Soft and warm cloth was made of the goat’s wool and its skin supplied men with their leather.
Today, goat’s milk is still very much in demand as it is easier to digest than the common cow’s milk. Many who find that cow’s milk is too hard on their digestive system, are still able to enjoy delicious goat’s milk. Goat’s milk is still used in many kinds of modern cheese making recipes. Some may not know this very interesting fact about goat’s milk… it is used in the making of the famous Swiss chocolate recipe. (No wonder that everyone loves Swiss chocolate!)
Even though goats are known for their uncertain tempers and the unpleasant smell of the billy-goats (the billy-goat is the male goat), yet there is probably not another dairy animal known to man that would be easier kept and raised. Here are a few facts about raising dairy goats. Goats will try to eat just about anything if you let them, and they can put up with the most uncomfortable surroundings. No, they are not fussy critters, but providing better conditions for your goat will in turn improve their milk, meat, and hair quality. They are also very efficient landscapers. If you have some brush-covered land, a goat could be very useful to you. Brushwood is one of the goat’s favourite snacks, and they don’t mind eating thistly weeds and small sticks and twigs either. They will leave your land nicely trimmed up, giving you more time at the lake. Just to keep in mind, they will just about eat anything even the cloths on the clothesline if left un-attended. Like I said have before, goats aren’t picky eaters and will eat almost anything.
When comparing goats versus cows, the size difference is also definitely a factor to consider. Children and the elderly will definitely find that goats are much easier to raise and handle because goats are approximately one-tenth of the size of a cow. A full grown goat is roughly about 100 or so pounds and a full grown milk cow is between 800 to 1,000 pounds. Another interesting point that goes to the dairy goat’s favour is that they eat less feed on a daily basis than a dairy cow eats daily, which will help keep your feeding costs lower as you won‘t need to buy as much hay and grain to feed your goat through the winter months of the year.
Here are some of the more-well-known goat breeds along with a few facts about each one. Goats will produce between one and a-half to two gallons of milk per day, this depends on how well they are fed. There are three classifications of goats: the dwarf and wool goats (such as the Angora goat), the prick-eared Swiss goats, and the Eastern goats with the floppy, long ears (also known as the Nubian goat).
Coming from the British Isles and one of the more common breeds of the goat raised in North America, the Nubian goat sports a short, glossy coat of hair often with different color-patches. The long, floppy ears are also its trademark. The Nubian goat is one of the larger, meatier breeds. Their milk has a 4.8% butterfat content which gives the milk a stronger flavour. The Nubian goat (or Eastern goat) are raised for both their meat (mutton) and milk.
Two of the more popular Swiss goat breeds are the Toggenburg and the Saanen. Both breeds give excellent milk for drinking and cheese making. The Toggenburg and the Saanen goats have bushier coats than the Nubian goats and hence prefer cooler weather conditions. They have cute, perky little ears. Sannen goats are the largest breed of dairy goats whereas Toggenburg dairy goats are medium-sized.
Another two very popular dairy goat breeds are the LaManchas goat and the Alpine goat. Both breeds are good milkers and easy to take care of. They are medium-sized goats and would also be a good choice of goat for your family’s use.
Goat’s milk can be used in all of the cheese recipes on this website. Yogurt, butter, ice-cream, etc. can all be made with goat’s milk as well. Don’t be afraid to try different recipes and experiment, you just might create a new type of cheese altogether! Raising dairy goats can be a fun experience for the whole family to be part of.
One tip for getting the best tasting goat’s milk, is to cool the milk down as quickly as possible after the milking. I had a friend who would even pour the milk into clean cake pans and set them into the freezer for a few minutes to help cool the milk quickly. Then she would store the milk in the fridge in a large clean container. The result was the sweetest tasting, freshest milk ever!
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