The value of goat milk has been known for a long time. It contains many different vitamins and other valuable substances, it is recommended for women to drink during lactation in order not to decrease the quality and quantity of mother’s milk.
But the goat for milk yield milk is approximately two times less than the cow, and goat milk is more valuable, therefore it is more difficult to buy it. Breeds of goats are divided into downy, meat, meat and dairy. However, milk derived from dairy goats is considered the most nutritious and valuable.
One of the advantages of such goats is the lack of smell of milk, therefore many farmers keep dairy goats on their own farms. The main such rocks will be described below.
How to choose a dairy goat for your farm
Dairy breeds of goats were bred for breeding in certain regions with characteristic weather conditions, so before buying this pet you should ask the seller whether this animal will be able to live in a specific area, whether it will endure a severe winter or a very hot summer. The climate significantly affects the yield of goats, as well as the quality of milk.
You should not chase the overseas breeds of these domestic animals — it is quite possible that in a new region for a goat it will get used to the living conditions and diet for too long.
It is better to buy local dairy goats, which from generation to generation live in the same area, are accustomed to the local «green» food, during the entire summer season they are thrown out to feed on pasture, saving on the purchase of feed. And for the winter, zealous owners can always mow and dry enough grass for their dairy pet.
Choosing a Milk Goat
The main selection criteria for goats with high performance experts include:
— the shape of the udder (and its texture);
— The ratio of the size of the back, pelvis, chest;
— the correct setting of limbs.
Experts recommend to pay attention to the following main characteristics of pedigreed high-bred individuals:
— whether the front and rear parts of the body are at the same level — this is one of the main signs of animal breeding, but may not be the cause of large yields;
— You should also carefully examine the goat’s udder. Its two shares should not be explicitly highlighted. The shape of the udder of the dairy females is pear-shaped or round, the udder itself is dense, voluminous. When feeling in it should not be seals. A hanging udder is a bad sign, such a goat will have low milk yield;
— The size of the nipples is close to the average, they should stick out in different directions;
— udder skin is elastic, not covered with a woolen cover.
It is important not to be limited to the visual inspection of this animal at rest — you need to look at the udder while the animal is moving. In the dairy goat, it does not hang in time with the steps and does not hang down.
Dairy breeds of goats have a woolen cover that should not be too long — then it is easier to care for them. How old is the acquired animal, his teeth will say. The one-and-a-half-year-old goats did not have incisors, the milk teeth were gradually replaced by indigenous ones by two years.
After the first lambing, the goat still does not produce good milk yields, it begins to be distributed after the birth of the second offspring. After six years, the number of milk yields begins to decline.
Zaanensky goats — producers of the most delicious and valuable milk, and in milk production they rank first among all dairy breeds. It can be safely called the most dairy breed of goats. The height of goats in withers is 94 cm, goats — 77 cm, body volume — from 80 to 84 cm. The body weight in adult animals can reach 95-98 kg.
With good care and a properly selected diet from one female of this breed, you can build up to 750 liters per year. milk, and goat-record holder can produce more than 1100 liters. high-quality milk with fat content of about 3.9%, and the lactation period can last up to 10.5-11 months.
The main breed standard:
— wool color is white, in European countries cream and saanenes are also bred, but they are not found in Russia;
— the size of the chest and back — more than the average;
— horns — small, because this breed is komola;
— limbs — massive, erect;
— the coloration of the oral cavity is pinkish;
— wool cover — small length;
— torso — elongated, back straight;
— wide muzzle;
— volume neck.
The disadvantages of this breed include:
— the dependence of milk yield on care and diet;
— in our country it is difficult to buy purebred goats of this breed.
Characteristic features of these goats: volume, strong body, coat color — gray with brown tint, white shirt front on the chest. The breed was bred by Swiss breeders.
Another characteristic feature of these animals is their relatively low growth — at the withers they grow to 68-69 cm, and the weight of adult males is about 58 kg, in females — not more than 42 kg.
In the face of goats are characteristic stripes of white color. According to the breed standard, white spots may be present around the nose, the ears, limbs and backside also usually have a white color. The hair is soft to the touch, short on the body, but grows up to 13-14 cm on the back and top of the legs.
The elongated graceful neck smoothly passes into an elongated straight back, the limbs are slightly larger than the average size.
The udder of the females of this breed is large, rounded. From one goat for the period of lactation receive up to 1000 liters. fat milk. Goats are milked for 8-8.5 months.
Due to the warm elongated hair of such goats, it can be maintained in the conditions of Siberia and the Far East, but in open enclosures they can be kept there only in summer.
Nubian goats A characteristic feature of these goats is irrepressible curiosity. The homeland of these animals is the United Kingdom.
One of the main features of such animals is the direct dependence of milk yield on the conditions of detention and diet. With improper care, the milk yield of Nubians is sharply reduced.
Milk fat content of such goats is very high — more than 4.4%, and the amount of protein exceeds 3.6%. The unusually tasty milk with a creamy taste has no characteristic smell, and the Nubians themselves do not have the “aroma” characteristic of many breeds of goats. The height of these pets at the withers exceeds 73 cm, an adult animal can weigh over 75 kg.
