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Many small farms or properties that have enough space for a few animals. This makes the perfect setting for milking goats. Goat’s milk offers several excellent attributes and taking care of goats is relatively low maintenance compared to cows. Of course, this will depend on getting the right breed of goat to start with so you can begin your adventure into proper goat milking.
Milking Goats Breeds
There are at least 18 breeds of goats that provide good milk to consume and to make cheeses. If you are considering purchasing some goats for your farm or property, here are some of the breeds that create the best milk for your needs.
- Alpine: Sometimes called French Alpine Goats
- Guernsey: Gold in color, small goat that cannot be imported to the US
- LaMancha: Spanish goats with relatively high concentrations of fat in the milk.
- Oberhasli: Produces sweet milk, but not the year-round
- Nigerian Dwarf: Short legs, but produces high-fat milk that is tasty
- Nubian: Up to 5% fat in the milk which it can produce year-round
- Saanen: Large goats, low fat milk, and domesticated
- Sable: Variation of the Saanen, big goats that produce lots of milk
- Toggenburg: One of the oldest breeds of goats and produces low fat milk
You can start with any of these goats as they are perfect for most farms and small properties. The goats themselves need shelter and feed every day, but they will manage well if paired up properly. Female goats and castrated male goats are generally calm and will not chew up all the metal on your property contrary to what you see in the movies. However, male goats that are not castrated can get a little aggressive at times and
may even head butt you occasionally, but they can be handled reasonably well.
Now that you have the right goats, the next step is getting to the milking
process. The good news is that starting the process is simple enough, but you may have to wait a while.
How to Get a Goat to Milk
The only way that you can get a female goat or doe to produce milk is to get them pregnant. Once she has delivered her first baby or kid, she will start producing milk over the next year. Most goats give birth in the spring and they will get pregnant again in the fall. Once the kids are 8 weeks old, they are mature enough to sell and you can keep milking the goat for the rest of the year.
You can even milk a pregnant goat, but it is recommended that you lay off milking them for at least two months so that they can build up the nutritional elements needed. So, you can start milking the goats after they have given birth and keep on milking them until the end of the year. Once the new year comes around, it is advised that you do not milk them until they have given birth again. Be sure to store up some milk for the winter months and you’ll have plenty to go around for your needs.