Questions for any goat people out there

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by Blackjack, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    Questions for any goat people out there. I had a goat when I was a kid (no pun intended), but we didn't milk her, she was just a lawn mower.

    1) How much milk do you get from an average goat?

    2) The milk has to be mechanically seperated from the cream, right?

    3) Can you make regular cheeses with the milk or just that god awful goatcheese stuff I've had from the grocery store?

    4) Is butter possible?

    5) How many young per year can you get from one.

    Thanks in advance
  2. GaryBrun

    GaryBrun Monkey+++

  3. Joe Dan

    Joe Dan Monkey+++

    1. No such thing as an average goat. Some are bred for milk, some for meat, some for toys. I have two alpines (milk goats) and last year was their first year - I guess they gave about a quart each per day. Nubians do better.

    2. Wrong. There is no cream to speak of.

    3. My wife is really the goat person 'round here but she made "cottage cheese" which was pretty goaty but okay on toast with apple butter. She also made feta cheese which was excellent if a bit salty.

    4. Not from my goats. I don't think so.

    5. One or two is the normal birth but I have heard of three at a time.
  4. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    Thanks for the responses. Joe Dan, I see this is your first post... Welcome to the Monkey.

    And if your wife would ever want to post that recipe for feta..... mmmmmm!
  5. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    I won't make it easy for you, there is a lot of browsing to be done on the way, but we have a thread for recipes ---[booze]
  6. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Well I cant claim to be any real expert but have had some lamanchas for the last 2 or 3 years and been around some other goat farmers a bit sowill anwser as best I can.

    1- When ourdoes are milking and we keep the kids away fromthem we could milk twice a day and get just shy of a quart each milking per doe.

    2-We would get a very small amount of cream riseing if it was allowed to sit for a day or 2 but noting to talk about. You can get mechanical cream seperators but you can also as I understand add a bit of cows milk (I think it has to be fresh/raw) and it will cause the goat milk to seperate and let the cream rise on it, there was also something else that you could add to do it but I cant recall for sure what it was. It is naturaly homoginized though and wont seperate much unless you do SOMETHING to make it seperate.

    3-Tina made a bunch of cheese from the milk (its the main thing we did with it in fact) and it was a fairly basic cheese that came out very similar to a mazarella.

    4-Once you get the cream seperated thenyou can make butter from it. I know some of the Amish near us that raise goats use goat butter, I have never done it though.

    5-Twins is the norm for most goats to have and most of the time you will only get them bread 1 time per year. I have known some to have as many as 3 or 4 at a time though 4 is RARE, I have also been told by some who have done a lot more with goats than me that if you time it just right then at least part ofthe time you can get them to breed again after they have the kids in the spring and give you a second set in the same year. The norm though is that like deer they go into rut in the fall and deliver toward spring and thats it per year. Not so bad if you have acess to another set of blodlines though since you can easily double your heard each year bykeeping and breeding any does you get as offspring and if their kids are strictly for meat then there shouldnt even be much problem(know several meat breeders who do) with 'line breeding' them or basicly just breeding the does to half brothers or some such. If the offspring was bred and this kept up for a couple generations problems could obviously arise though. If you dont want to line breed just keep the does that you get and replace the breeding buck when you are ready to start breeding them. The does can also start being bred the fall after they are born especialy if they are born early enouph in the spring, around 7 months or so IIRC.
  7. GaryBrun

    GaryBrun Monkey+++

    Just remembered, my father prefers goat butter to regular butter. Says that it is likely cleaner since there is less/none artificial hormones in goats. He buys it in Trader Joe's though. They have it. Tastes fine.

    He also makes goat stew, guess for the same reasons that it is cleaner. He buys goat at some small market here in town. For the same reasons I guess. Cleaner.

    He also makes pilaf, a middle eastern / central Asian dish. Rice, veggies, meat, fried in a wok. Not bad, truly not bad. With goat or chicken it is ok. With lamb it is not good. Lamb fat, once it gets a little bit cold, solidifies quickly. Not very tasty.
  8. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder


    1) Our goats give between 3/4 to 1 gal. per day. If a dairy goat cannot give us 3/4 of a gal./day after the secound kidding it is a cull.

    2) You can let it sit for a couple of days and it will seperate.

    3) You can make any type of cheese you want. I have cheddar and other types as well.

    4) We have made butter before and it is very good. But you don't get a whole lot of cream from goats milk. A good milker will give you 3-4% butterfat. So if you have a gallon per day milker 3-4% of that gallon will be what you make your butter from. Then you lose some of that 3-4% in the butter making process. So yes you can make it but unless you have several does milking then you won't have much butter.

