Keeping goats for milk is one primary intention of most
breeders and goat herders in starting a profitable business, and
this may play as both an advantage and a disadvantage depending
on how much dedication can be put for the work to be done well.
Statistics show more of what we do not know than what we do:
most especially in agricultural countries, goats are excellent
sources of milk than their bovine counterparts. In turn, goats
also show to be worthy investments: ready to adjust to changing
weather, they do not need too much space, are inexpensive and
will definitely be happy with a reasonable parcel of land to
graze in. Plus, fully grown female goats (does) are
comparatively smaller in size (almost 20% smaller) than cows,
thus guaranteeing ease in handling. They also exhibit
exceptional intelligence and can adapt well to their
environment, as well as with the company of other animals in
your backyard. You can never go wrong with these very robust,
energetic creatures. Thus in saying, we list down five of the
most important pointers goat owners should (or should not)
overlook in taking care of goats Ė and you should know about
1. Ensure a conducive environment for your would-be dairy goats.
Remember that though they are highly capable of adapting to the
sudden temperature changes, a shelter is and will always be the
answer to their biggest needs as always. As they are infamous to
escape from prescribed spaces, regulate the shelter you create
for them with fences or wire that create a good ventilation
system, as well as good roofing. This way, no bad weather or
predators can get through.
Also, if you consider having more than one goat, the number of
goats in a shelter may be an advantage or a disadvantage
depending on the situation. In cold weather, the more goats
there are, the bigger heat is produced from their bodies, making
sure their huddling keeps them warm inside the shelter. However,
you should know that in keeping goats for milk, it is not
advisable to hoard dairy goats within a limited space, since it
may affect all three factors of growth, health and their
production of good milk.
2. Consider the type of dairy goat you would want to milk. There
are a lot of good choices out there in the market, so do
yourself a favor of doing some extra research to yield the best
milk in this investment youíre doing. La Manchas, a breed often
best prescribed for beginning owners for their god temperament,
make good choices as dairy goats as well as Saanens and Nubians,
for the reason that they yield large amounts of milk high in
butterfat at certain time intervals. If you intend to buy one,
it is always a good recommendation to buy from breeders as you
can guarantee their health before you purchase them.
3. Exercise good litter (and hygiene) management. For owners
keeping goats for milk, it is a good measure to make sure to
keep their flooring well-maintained with fresh straw or wood
shavings. Place these hays in spaces that are clean, not in
susceptibly wet (and often dirtied) areas. If the old shavings
sizably accumulate, remember to clean up the litter or the
shelter floor itself every once in a while. Also, create a
sizable distance between the water trough (or the water source)
and the susceptible areas where goats are expected to accumulate
their litter, just so you are assured they donít get sick. Ideal
areas for the buckets or troughs of water are in an accessible
area in the shed or where they graze outside, in the barnyard.
4. Feed them well! They mostly require two meals per day, with a
good diet of hay (alfalfa) and commercial pellets. As goats are
not picky in eating, remember that if you intend to put variety
in their food it is only because you want them to yield the best
type of milk possible. So about two or three pounds of
store-brought, nutrient feeds will do the trick in making good
milk. In keeping goats for milk, a good mix of vegetables along
with the hay and the pellets also induce god digestion, so donít
forget to put variety in their food, but not too much!
5. Breed your nannies. Of course, the best advice we can give
you is that it wonít make much sense that you milk your goats if
they canít lactate. And for them to do so, you must breed them.
Once theyíre pregnant, youíll have to halt the milking process,
but a week after birth of the new kids will do so you can
proceed. This plays as an advantage for you too, as you can have
more goats to keep you company.
However you treat this activity of
keeping goats for milk,
may this be for enjoyment or for profit, once you get the hang
of it, it wonít seem much like a bothersome thing to do. As
goats are also natural charmers like your dogs and cats, youíll
be sure to have a good time with them.
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