Easiest, nicest with the most milk GOAT breed?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by texaschickmama, Jan 25, 2008.

  1. texaschickmama

    texaschickmama Songster

    Sep 19, 2007
    Poolville, TX
    Could you all please tell me the best natured goat breed that also produces good milk. Does anyone out there drink goat's milk instead of cow? How is it? We are new to the whole farming thing and are looking to get a few goats for milk, possilbly meat too. What breed do you recommend? Would like to stay as small as possible that would still produce good milk. Thanks, guys.
  2. dreamgirl

    dreamgirl Songster

    May 28, 2007
    Hudson Valley, NY
    My friend raises Alpines for dairy and they are just the friendliest things. She also has Boers for meat, and often mates them for crosses. Fresh goat's milk is pretty good, and a lot healthier than cow's milk. When its cold you can barely taste the goatiness. They are also pretty easy to care for--but good fencing is a must. Remember, though, you have to breed them each year to get the milk and it doesn't last throughout the year. A GREAT website for goats (and all sorts of other things) is www.fiascofarm.com. It has so much in depth fabulous information about EVERYTHING you ever wanted or needed to know about goats, often with lots of illustrations/photos.
  3. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    You'll be hard pressed to find better milkers than Nubians. The alpine breeds can come pretty close, though.

    Personally, I like goat milk. If you weren't told it was goat milk, you probably won't notice much a difference between that and cow (except cows milk seems watery). Our plans are to eventually milk our nubians and use is as feed for our piggies.

    Because, let's face it, no matter how good your milk tastes, home made bacon is always gonna taste better!
  4. texaschickmama

    texaschickmama Songster

    Sep 19, 2007
    Poolville, TX
    Great info, thank you. Goatiness, now that is a new term for me. [​IMG]
  5. texaschickmama

    texaschickmama Songster

    Sep 19, 2007
    Poolville, TX
    Wow, amen to homeade bacon. [​IMG] I can smell it now, dang, I'm hungry. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2008
  6. ksacres

    ksacres At Your Service

    Nov 16, 2007
    San Antonio TX
    If your milk tastes *goaty* you either aren't milking into something clean, you aren't milking in a clean room, you are leaving you milk out too long, or your does are too close to a buck.

    Clean, properly handled goats milk tastes just like regular milk-no goaty flavor should be present.

    Nubians are probably the best for milk to drink straight-the higher butterfat makes for a sweeter milk.

    Low butterfat breeds, like Alpines and Saanans, can have a *slightly* bitter tasting milk b/c of the lack of butterfat.

    If you are looking for dual purpose (milk & meat) you best bet would probably be a kinder (nubian X pygmy).
  7. NewGuineaChooks

    NewGuineaChooks Songster

    Aug 24, 2007
    San Antonio, Texas
    That's a tricky question. Everyone will have their opinion, which is affected by the experience they've had with a particular goat. Nubians are very common for milk goats, reasonably friendly, and would be EASY for you to find in TX. I've got some good contacts if you'd like, both for meat goats and dairy.... in the central texas area (College Station)

    Personally, we are torn between Nigerian Dwarfs, and la Manchas. The laManchas are large goats, but all the ones we've interacted with are calm, and nicely quite, which balances out their size. A biggeer goat means a large udder, and fewer total goats to milk each day. But, it seems our large ones have to eat more hay per unit of body size than the small ones. In other words, we think we are spending more money on hay to get the same amount of milk out of the large sized ones.

    We really like our Nigerian milkers, but if you started out with a full size goat, its hard to switch to a Nigerian because the teat feels too small in your hand when milking. Better to start small, and move to large if you don't like the Nigerian Dwarfs. Of course, being a smaller goat, the udder on a Nigerian is smaller, and won't produce as much each day, but if you choose the right bloodlines, there are some excellent milkers out there, that give a high % milk compared to body size. We find ours to be efficient feeders. A thing we really like about the Nigerians, is your can push them around. If you need to trim hooves, get a stubborn one up on a milking stand, move a mama and her kids, etc., you can simply push, or even pick up the goat and put it were it needs to go. With the larger ones, if one decides to be stubborn, you've got to spend more time and effort moving it around.

    Friends of ours have had bad luck with Toggenburgs being grumpy, but we don't have personal experience.

    Boer goats are specifically designed for meat. However, if you are wanting milk too, a good option is to start with the milk goats. To get the milk goat to freshen, you need to breed her, and you're sure to get buck kids. Milk goat bucks don't have as broad muscles as Boer do, but if you keep them as wethers and raise them for 6 months, they still give you a fair amount of meat. Of course the doe kids add to your milking herd, or can be sold to others.

    If you do not keep a buck, (or keep him MILES away from the herd) Your goat milk is quite nice tasting. It is not exactly like cows milk, but its a small taste difference. I think its a similar amount of taste variation as between say Whole and 2% cows milk.

    Wow, that ended up long. Hope its helpful!
  8. NewGuineaChooks

    NewGuineaChooks Songster

    Aug 24, 2007
    San Antonio, Texas
    I second the suggestion to read up on goats at the FiascoFarms website. (we don't find once a day milkings to keep up the milk production as well, though)

    I forgot to say, the down side of our Nigerians, is they have squeaky baa sounds, cause they're smaller. I like deeper animal voices better.

    Goats need some sort of grain supplement in addition to hay, to stay healthy.
  9. texaschickmama

    texaschickmama Songster

    Sep 19, 2007
    Poolville, TX
    Great info, thanks guys. I will do a lot more research and take your advice into consideration before getting goats. Thanks, again. [​IMG]
  10. mtnmenagerie

    mtnmenagerie In the Brooder

    Oct 13, 2007
    NE Alabama
    i have about one of each kind of milk goat...
    i think, all around, my la mancha stands out as number one. wonderful sweet milk. calm temperment. not real vocal (like my nubians![​IMG])
    and, keep in mind, that any dairy breed you like... there are mini versions of them! but don't be intimidated by the big girls. i never have any problem handling them, and my la mancha out-weighs me!

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