    5) We only breed our goats once per year. If a goat will not give at least 2 healthy kids per year after the first kidding then it is a cull.

    We cull very hard!! Today we have about an inch of snow on the ground the goats wanted to stay in the barn and wait for hay. I chased them out there is still brush to eat. The tougher (I'm not saying be mean to them) you are on your culling the better the herd you will have. If TSHTF I know our herd will serve us well. Any livestock is 10% genitics and 90% management. Some would tell you that it is 90% genitics and 10% management, but all of our goats are grade goats but they preform well in the pasture and would likely get laughed out of a show ring. When we are milking we only give cracked corn, no high dollar feed. But yet our does still give 3/4 to 1 gallon of milk per day.

  9. snowbyrd

    snowbyrd Latet anguis in herba

  10. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer


    I don't have any goat experience: What is it about goats that gives a goat pen that unique smell??
    MMMMAAAAHHHH "goatboy"!) (You know that "goaty" smell ( kindof a sourmilk smell)??
    dairy cows don't smell like that, Is it goat feces? goat milk? How are they at producing meat?? Do they make a realgood multi purpose "homestead" animal?? Provide good manure for the garden??
    scary looking inthe face if you look at them too long...MMMaaaaHHHH!!![LMAO] Had a thought once about getting a homestead with room place to raise some lammas (llammas?) (lamas?) but goats look kinda cool
    too...steers and cows are aloto handle.
    Attack (guard llama Jack"from a wis farm site).
  11. wildernessgal

    wildernessgal Backwoods is a callin'

    SUBJECT: GOATS & etc...

    Ya know, many of the PROBLEMS that folk complain about when it comes to GOATS, are totally induced by man. Goats are GREAT, if you figure out the "proper way" of raising them. For one they need SPACE... all animals do, and if you raise 'em in a PEN you'll have lots of problems. For one they'll be more prone to sickness/worms, won't get enough excercise, and will constantly try and leave 'cause they are unhappy. That's where all of the complaints about SMELLS, FENCE-JUMPING, FIGHTING, DISEASES & etc come from.

    Husband and I have been raising goats for ages and don't have problems because WE ARE VERY STRICT & CULL. Be selective about "WHO YOU BUY FROM" and "NEVER BUY ANIMALS KEPT IN PENS." Animals raised on pastures do much better as they are healthier, have better immune-systems and obviously are grazing for their food which is a very good sign/thing to look for. Check MOUTHS/FEET... animals who have bad feet can't go out to graze & animals with bad mouths can't eat properly. The mouth will also let you know their age, which is very informative, especially when someone is fibbing about an animals age... you can totally tell just by looking at the mouth! lol Through the years we have some awesome goats which are easy-keepers, never sick, have lots of space (several acres) to roam (so they get their excercise), and we've bred for resistence to worms. Everyone complains about worms, and we don't have problems. For a start I will recommend that anyone wanting to raise goats or any other critters get their hands on the following book:

    By Author Juliette de Bairacli Levy

    Once you get going on goats you will be amazed with how many things said "ABOUT GOATS ARE COMPLETELY FALSE/UNTRUE." [flush] All of that stuff about not keeping the buck near the does, tainted milk from them eating wild onions, garlic, honeysuckle and etc is completely FALSE. Yep, we've done it all and it's not at all accurate/I don't know where this stuff comes from????? Yes, goats can be destructive, but that comes when you force them to exist in a small area in an unnatural state. Goats are browsers and need their space. Another thing we've learned is once you start giving vacs. or start treating them with synthetic drugs/dewormers/meds. they lose their hardiness and don't have a very good immune system. Our goats are raised all natural. They eat on pasture year round, only eating hay on snow/rainy days. When they are milking we give 'em treats like goodies from the garden/orchard (J. Artichokes, apples and other fruit, corn on the cob.... ) just to keep 'em on the milkstand.We do not and haven't given them dairy goat feed in years after learning about all of the junk that's put into it. (Soy & etc.)

    Ok, now to answering some of BLACKJACK'S QUESTIONS:

    2) The milk has to be mechanically seperated from the cream, right?

    Nope it sure doesn't! A long looooong time ago we were told we had to have one and we bought a very expensive cream separator, only to learn that IT WASN'T EVEN NECESSARY. So I sold that darn thing and we haven't used one since. (<--You can say the same thing about MANY recommended items for Homesteading) Anyway, all you have to do is let it sit and the cream will rise on it's own to the top. Skim it off & there ya go! We save it for THE BEST ICE CREAM EVER, which we sweeten naturally with black walnut syrup (from tree tapping)or raw honey. This is so very healthy! Healthy natural foods are kinda like HEALTH INSURANCE, but better!!!!! [touchdown]

    3) Can you make regular cheeses with the milk or just that god awful goatcheese stuff I've had from the grocery store?

