Your Resource for Dairy Goat Farming Basics

Storey's Guide to Raising Dairy Goats Covers Hundreds of Facts About Goats

Your Resource for Dairy Goat Farming Basics

Dairy goats are a practical choice for a backyard environment or small dairy farm. They don’t require elaborate housing or expansive pasture, and in addition to providing milk to turn into an array of dairy products and soaps, goats are friendly, curious, and intelligent creatures.

When you’re ready to dive into goat farming basics, the best place to start is Storey’s Guide to Raising Dairy Goats. This best-selling fully illustrated guide provides the easy-to-follow instructions any beginner will appreciate.

All of the essentials are covered, including:

• Goat farming basic terms

• Goat breeds

• Milking and goat milk benefits

• Getting your goats

• Housing and fencing

• Feeding and grooming

• How to breed goats and kidding

• Goat pregnancy

• Health care and disease prevention

• How to make cheese, yogurt, kefir, and butter

Got a Goat? Considering goat farming? Order Storey’s Guide to Raising Dairy Goats and learn from goat farmers who have been in the game for half a century.

Authors Jd Belanger and Sara Thomson Bredesen leave no questions unanswered in the realm of dairy goat rearing. And if you already have some experience raising dairy goats, you may be surprised at how much will be new to you.

For newcomers, Belanger and Bredesen set the record straight about common goat myths and truths, including the truth about goat aroma and whether goats actually do eat everything. They also answer tougher questions like: Is making your own feed worth the trouble? and Which is better: pasteurized milk or raw milk?

The “Breeds of Goat” section is especially helpful and makes it easy to compare one breed to the next. For example, the French Alpine goat overview credits the breed with an average production of 2,439 pounds (1,106 kg) of milk per year with a 3.2% butterfat while the LaMancha goat breed, noted for their “lack” of ears, produces an average of 2,231 pounds (1,012 kg) of milk, with 3.9% butterfat, according to the American Dairy Goat Association.

When you are ready to take a deeper dive into any one area of dairy goat farming, turn to the “Resources” section for a comprehensive list of breed organizations, goat suppliers, and even cheesemaking, sausage, and soap-making suppliers.

Excerpt from Storey’s Guide to Raising Dairy Goats:

“The Case for Two Goats: Goats are herd animals. A single goat in the barn will be very unhappy and show it by hollering for attention or acting depressed. Neither shows the true nature of a dairy goat or endears her to her owner. It’s a good idea to start with two goats, even if one is a dry doe or a castrated male. Once you’ve figured out the route and are ready to brand out into making cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products, it’s time to find another milking doe. A second milk goat can be bred so one is still milking while the other is going through her 60-day dry period. That way, you’re never completely out of milk.”

Jerry (Jd) Belanger, a lifelong practitioner of goat farming, is the former editor and publisher of Countryside and Small Stock Journal and has written numerous books on self-sufficient farm living and homesteading.

Sara Thomson Bredesen is a licensed cheesemaker who established one of Wisconsin’s first farmstead plants for making goat’s cheese.

Good luck tackling the goat farming basics with Storey’s Guide to Raising Dairy Goats!

Got a goat? Considering goat farming? Order Storey’s Guide to Raising Dairy Goats and learn from goat farmers who have been in the game for half a century.

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