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Country Discussion Topics
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Milking Goats
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Jimmy    Posted 06-27-2004 at 06:44:29       [Reply]  [No Email]
Anyone have a milking goat dairy farm? I have a few milking goats & would like to hear about your farm. Goats milk is now in some of the larger stores in northern MI & demand is ever increasing in our area. We know of only one goat farm in NW MI. Our area is all cow dairy farms going back 3 generations.

Bkeepr    Posted 06-28-2004 at 04:57:43       [Reply]  [No Email]

I believe it was American Small Farm magazine did a good article about goat dairying a year or so ago. We milk our goats for our own use, but have considered eventually selling once I can quit the day job.

Anyway, find the article if you can. One thing it warned about is that many State laws don't address goat dairys, and depending on the beaurocrats where you are that can be a good thing or a bad thing. Apparently some folks have found that their state takes the view "you can't have a goat dairy because the rules don't say anything that allows it." Other places they say "well, the rules don't say you *can't* so you can." So best to check local Ag department before you get started.

From a market standpoint, I've been amazed at how many folks where I am are interested in buying goat milk and/or products. One of our vets even told me she'd be willing to trade vet care for goat cheese and yogurt.

Anyway, I think it is doable but make sure you research well first.

good luck!
Tom A

RichZ    Posted 06-27-2004 at 14:36:23       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Jimmy, my wife and I are just starting a goat dairy here in upstate New York. We are very lucky, in that the most knowledgable and succesful goatfarmer in our area has taken us under her wing to mentor us.

We are raising Nubian goats, and our mentor insists that we start SLOWLY. This is our first year milking, and we are only milking two does. At first I thought this was TOO slow, but she was right. It takes a while to get the hang of hand milking and even figuring out how you want to set up your milking operation. Also, you have to find your own niche with a market for the milk and the kids that you may sell. Because of our association with our mentor, we have a waiting market for both our milk and for any kids we want to sell. At this point we will only sell male kids to people who want to whether (castrate) them for pets. We're only selling tow bucklings this year, and they're already spoken for, and we have a list of people who want the milk, but we won't be able to supply them all for next year.

If you're going to sell the milk for human consumption, you need to check with the laws of your particular state.

If you have any particular questions, let me know, sometimes it's good to speak to someone who is just slightly ahead of you in the process!!!

Jimbob    Posted 06-28-2004 at 14:07:53       [Reply]  [No Email]
My wifes brother has had goats for years. We have been milking for ourselves the last year. New born this year. Goats are easy to raise. Our local vet has 20 head. We have Nubies as well.

deadcarp    Posted 06-27-2004 at 08:25:17       [Reply]  [No Email]
I wish you well in your endeavor jenny. As a word of caution, i've seen so many people sink money and effort into things that were just the teeniest bit off-track (rabbit meat, emu meat, buffalo burgers, like that) and invariably they ended up broke and disappointed. (mostly because there was no infrastructure [promotion, processing plants, trucking, distribution etc] to handle the product) So i hope your deal catches on a little better. But come to think of it, Wisconsin cheese started out of necessity cuz farmers had no other way to preserve all their milk. Hey, how about goat yogurt? :)

Jimmy    Posted 06-28-2004 at 14:11:12       [Reply]  [No Email]
Local hauler picks up goats milk here. We have the barn, equipment, property just not a lot of goats. Fortunately, no large investment to startup, just not sure of it like you said. Tnx.

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