Going off Grid..need a Milk Supply

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by jazzpurr, Apr 22, 2007.

  1. jazzpurr

    jazzpurr In the Brooder

    Mar 2, 2007
    The chickens are the first step to never having to leave my property. Next year I am putting in a 1 acre pond with a variety of fish.

    The hole in my food supply is milk. I suppose I could stockpile Sanalac but I would rather have it fresh.

    Anyone have a goat and milk it? How does it taste?
    Does the food you supply have a large impact on the taste?

    Do they need a lot of land to graze? I would like it to get as much of it food from the property as possible.

    I have 6 acres right now but I can add another 3 if necessary. I don't think I could handle a cow.

    Thanks for your input.
  2. Picco

    Picco Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    I grew up with a dairy goat. The milk tastes different but not bad, however it does take some getting used to. some other products you can make with the milk are cheese, yogurt and even soap. The taste of the milk is impacted by diet. Goats prefer to eat weeds and shrubs and other plants and these plants can negatively affect the flavor of the milk. A diet consisting entirely of grasss along with grain will make the milk have a milder taste. The presence of male goats (bucks) also negatively impacts the flavor of milk. Goats are great animals to have, they are FULL of personality, can forage for a large part of their diet and don't take up that much space. Cows are a bit more work and take up alot more space and are not as efficient in converting feed to milk. My favorite breed is the toggenburg, its a large brown goat with two white eye stripes down the face. They are good producers and are an all around good goat. I'm looking into some nigerian dwarfs myself, they are a miniature version of the larger dairy goats and come in all sorts of colors.
  3. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Songster

    Apr 5, 2007
    I actually grew up on goat's milk. It does taste different than cow's milk, and I think is a bit of an aquired taste. I haven't had it in years!

    They are absolutely brimming with personality! We had 2, Mandy and Jenny, that were super. We also had an assortment of kids (my favorite was a male, Fudgicle.. hey we were little kids!!). They used to come in the house and visit us.

    I would like to go off the grid, too! Can't afford the solar panels yet, though, and hubby has some sort of goat-a-phobia LOL. Not sure.. that may be a situation of get first, tell later [​IMG]

  4. kstaven

    kstaven Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    You could handle a cow like a "DEXTER" with that much property. They are small and good foragers with excellent feed to production conversion. Very calm and easy to milk breed. Easy on the hands, unlike other breeds.
  5. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    There are also Miniature cows.....I was reading some on them. The mini milk cows give between 1 1/2 and 2 gallons of milk a day....however, these little ones come with a BIG price. [​IMG]
  6. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    thats right lil cows come with a big price.an they would produce enough milk for you to drink.plus meat for the freezer if the calf is a bull.you can feed the excess milk to a pig or 2 for the freezer as well.along with a garden beef pork an poultry youd be almost self suffient.but you have to grow enough food for a yr.an maybe more in case of a drought.
  7. Arklady

    Arklady Songster

    Jan 30, 2007
    This is right up my alley. I just want to know how much land is needed for a milk cow. I know, goats can be run on 5 acres effeciently, sheep as well, depending how many you are running. I have thought to run maximum of 10 head each of goats and sheep. For meat and milk but mainly the milk from my goats would be not only for the family but the overflow would be good for the animals like cats and dogs. It is a great suppliment for them. Dogs and cats cannot digest pasturized milk properly. Right now I have 3.3 acres and it isn't going to be enough land so I am moving. Hopefully by fall, I can be on the land. I have about 100 chickens and two goats, and two sheep which I hope the ewe is preggers. Otherwise it will be spring before I get lambs. I am thinking she is preggers because her belly is really getting rounded I was hoping she would deliver this month. Sometimes I just can't see. I have a Katahdin hair ram and a suffolk/jacob cross ewe. I also have guineas, ducks, geese and rabbits. I have been checking out cheeze making things as well.

    Great topic.

    Last edited: Apr 23, 2007
  8. jazzpurr

    jazzpurr In the Brooder

    Mar 2, 2007
    Miniature cow? I never heard of that one. Tell me more. Is there a web site? I cant tell from the responses that I am probably not going to like the goats milk.

    Thanks In Advance.
  9. jazzpurr

    jazzpurr In the Brooder

    Mar 2, 2007
    Well...$5000 for a miniature cow? How yuppie.
    They are really nice looking though and I would love to have one.
    I just did the math and I can stockpile 25 years of Sana-lac for $5000.
  10. Picco

    Picco Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    There are several minature breeds of cows. Dexters are the most common but their are also miniature jerseys (dairy), herefords (beef) and the exotic miniature zebu.

    Most of the websites you'll find are from yuppies who want to make a fortune and make claims about how amazingly different their breeds are. The miniature and heritage breeds like the irish dexter are small for cows but are still large animals. Heritage breeds do well without much grain in their diet and can live almost entirely on pasture. There are claims that you can have one dexter on one acre of land. That would work fine but more pasture would be needed if you didn't want to feed a lot of grain and hay. I think 3 acres of good pasture would be needed if an all grass diet was your goal.

    I have raised dairy cattle (jerseys) since I was really young and at one point I was interested in buying a dexter. I found that the price range for a heifer (female) calf was anywhere from $500-800. $5,000 dollars is WAY too much for a dexter. If you look around you can find some really good stock for a much lower price. Check your state/local breed conservancies and look for a list of breeders. If you are from the northeast/new england area there is a really good show at Handcock Shaker Village in Massachusetts every summer. They have many heritage breeders that come and bring their animals. even chickens!

    Personallly I would go with go with goats. They are smaller, better at feed conversion, don't require large pastures and are cheaper and easier to raise than cattle.

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