because its closer to our PH balance. Your body doesn't have to work so hard at digesting Goat's Milk. I don't pasteurize our milk either.. When You do that it destroys all the good bacteria and enzymes you need from the milk. If the milking is done right there is very little Bad bacteria in it.
Raw cow's milk is better for you than store bought milk but with in 24 hours the enzymes start dying off by half and its down hill from there. Goats milk its 2-3 days before that starts happening. Since it is Naturally homogenized it is hard to separate the cream to make things like butter.
Its also good if you have ulcers or other stomach problems. Since the Ph is closer to human PH than it will help neutralize acid in your digestive system. It wont completely cure it unless you drink just goats milk I would never recommend some one just drink milk like that. I think diets that exclude all but certain foods is wrong because our body needs the variety of nutrients available in different foods. Especially raw foods whether its raw fruits and veggies or raw milk... I will have to say raw meat to me IS so very wrong!Lol I only like slightly rare steak!
Anyway back to milk.... It took us a while to get use to the ideal of raw milk. Because once you are use to store bought it does taste different. I was a kid the last time I had raw milk. But we did water it down some to help with that. The kids just drank it and had no problem.... So then we got use to drinking the goats milk and when it was time to dry them up so they could have their babies... Well we went back to store bought milk Briefly.. It tasted salty and watery to us. A gallon of milk would sit int he frig for over a week... The fresh milk does Not sit there for any length of time.. I thought 2 goats would provide us with enough milk and a little extra..
Welll I know have 7 milk goats.. Of course 3 of those will be first fresheners this next spring. Two goats provide enough for us to drink but I rarely have enough to make cheese and I want some to make yogurt and other cheeses. So that's why we now have more goats!
Now for selling the milk. I was told when I first got goats that you could only sell it as pet milk.. So I started searching for Milk regulations here in Missouri.. You can sell it from the farm or deliver directly to the customer. But you cannot sell it to a store, restaurant or any other distribution center. It has to go directly to the customer. So I can sell the extra I have! And I do sell it I usually have more customers than milk. Last spring I was feeding as many as 12 bottle babies a day. I had to add to the milk I was getting to make it go far enough. Then When they were finally weaned I had a couple of customers and more people wanting the milk. But I had to make sure we had milk first.
Since we have moved I have one family who say they will be a customer when I have milk. Hopefully I will have enough milk to make cheese and yogurt too. I really don't have a problem finding customers. They usually find me. Now for the price I am not the cheapest on the milk but I am also not the most expensive.. Some people charge as little as $3 a gallon and some as much as $10-15 a gallon. I am not in this for the money but it does help with the cost of caring for the goats.
The amount of milk we get is good. Goats produce more milk per pound of body weight than cows.. You can keep 6 goats to One cow.. That's why they make great homestead animals for smaller properties..
Most of my goats give at least a half gallon a day on average and that is being milked once a day and feeding babies. Most of them give more than that at peak. April, my oldest goat will give a gallon and a half at peak. She is 6 years old now. Sunshine is my steady always milking the same but she peaks at about 3/4 of a gallon and gives a steady half gallon till time to dry up. The Lamancha babies we got this year some of their grandmas and mommas milk out 2 gallons a day. That's being milked twice a day. So I have great hopes for them to be great producers.
The last 7 years have definitely been a learning process. I have lost some babies and almost lost older goats to parasites. They are a goat's worse enemy especially in wet and humid areas. Trying to figure out what works for us and I think I finally have a slight handle on it. Lol Of course with goats you never know they live to keep you on your toes..
This is turning into a long post and there is so much more I could post about goats! Like what I feed. Worming regimen, how I care for babies and the list goes on and on!! Some peoples eyes tend to glaze over when I start on goats!. Thank God For Goaty Friends!!!

Oh and this is Ethel!!! When she was first born.. She is a grand baby to the first goats my mom bought, Simon and Polly. Her momma, Dottie, was their baby. We still have Dottie and Ethel. Polly died birthing quads her third freshening.. My mom had to sell her herd a couple of years ago. It was hard on all of us! But these 2 have a permanent home here with us!


Bil said...

Thanks for this great post! I hope you continue to talk about worming, care for babies, etc. I'm sure there are many that would love to hear it.

We raise alpacas but have been considering adding a few dairy goats just for us. Trying to learn as much as possible!


~Tonia said...

Thank you dont worry I will talk about those subjects! Dairy goats are great. One thing I forgot to add as another by-product is the meat from the wethers. You dont sell as many bucks so we wether them and raise for meat.

Jenny said...

I find it funny how many people ask if we drink the milk when I say that I milk our goats. Like I'm just doing it for the fun of it? I milk once a day also. One Nubian and one LaMancha. When I started reading about milk in the store and pasteurization and other things, I couldn't wait to get my family onto the raw goat's milk. This is our first year with babies from our goats. We're selling our bucklings this year, but we have talked about keeping the extras for meat next year. How long do you keep them before butchering? I have no problem eating our chickens and pigs, but have a hard time thinking about eating our kids. I'm trying to get myself more open to the idea, though.

~Tonia said...

Usually the wethers are such a pain that you are ready for them to go the processors!! I had one that would jump 5 ft fences like a deer.. He made great Cheeseburgers!
We usually butcher between 9 months to a little over a year old. We got as much meat from a Dairy wether as a Meat wether. Dairy goats have finer bones but can carry the same amount of muscle.
I use the meat in place of Burger. Makes great tacos, burgers, chili and meatloaf food of that type. Excellent BBQ!
I just see it as you can afford to keep them, you know they are treated well till the end of their days. You can make sure of that this way.

Providence Acres Farm said...

Interesting post! I have wanted a small herd of milk goats for years, just have not arrived there yet. Lots of info here!

tree ocean said...

Great post! I have bought all but one of mine from the sale barn. One was an adult-the others kids. Because of the stress a lot of them got very sick with cocci-electrolytes are expensive! So unless you have experience nursing animals, sale barns are not the way to go, I agree, and you don't know their history, either...still, I like the sale barns! heheheh

~Tonia said...

Sale barn babies are not for the new inexperienced goat owner. I like to know history on mine too. SO other then the very first ones my mom bought I have not bought from the sale barn.
Oh and a book that helped me big time was Storeys Guide to Raising Dairy Goats!! It had instruction for delivering tangled kids and I had to do that was able to know what to do... Plus lots of other things!!

~Tonia said...

Oh and on the electrolytes... You can use Children's pedialyte or there is some homemade electrolyte recipes. I have made it up before and it worked just as well... Saves $$ and sometimes it will save you time if you need it right then and have the stuff on hand.

Deborah said...

Love the post. I too have a few dairy goats that I love and keep learning lessons from. Actually one in your blog photo looks just like my Amber. We have just recently visited a sale barn since moving to our farm. Was an experience! Looking for more Nubians but will try to find from owners that you can talk to. Keeping sharing about your goats, it is one of my favorite subjects, among many. My eyes glaze over but due to joy not boredom.

Linda said...

Great post! Interesting how you got into goats...

Btw, I am here because Blossom over at North Laurel Home & School has you on her list of Great Blogs and Posts by Others! Of course, I follow anyways!!!