breeding domestic goats
Secrets and Innovations in Breeding Domestic Goats

Breeding goats is a very profitable activity. These animals can equally be suppliers of wool, meat and milk. There are even decorative varieties of goats that can beautify any household. Of course, breeding goats at home is associated with certain costs for their maintenance and feeding. But, thanks to the high productivity of these amazing animals, any financial investment will quickly pay off.

How to choose a breed

Breeding goats is beneficial for any farm. For novice farmers, this is a great chance to develop their business from scratch. If you plan to breed animals as a business, then first you need to decide on the breed of goats. In other words, choose the direction in which you will develop your farming.

Currently, domestic goats are divided into four main areas:

  1. Dairy. This variety includes Swiss goats, for example, Saanen, Alpine, Toggenburg. It is possible to distinguish the Gorky and Russian White breed. Dairy goats have a long lactation period and are capable of producing five to eight liters of milk per day.
  2. Meat. These include Spanish, Boer, Kiko. These animals are very heavy and gain weight very quickly. It should be recalled that goat meat is not very valuable in our country, therefore, difficulties may arise with the sale of products.
  3. Woolen. These are Angora and Cashmere breeds. The wool of these animals is of very high quality, therefore it is highly appreciated in enterprises.
  4. Decorative. This is a Nigerian gnome and a kinder. For novice farmers, this type of interest is not of interest, animals can please the breeder only with a presentable appearance.

Usually goat breeding as a business involves obtaining milk. Therefore, if you are just thinking about purchasing breeding animals, opt for dairy goats.

Conditions of detention

Goats tied to a peg and nibbling grass in the sun: this is exactly the picture you can see in many villages. This is an example of how not to keep animals. Of course, in the warm season, goats spend most of their time on pastures. But when choosing a place for grazing animals, pay attention to the following nuances: the presence of a watering hole and trees, in the shade of which animals can hide from the heat. For winter maintenance, you need to take care of the room.

Goats are completely unpretentious animals. They perfectly adapt to almost any climatic conditions and tolerate winter cold well. Therefore, the requirements for the premises for their maintenance are minimal. At home, this can be an ordinary barn. The main thing is to comply with the following requirements:

  1. Maintaining the temperature regime. +6 in winter, +18 degrees in summer.
  2. Ventilation. Not a single self-respecting goat, even if it is a super dairy breed, will ever give good milk yield in a damp room with musty and stale air.
  3. Free space. Goats are active animals, they are almost always in motion. For animals to feel comfortable, each adult needs at least 4 square meters of area.

Buying breeding animals

Having dealt with the conditions of detention, you can start buying animals for your farm. If you are going to breed dairy goats, then pay attention to the following nuances:

  • the animals must look healthy. The coat is smooth, does not hang in tufts. A healthy and adult goat should have 32 teeth;
  • do not buy young goats. The highest productivity of lactating goats usually begins after the first lambing. In addition, it makes no sense to take animals over seven years old, at this age productivity usually declines;
  • if possible, try to milk your future purchase. This will help you find out the nature of the goat;
  • acquiring a goat at the initial stage of business development is not profitable. It is much more profitable to invite a breeding male directly for intercourse;
  • ask for all veterinary information and do not forget to inquire about the vaccinations received.

Important! If you buy an adult, milking goat for your farm, it is better to take a veterinarian with you. Some breeders are cunning and offer flawed animals for sale. Consulting an experienced professional will help you avoid an awkward purchase situation.

It is worth mentioning that goats are very companionable animals. Therefore, experienced farmers advise purchasing at least two animals when buying. If you have other pets on your farm, this advice can be disregarded. Goats get along well with sheep, cows and horses. The main thing is that they are not bored.

Feeding features

Given that domestic goats spend most of their time on pasture, their main diet consists of green forage. Animals feed on grass and tree leaves.

As a top dressing, you can use cereals (for example, chopped oats), vegetables and root crops. To increase milk yield, it is recommended to use combined feed.

In winter, goats willingly eat hay. As a source of vitamins, it is necessary to give animals branches of trees and vegetables.

Do not forget to water the animals on time. Each goat consumes about five liters of water per day. In order for your wards to have no health problems, the daily diet must necessarily contain chalk and mineral salt.

Breeding goats and keeping young animals

Goats are very prolific animals. Depending on the breed, each litter can increase your herd by at least one goat. These animals are characterized by multiple pregnancies, so usually two to five babies are born.

Goat puberty begins as early as six months. But it is recommended to cover them at the age of eight or ten months. Bearing a fetus usually lasts 150 days. Lambing at home usually resolves quickly and without complications.

