Milk goats

sewcrazynurse(MI zone 5)July 22, 2005

Does anyone have milk goats? I have been thinking of getting a milk goat for cheese, butter and soap making. I have 2 intact pygmy goats but I think I may band one when we get back from vacation. I thought about another pygmy goat but I hear they are hard to milk due to the small nipples and you only get cups vs quarts that you would get from milk type goat. But I don't need quarts cups would work. But I have never milked anything in my life and I am concerned about the care of yet another animal. I have many many many chickens turkeys 11 feeder calves some ducks.... I don't even have the milk stand

I have a man that I can get goat milk from but I have to question how clean he is when he says he strain the milk to tae the debrie out of it.

I would really appreciate your help. I've never been steered wronge by this forum.


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DPallas(z6, SW Mo)

I've never had a pygmy goat, but I know quite a few people who have. The consensus seems to be that milking pygmies is a waste of time. Because of the tiny teats it takes much longer to get a cup of milk out of a pygmy than it takes to get a quart out of a standard dairy goat. The same is true of meat goats - 15 minutes to milk a Boer or Spanish goat, 5 minutes for a Nubian, Alpine, or Toggenberg. However, some people do milk pygmies and there's a link below with further information. I'd think it would be best to purchase stock from someone who'd been milking successfully, since their suitability for milking may be highly variable.

Straining milk is standard procedure, even if you're feeding it to baby goats. You'd either want to have a stripping cup, which is a stainless steel cup with a built-in super-fine mesh screen, or a supply of milk filters, or both. When you're milking by hand, a hair or a bit of grass will invariably fall into the milk if you're not milking directly into a stripping cup.

The Caprine Supply catalog (free) is a good resource for beginners. It has lots of informative articles to give you some idea of what you're getting into. You can request one here or call their toll-free number.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pygmy Goat Milk

    Bookmark   July 22, 2005 at 1:27PM
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Hmm. Y'all goat milkers can enlighten me here, but I didn't know you could make goat butter - thought that was one of the things about goat milk - it's naturally 'homogenized', and that the 'cream' doesn't rise to the top, like in whole cow's milk.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2005 at 1:46PM
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If you would prefer a very small goat (like your pygmies) look up Nigerian Dwarf goats, and look for a breeder in your area that actually milks them (someone who does the milk test or has milking stars ***) after some of the does' names would be one indication. They are a miniature *dairy* goat, and a good milking Nigerian gives a surprising amount of milk for the size (advertised as up to two quarts a day, and to be higher in butterfat and protein than milk of other goat breeds.) Lots of folks keep them as pets, just as they do they pygmies (and other breeds of goats too, of course!) because of their calm and sweet temperament.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2005 at 2:13PM
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DPallas(z6, SW Mo)

Lucky_P, you're correct, but you can get it to separate by scalding it and letting sit overnight. You can also put it in the refrigerator and skim it every morning for several days. There's an old article in the archives of the Mother Earth News on how to make goat milk butter, but I don't have the patience to try it; it's a lot of work.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2005 at 2:51PM
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Maggie_J(z5 Ontario)

I understand that one can use a separator to get the cream out of goat's milk for butter-making etc. They have nifty little table-top models available.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2005 at 3:37PM
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We use that Russian manual cream separator and it is great. I think now they come with an electric motor if you want one. We use a Daisy type butter churn. The only problem we've run into with butter is that if the milk is raw the product goes ranced even when frozen for a few months. So we pasturize the milk first. We want to have it last the winter. Tom

    Bookmark   July 22, 2005 at 10:55PM
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sewcrazynurse(MI zone 5)

Actually I had looked at getting NDG last winter. I met up with a lady that breeds them and uses the milk for soaps and lotions. I called a man today that has a nubian doe that he wants $75 for. She only has one eye and has never been bred.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2005 at 11:37PM
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alicate(SW Michigan, zone 5)

Hello, I raise and sell Nigerian Dwarf goats and live in Michigan. We are freshening our two does this October and expect them to kid in early March. Let me know if you have any questions about this breed or if you are possibily interested in one of them. We do have one possible doe secured at this time. Hopefully there would be another. They are from excellent stock!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2005 at 8:22PM
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