    Yes you can!!! Get your hands on the following book:

    The Fabrication Of Farmstead Goat Cheese
    By Author: Jean-Claude Le Jaouen

    Anything bought at the supermarket is mass produced JUNK, so it doesn't compare. When food is heat treated/pasteurized ( <-'cause it needs to sit in the store forever to feed the masses ) it becomes dead/lifeless & has no nutritional value what-so-ever, that's why they have to add synthetic flavourings, preservatives and etc. Those foods give people cancer & a multitude of modern diseases. :( Anyway, don't have time to get into it all, as it's taken years to learn and change the way we do things for the better.

    You can learn more here:

    Home: THE FACTS ABOUT REAL RAW MILK - A Campaign for Real MilkA Campaign for Real Milk | A Project of the Weston A. Price Foundation

    Or get your hands on the following outstanding book:

    By Author: Ron Schmid ND

    Excerpt: "This fascinating and compelling book will change the way you think about milk.... In the final chapters, he describes how scores of eminent scientists have documented the superiority of raw milk & it's health benefits. Raw Milk is a movement whose time has come. This book will serve as a catalyst for the movement, providing consumers with the facts & inspiration they need to embrace Nature's perfect food."

    What an incredible book which teaches you "THE HISTORY OF MILK"
    and "WHY things are as they are?"

    Once I learned that "I didn't have to run with my fresh milk to cool it off immediately" I felt free from modern brainwashing. I mean, how do you think that man did it before without refrigeration???? LOL Geepers, that's another MYTH which is untrue! [flush] I've left my raw fresh goats milk out on the counter to sit for days & it naturally separates into cream cheese & whey. ALL BY ITSELF!!! Then I separate the whey (using it for food preservation via LACTO-FERMENTATION or you can drink it as a healthful beverage) and the natural cream cheese is used for sandwich spreads, Mayo alternative, fresh dip, salad dressing, & I've even made it into a very delicious/simple CREAM CHEESE CAKE FROSTING! DELICIOUS/SUPER YUM!!!! So no it won't taste LIKE THE GARBAGE IN THE SUPERMARKET, that I can guarantee you! [winkthumb]

    4) Is butter possible?

    Yes, it is, but since my family & I are serious Homesteaders who can get super busy ('cause we enjoy doing a diverse amount of things), we've had to prioritize and have decided not to. Especially since Iwe've learned that natural rendered animal fats are so very healthy... We have opted to save the goat's milk cream as described above for "ice cream" or "baking/desserts" & then we use rendered fats (<-collected from butchering day) for all of our baking needs. It can also be used like a butter, spreading it on toast, the skillet, breads, for the best pie crusts and etc.
    You can learn more about HEALTHY FATS below:

    You searched for know your fats - Weston A Price

    5) How many young per year can you get from one?

    Well it depends... It depends on what type of stock you choose to buy?
    It doesn't matter if it's papered or not, just if "IT'S GOOD OR NOT!" Ask whomever you're buying from about the parents... Were they a single, twin or???? We won't buy anything that's a single or has singles. Since we are so strict/cull hard we have chosen to only keep does that will have twins or better. Currently we have does which have triplets/quads regularly. One of our oldest gals normally has had quads/triplets and she has no trouble feeding/keeping them alive. She's a hardy old gal and we have kept back several of her daughters.

    Your GOAT EXPERIENCE can be as GOOD or as BAD as you want. If one has common sense, thinks outside the box ( <--a bit more old fashioned/practical I guess you could say) being strict & improving, you could end up with an incredible herd which would be worth more than their weight in gold!!!! Let's just say that you & your family will be well fed for many years to come & won't have too many worries!!!! [applaud]

    We've raised cows, & have had OXEN. Let's just say that from our experience, cows "just don't cut the mustard." They eat more, waste more, drink too much water (<-which isn't good when you think about the world heating up/getting hotter - WATER USAGE could be a serious issue) take up ALOT more space, are ALOT messier in the barn, ALOT bigger which equals bigger problems/more dangerous due to their size. Here's something many don't think about... When cows deficate they drop massive cow-pies which lay on the ground for ages before breaking down. So either you have to go out there & break 'em down manually (which many don't do) or wait until they do so themselves. All the while your pasture is smaller, 'cause the grass underneath won't grow... Yeah some folk say that cows give more. I truly question that, & don't believe it to be true.... especially when you consider that they are consuming so much more. Just depends on how you think about it? If you were to keep only "THE BEST GOATS" (by culling) you would have ALOT OF MEAT PRODUCTION, MILK production, MANURE production for the garden/orchard, HIDES for a multitude of uses/leathercraft, BONES for the dogs (<-which we also bury in the orchard to feed our trees = bonemeal )... and them GOATS aren't as fussy as them darn COWS! They will eat things which cows would never even look at. If you were to buy a wild neglected piece of land, goats will IMPROVE THAT PROPERTY & CLEAN IT UP!