After the appearance of the kids, two options for keeping the young are open to the farmer:

  1. Immediately after the mother licks the goat, it is placed in a separate pen. It is necessary to feed the baby in the first month of life with mother’s milk, but the farmer has to milk the goat and feed the cub. If goat breeding is considered a business, then this option for keeping young animals looks optimal.
  2. The goat is kept with its mother. In this case, all the milk will go to feed the offspring. Accordingly, you will not receive any profit in the next two months. But there will be no hassle for keeping and feeding young animals. Goats have a well-developed maternal instinct, they are quite capable of taking care of their offspring on their own.

Which option to choose depends only on you.

Possible diseases

No matter how well you take care of your charges, sooner or later you may encounter diseases of goats. It makes no sense to describe each disease separately, so we will give the general symptoms of common ailments:

  • depression and fever;
  • mucous nasal discharge and diarrhea;
  • cough, hot udder, gray gums, swollen eyelids.

If you notice these signs in goats, then you need to urgently call a veterinarian. Do not try to heal animals yourself. Only a specialist can make the correct diagnosis and prescribe medications.

As you can see, breeding goats at home is a responsible occupation, but not too troublesome. Even a novice farmer can keep these amazing animals. Be aware that many large farms began with goats.

milk products
What Can Be Made From Milk at Home

Why do you need a milk separator?

Did you know that many dairy products can be made by yourself? Cream, kefir, fermented baked milk, cottage cheese, cheese, sour cream, butter, yogurt, yogurt and even ice cream – all this can be prepared at home.

All you need is farm milk (you can buy natural milk on the market) and a household milk separator.

Cooking your dairy products has many advantages: firstly, you get a natural and tasty product, and secondly, you have complete control over the entire cooking process and you can be sure of the quality of the products obtained. In homemade cream, sour cream and cottage cheese, there are no preservatives and chemical dyes, thickeners and other additives that are harmful to the adult body and absolutely unacceptable for children.

Why is it beneficial to use a separator?

For example, let’s analyze what can be obtained from 10 liters of milk (based on 1 liter of milk = 1 kg)

When separating milk, we get:

  • 2 liters of cream;
  • 8 liters of skim milk.

The cream can be left as is, or you can make butter out of it. As a result, from the cream we get:

  • 0.5-0.8 kg of butter (whipped by hand or with a churn);
  • 1.2-1.5 kg buttermilk.

Buttermilk will come in handy for making pancakes, muffins, cakes. You can also cook porridge on buttermilk, add it to smoothies or use it to make diet milk drinks.

If you want to cook cottage cheese, then from the remaining 8 liters of skim milk you get:

  • 2 kg of cottage cheese;
  • 6 kg of milk whey.

Whey is drunk in its pure form to improve digestion, increase immunity and lower cholesterol. Whey is also used to make milkshakes. And, of course, whey is indispensable for cosmetic purposes.

As a result, from 10 liters of milk you will get cream, butter, cottage cheese, buttermilk and whey. And you cook all this yourself, having only milk and a couple of tools at hand!

So what is a separator?

This is a special apparatus that separates regular milk into heavy cream and skim milk. In most cases, dairy products are made from skim milk, for which the milk must be separated.

Home separators can process 50 to 100 liters of milk per hour. That is, you only need 5 minutes to skim 10 liters of homemade milk.

How does a separator work?

During separation, milk, which is poured into a special bowl (separator drum), rotates in a circle at high speed and passes through several plates stacked on top of each other (separator plates). Thanks to centrifugal forces, the milk is divided into light fats and a denser milk mass. As a result, skim milk is poured into two containers: cream gets into one container, and skim milk goes into the other.

Health and economy

A quality separator is a great investment for a family. It will serve you for over 20 years. And most importantly, you and your loved ones will feel better, because proper nutrition is the basis of your health.

taste of milk
Influence of Different Feeds on Milk Taste

In addition to the most important nutrients (fat, protein), the quality and cost of the milk produced is influenced by its organoleptic and microbiological properties. Feeding-related changes can have a significant impact on milk by transferring aroma and flavor into milk. Oxidation processes (rancidity) also have a negative effect.

Aromas and flavors that are not characteristic of milk can affect milk in the following ways:

Due to direct contact with milk – especially in a warm state – milk picks up the smell of goat’s rue along with the feed. This can be avoided by maintaining milking and milk hygiene.
Fragrant and taste particles from the air of the goat’s rue pass through the inhaled air into the blood, and from there into the milk.
Substances can pass directly from a goat’s digestive tract into milk, or they undergo alterations in the digestive tract, such as betaine from beets, which converts to trimethylamine and gives the milk a fishy taste.

