Oh and in my case there is that other great bonus…. I have dairy goats. So I get fabulous, super rich and creamy, fresh milk every day. After drinking just fresh goat’s milk for a week and then trying whole, store bought cow’s milk, my kid’s thought the whole cow’s milk was watered down because it simply can’t compare to the goodness of fresh goat’s milk.
Before any of y’all get on an “Ick Kick” let me dispel a few myths for you. Goat’s milk is not nasty. I’m still trying to figure out how on earth it got a less savory rep, but goat’s milk from healthy, well fed goats is FANTASTIC. The key to great goat’s milk is proper care and nutrition and extremely sanitary milking procedures and equipment. Milk can only be milked into and stored in glass or seamless stainless steel. These items must be sterilized. I bleach mine and also sterilize with boiling water. Hands must be clean and the goat must be cleaned before milking. Once milk is brought inside, it’s filtered and chilled rapidly in either an ice bath or the freezer. The end product taste EXACTLY like milk, just creamier and smoother. Goat’s milk looks exactly like cow’s milk, with the one exception that goat’s milk is whiter.
Fresh, raw goat’s milk is one of the most complete foods. It contains vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, trace elements, enzymes, protein and essential fatty acids that are easily utilized by your body. Goat’s milk is digested in 20-30 minutes where as it can take 3+ HOURS to digest cow’s milk
The milk you buy in the store has been pasteurized, homogenized , skimmed and then is “refortified”. This overly processed milk is not only less nutritious for you, it’s also a big contributor to allergies and digestive upsets.
My goat’s milk isn’t pasteurized so it has all that good stuff nature made…nothing leached out of it & then replaced with synthetic vitamins. Plus, it’s fabulous for those who suffer from lactose intolerance & has much more calcium per serving than a glass of the store bought stuff.
Shayla, my 5 year old has severe eczema and respiratory issues. She’s been hospitalized twice in the past year due to pneumonia, is on Singulair daily and also takes breathing treatments. I’ve already noticed a HUGE improvement in her…
ANYWHO, back to the goats.
We started with the Miniature Dairy Goats, Miniature Alpines to be exact. The miniature breeds are created by crossing the tiny Nigerian Dwarf with a standard sized dairy goat. The end result is a goat that is not as tiny as the Nigerian Dwarf, not as big as your standard breeds, eats less food, takes up less space, is easier to work with and has the bonus of fabulous milk production. Nigerian Dwarfs produce the highest butterfat content in their milk of any breed, and they lend this richness to the milk of your miniature dairy breeds. This milk is VERY rich, creamy, and makes fabulous cheese, butter ect. ect.
Meet Tootsie…she is my 3rd generation Miniature Alpine. In the beginning she was a bit timid and shy, but it didn’t take long to get her to warm up to us. Peanuts are amazing for bribing a goat. She is a love bug, but, unlike her sister Keys (who belongs to my mom & is a year younger) she isn’t always on top of your or under your feet. She kidded with twin bucks in December, we let her raise them until weaning and now that they are gone she’s one of my milking girls. She hates for you to be late, loves her routine and is always waiting for me on the milk stand come milking time. Tootsie has the richest, best milk ever….can’t wait to make butter, Greek yogurt and cheese from it. This tiny lil goat is currently averaging about 6 1/2lbs of milk per day. One gallon of milk is about 8lbs, so she’s milking just over ½ gallon per day. Not too shabby for a little goat!
Tootsie as a baby:
Tootsie and Shayla:
Ya know how I mentioned that goat’s are addicting? Well…they are. I had Standard Alpines as a child and thought I’d add just one to my little herd as they really are my favorite breed. Since my mom will take Keys with her when she moves out, I reasoned that Tootsie would need a companion as goats are herd animals and simply can not be alone. So I brought home Sabrina…….
