Dairy Goats anyone?

We are thinking of bringing goats onto our farm. First for milk and cream for the family, second for value added products such as goats milk soap…thirdly for eating up weeds and brush the horses don’t help with.
We are a tiny farm with four horses and about twenty-30 heritage chickens for eggs…etc.
I am really interested in being in a couple of goats for brushwork, and having the small ruminants joining our ‘herd’ in pasture management system is really interesting to me.
Pros and cons of goat keeping? Experiences? We love the Nigerian dwarfs and they have a very high butterfat content, but I also have access to some wonderful Oberhaslis and crosses to pick from if I really want a larger milking goat…
I’ve done lots of reading, and looked on forums…but it would be great to have some of my peers here …ecological farmers we all are…to glean info from :goat::goat:. I already know I’m going to have to get two goats. They get lonely and need a buddy.

Hi @highspiritsfarm123! The EFAO is hosting a workshop on Friday January 26th with Katie Normet from Rivers Edge Goat Dairy called “Raising and Keeping Dairy Goats.” You can find more details here: https://efao.ca/upcoming-events/?id=250

Hopefully you will be able to attend!

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I saw that. But its in Guelph too …I’m going to the Thursday workshop and debating what to do about Friday. I may not be able to stay down. I’m coming back on the Sunday with a friend to the Guelph conference

Hello High Spirits! Sorry for being a negative Nelly but you asked for my experience so here it is…I had all the same intentions that you mentioned so I got two goats. Thank God I only got two! They are very picky eaters. How on earth did they get the reputation as animals that would eat anything? Not so, and I’ve heard others tell me they had the same experience. They mostly want to eat leaves so my kids have been debranching the few trees we have to please them. Even then, they won’t eat just any leaves. They love grain. Love it! I get them the organic feed from Homestead but they’ll also eat corn. However, that’s against my principles. I don’t want to be bringing feed in. I want them to eat off of our land, which they won’t. Maybe if we had a wood lot then they could live off the land. So, I accept them as pets, not as livestock. They are unbelievably intelligent and personable. The kids love playing with them and they don’t bark and I don’t have to worry about them biting anyone.

Thank you. I suspect we will have the same issues…
I’m thinking of them being more like pets with jobs. Milk products for family, and maybe some items later as value added product. It’s the market garden veggies and fruits that I’m concentrating on…
They do seem to love pine trees, and we have LOTS of weedy pines that love to pop up everywhere…so that is not an issue.
I’ve heard that they can be a little fussy, and definitely I’m avoiding getting a buck…they STINK this time of year… literally I gag on my friends farm around her buck pens in rutting season. Ew. The girls on the other hand are no worse than cows…and I actually like the smell of cows…just no room for them, and the small ruminants would just fit here on the farm better.