In the second and third cases, it is possible to help through the establishment of feed technology together with proper hygiene in the goat’s house. Strongly smelling feed is fed in small doses after milking, and the goat’s rue is thoroughly ventilated after feeding. In the relatively long period between milking, these substances will be mostly processed by the metabolism of the goat. Such fodder should never be stored directly in the goat’s house (be careful when thawing frozen silos or when storing unsealed silage film bales directly on the aisle).

Influence of different feeds on the taste of milk

Different feeds have different effects on the smell and taste of milk: green rye and green oats, as well as most legumes, especially fresh, cannot be fed thoughtlessly and a lot at one time. Turnip, kohlrabi, rapeseed, rape, when not fed properly and especially when frozen, lead to a pungent smell and a pungent, radish-like taste of milk. Wet silage should be fed more carefully than dried silage. But an unpleasant odor in the goat’s rue, associated with severe indigestion in goats, can also cause an unpleasant smell and taste in milk.

Bacteria in milk and feeding

The amount of bacteria in milk depends on the health of the animals, especially the health of the mammary glands, as well as the hygiene of the premises and milking. Feeding is also somewhat indirectly responsible for the amount of bacteria in milk. Feeding errors that lead to diarrhea in goats (abrupt change of feed, too little “structure” when feeding young and leafy green mass, dirty, missing or frozen feed, too much beet tops or green manure, an extremely large amount of fresh stillage fed, and etc.)  help to increase the number of bacteria in milk. Silage containing butyric acid can increase the number of butyric acid bacteria in milk with poor milking hygiene and maintenance, and thus lead to disturbances in milk fermentation in the production of cheese (because of this, there is a ban on feeding silage fodder in the production of Emmentler cheese).

Animal hygiene, housing and milking are essential for perfect milk production. The use of feeds that have a negative effect on the organoleptic and microbiological properties of milk can only take place without economic risk if they are used carefully and deliberately from a feed management point of view.

Oil properties

With a sharp transition of animals to food from pastures, polyene fatty acids from grass are absorbed already in the small intestine and are included in milk fat. As a result, the oil becomes soft (“meadow oil”).

However, very hard and poorly spreadable oils can be influenced. This firm consistency is often observed with higher amounts of corn silage and concentrates (“winter oil”) in the diet.

Milk easily absorbs odors and tastes

Flavors and aromas easily and quickly pass from feed into milk. Poor quality feed is also to blame for the unpleasant taste of milk. If the goats are fed with admixtures of highly aromatic herbs, for example, garlic, onions, fennel, etc., then milk will acquire the smell and taste of these substances in a short time.

According to Dombrowski, after feeding garlic, milk acquires a repulsive taste that remains for a long time even after boiling and cooling. Hansen found that feeding flaxseed meal produces a bitter taste in milk.

Milk with a bitter aftertaste also appears, according to Ryde, after feeding rotten feed, feed with a high content of beets or beet leaves, and raw potatoes. The same effect is caused by the use of rotten straw as bedding. Palmer identified the onset of the bitter taste of milk with progressive lactation. He established a pattern that such milk contains a very large amount of lipase. When it is destroyed by heating fresh milk, this bitterness does not disappear.

After feeding the cabbage to the goats before milking, the milk tastes bad. This taste is less noticeable in cream than in milk. Feeding the potatoes before milking produced only a very slight aftertaste that weathered very quickly.

The widely held belief that feeding fishmeal gives milk a fishy flavor has not been confirmed. So Winberg conducted a study in which he observed how feeding fishmeal from herring affects the taste of milk and as a result found that it did not affect the taste of milk and butter in any way. Bunger came to the same meaning when feeding fishmeal; but this type of feeding had a very negative effect on the structure of the oil. The oil was loose at first; later left on the tongue during melting a hard, rubbery consistency and a bitter aftertaste …

The unique feature of milk, which has a huge surface due to the smallest particles of milk fat, promotes strong absorption of odors, therefore the milk absorbs odors and gases very strongly. A common complaint that milk smells like goats is due to the strong absorption of gases and odors from the air in the barn.

Likewise, milk becomes saturated with foreign tastes and odors when it is in a room with strong odors, especially fresh milk. It is known that even smoking in a room where milk is located can spoil the smell and taste of this product. The influence of aromatic oils, disinfectants, for example, bleach, is even worse.

The observation from practice that milk absorbs smells from the environment the stronger the longer it is in the room and the higher the temperature in it, gave Alto a reason to conduct a study on the absorption of gases by milk and the effect of temperature on this ability. It has been found that the duration of absorption plays a much less important role than the temperature at which the absorption of gases occurs. Milk absorbed odor maximally at a temperature of 35 ° C, and at 50 ° C any absorption ceased.Almost complete release from absorbed gases and odors is possible by heating milk to 70 ° C and subsequent rapid cooling.