Sabrina is kind of my fixer upper goat. She was severely copper deficient, wormy and pregnant. I’ll post more about her later once I can post some before/after comparison pictures. Sabrina is a two tone chamoisee and she is polled, which means she is naturally hornless and has the potential to produce hornless offspring. Sabrina is the Herd Queen here and she tolerates no nonsense from anyone. She’s a “foodie” and there really isn’t much that she doesn’t like. Her favorite treats are orange slices, any kind of candy and if you ever snuck her a sip of Mountain Dew, she’d be your best friend for life. Sabrina kidded with triplets on March 11, 2011. Sadly the buckling of the trio was stillborn, but the twin does thrived. We named them Lilly & Mina from Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”. Mina was sold as a bottle baby, and we kept Lilly to be a future milker. They are ½ Alpine, ½ Oberhasli. Sabrina has come a long way…she went from this scruffy mess of a goat and after some great nutrition, proper deworming, good loose minerals, two rounds of copper blousing and a haircut I’m really starting to see a huge difference in her. She is currently milking 8 ½ lb - 9 lb of milk per day (little bit over 1 gallon) AND she is nursing Lilly full time as well, so I’m eager to see what her total production is once she’s no longer nursing.
Sabrina and her newborn twins:
The twins sleeping in my lap:
Sabrina wearing a sweater on an unexpected chilly morning after her haircut:
Lilly and Mina:
Shayla and Lilly:
Well……after I bought Sabrina I started thinking about future breeding plans. Originally I was not going to have a buck, I was going to pay for outside stud service. But…living in Noodle has it’s disadvantages…such as being pretty far from anyone I could get stud service from. Then I found Sam….Oh my goodness he was so precious and EXACTLY what I wanted. But he was over 6 hours away one way. Thankfully his breeder is AWESOME and her sister met me half way with him to save me some milege.
Sambo is a bottle baby and actually lived in the house in a diaper his 1st few days home until we had a kid pen and a companion for him. He is a rotten love bug and I just adore him. His registered name is SerbinZiegen’s That Sam I Am, from the Dr Suess book “Green Eggs & Ham” His breeder Carol was so awesome to work with, set up the whole meetup, sent him home with a gallon of milk and a bottle to make things easier and sent me all her herd’s CAE test results without me having to ask for them. Great people and I couldn’t be more thrilled with Sam. He is growing like a weed! At 9 weeks old he was past the 50lb mark and has kept up the steady growth. Sambo is my baby…he loves to snuggle in my lap, steals my flip flops and runs around with them and loves to wrap his head around my neck and just stand there. He is so rotten and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Sam snuggled up in a comforter:
Shayla and Sam:
Sam pulling the drawstring on my sweatpants:
So, I have “Tootise“, the miniature Alpine, “Sabrina“, the standard Alpine, “Sam” the standard Alpine Buck & “Lilly“, the Alpine x Oberhasli…
You know I couldn’t stop there…so I added one more standard Alpine to the mix.
Introducing Bleuberry…..I did not buy her from her breeder, but have since spoke with them & they are great people. Bleuberry was born early and had to be raised in the house on the bottle for a while so that explains her super sweet, people oriented disposition. She will lead without a collar, is very laid back and easy to handle. I met her several months ago and LOVED her. When I went to pick her up though she needed some TLC. Groceries being the biggest thing needed as she was too thin for my taste, she is copper deficient, and she has an eye injury we are currently trying to get fixed up. Due to this I don’t have current pictures to share of her, but once I get her in tip top shape I’ll come back and add pictures of her. She is super leggy (though these pictures don’t show it) is very graceful and I can not wait to have her in milk.
So what started as me having ONE goat, now has me owning my own little herd. I received my CAE test results from Biotracking and I am happy to report that everyone is NEGATIVE!! To those wanting to get into goats, they are fabulous critters but please do be sure to start out with health tested, disease free stock to save yourself some heart ache down the road.
Just for fun, here's a couple of pictures of Shayla being mobbed in the goat pen. They are spoiled rotten lil' snots who also happen to have a love of sweets. Shayla came home from school with a bag of candy and the moment the girls heard the sound of plastic she was surrounded in begging goats. lol