    The RIGHT or WRONG CHOOICES will make all of the difference!
    Just my 2 cents & hopefully my family's "trials & errors through the years" will give some who are interested in this subject a head start... (something we didn't have as we had to weed through all the nonsense
    [flush]*** flush*** [flush] and find out for ourselves.)


    (Who has so many OUTSTANDING BOOKS TO RECOMMEND from the family library, that it can be hard at times to PICK JUST ONE! LOL )

    P.S.- Two other OUTSTANDING BOOKS which I HIGHLY recommend are:

    By Author Sally Fallon

    By The Farmers & Gardeners of Terre Vivante
    (What a book... this goodie tells you many oldtime secrets to food preservation which are so simple/basic that you don't need nothing fancy, or electricty. This book will take you far & give you such a HUGE WEALTH of info. Perfect if you are a Survivalist who wants to be efficient, keep it practical & simplistic without spending lots of money.)
  12. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Thanksfor the firsthand info....
  13. snowbyrd

    snowbyrd Latet anguis in herba

    Nice post wildernessgal

    One of the biggest probs people have is with the billy being a bully with people deals with that problem. Look for the problem goat section.
    Nanny goats can be used to feed an orphaned foal, I knew a person that pioneered it with throughbreds in the late '70's or early '80's in the Redmond Wa area. Just like sheep[sheep] cows and horses, you need to keep their feet trimmed. I can see being able to keep various kritters feet/teeth in good shape in shtf senario as a good barter thing. With any penned animal it will smell.[gasmask] better let'em roam on a pasture.
  14. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    At least from my experience with them the smell is from the males. They urinate on themselves as an atractant to the females then also rub on the females, I guess to mark them and the males urine, kind of like a cats, has a distinct odor to it.

    On the manure, they leave pellets like rabbits and deer. They will break down into the soil pretty well if just left and can also be gathered and spread on a garden from areas where they spend a lot of time.
  15. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    Lots of good info here people.... thanks one and all.
  16. wildernessgal

    wildernessgal Backwoods is a callin'

    Sadly many a time, people raise animals " AS PETS" and they "don't teach 'em MANNERS." We will not allow "ANY GOAT" to jump up on us, we'll slap 'em very hard on the nose when little... they HATE IT/it never happens again.

    You have to always DISPLAY YOUR DOMINANCE (no matter what type of critter it is) or you fall down to the bottom of the pecking order & YOU'LL BE HISTORY! That can be so very DANGEROUS!!!!!

    Another good tip is... If you want to try raising goats ONLY BUY ONES WHICH HAVE BEEN BOTTLE RAISED, they will be much more gentle. Just make sure that they weren't played with roughly by children or they'll become MONSTERS! :( We've never had trouble with OUR billy-goats.
    Once we did ( <--something we bought from someone else), ends up being that the previous owners let their kids ride him like a horse when he was younger & obviously he was handled roughly with no respect SO HE DIDN'T HAVE MUCH RESPECT FOR PEOPLE. We needed a billy at the time, and he was the best we could find... But he didn't last long 'round here & ended up on the B.B.Q!LOL Even if you end up with a LEMON, it's no real loss really... THERE' S ALWAYS DELICIOUS MEAT, so that investment really can't go wrong!!!! Good Luck to all of you who give it a try... Goats are a GREAT MULTI-PURPOSE SURVIVALIST HOMESTEAD CRITTER! :)


  17. snowbyrd

    snowbyrd Latet anguis in herba

    Love da' goat

    Coupla' years ago I buchered out some angora/cashmere cross for a friend. got 1/2 the meat and the head and hides. His posslq got them to 'eat the weeds' [LMAO] [LMAO] in an unfenced area....What's a flower after that??? she said 'KILL them, NOW, just KILL them.'[hissyfit]
    haa haa Did it the next am after penning them up for the night. Ain't done the pizza
    ...Yet. snowbyrd[touchdown]
    (Person Of Opposite Sex Sharring Living Quarters) .gov term
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    [ATTACH] Last 15-20 years and makes more every year.
    Thread by: BenP, Sep 20, 2018, 15 replies, in forum: Back to Basics
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