Standard coat color is a mixture of black, brown, red and white spots. The amount of milk in females of this breed is much less than that of saanen, but its fat content is higher. The main disadvantage of the breed — a great mobility and cockiness. Young goats are especially vigorous, therefore horns usually burn them.
These animals have a wild temper, so the owners need to strictly treat the herd of Nubians. Therefore, these animals begin to «educate» from childhood, otherwise in adulthood with these individuals will be very difficult to cope.
Goats of this breed are primordially Russian, they can usually be seen in the illustrations to Russian folk tales — white long hair, elongated muzzle, and long, slightly curved horns.
The milk yield in females of dairy breeds is quite high — up to 620 liters per year. The quality of milk is high, and the fat content can vary from 4.3-4.4%. The lactation period is usually about 7.5 months.
Representatives of this breed feel great in the climatic conditions in which their ancestors lived, they do not require special conditions of detention. The body of these goats is shaped like a barrel — wide, squat, chest — medium size, head — slightly elongated, ending with slightly rounded horns and small triangular ears.
The mass of adults does not exceed 48-49 kg, the skin is thin, but durable, it is usually used for the manufacture of high-quality leather products. Although these animals were imported to Russia from Europe several centuries ago, individuals quickly acclimatized due to their unpretentiousness. It is this breed that experts recommend breeding novice cattle breeders.
Alpine Milk Goat
The main characteristics of these goats, whose homeland is the Alps, are as follows:
— growth in withers — 75 cm;
— weight — 74-76 kg;
— at one time the female can bring up to 3 kids;
— yield — about 900 liters per year;
— lactation period — 9-11 months;
— fat content — 3.6-5.4%;
— at slaughter meat yield — not less than 52%.
At the beginning of the last century, the goats of this breed were exported to North America, where they are still popular with farmers due to the high quality of milk, fertility and good meat yield at slaughter.
The coat color of alpine goats may be as follows:
— bay color with dark spots, arranged chaotically;
— black, with white coloring of the head.
The color of the alpine goats is predominantly white or spotted head, neck, and the body is brownish (may be bay). The body is rather massive, the head is elongated, and the neck is medium-sized.
Limbs — strong, strong, muscular, a special pride of such goats — hoofs. Inside they are filled with a special substance that gives the hoof elasticity. Strong, strong hooves are created so that these animals can safely climb mountains.
The nature of the alpine goats — strong-willed, in relation to other animals often behave aggressively. These individuals are born leaders, therefore, in the barnyard, goats of this breed are clear leaders. It is better for these animals to fence a separate enclosure and keep it separate from other cattle.
Alpine breed can be kept in cages all year round (subject to mild winters), they are able to walk long distances without searching for food and climb into hard-to-reach places. But young goatlings need to be watched so that they do not stumble in the mountains.
This breed can be wound up and beginners, but they should be trained, as the animals are stubborn. These goats are unpretentious, perfectly survive in any conditions, quickly getting used to new conditions.
Dwarf Cameroon Goat
If there is not enough room for keeping ordinary goats and there is no possibility to stock up a large amount of hay for the winter, then compact dwarf Cameroon goats can be bred. These animals are miniature, do not require large stocks of feed, however, and milk give a little — up to 2 liters per day.
Therefore, it is not advisable to breed them if the goal is to sell milk, but for a family of 4-5 people, this amount of milk is quite enough.
In height, these compact individuals grow to 48-49 cm, and the mass of an adult animal rarely exceeds 22 kg. The heads of these goats are decorated with horns bent to the back, a beautiful beard and wide ears.
The color of the skin is monotonous or spotted, the spots may be multi-colored (red, black, white). The tail is small, standing upright. Cameroon goats do not require special care, picky, do not require a large number of feed. Yes, and a place on the thief they need not so much.
The goats of this breed are perfectly adapted to heat and cold, calmly endure abrupt changes in weather conditions, only they do not tolerate high humidity. Dwarf goats have high immunity, so they are practically not susceptible to diseases. The dry hot climate is better suited for their maintenance.
The homeland of this breed of goats are the foothill and mountainous regions of Georgia. There are the following types of Megrelian breed:
The mountain view is characterized by larger sizes: at the withers the growth of a goat reaches 58-59 cm, and its weight is 67-68 kg. In the summer, this species of goats is expelled to pastures located in mountainous areas, and with the onset of cold weather they are transferred to lowlands.
During the year, from one goat you can milk up to 850 l of milk, and in half a year of active lactation from a single female feed up to 360 l of milk. The fat content of this nutritional product can reach up to 3.8-3.9%.
Torso — dense, elongated, back and chest — more than medium size. Limbs straight, strong, ears of medium size, set upright. The head is decorated with long horns, slightly curled back, and a rather long beard.
High fecundity, good milk yield, resistance to diseases — all these positive qualities became the reason for the use of the Megrelian breed in breeding for the improvement of other breeds of goats. The fur is rather short, rather rough to the touch. Color of wool and skins — white or light gray.
Existing dairy breeds of goats are quite popular — they are bred in many farms. And if it is better for beginner breeders to start with the breeding of unpretentious animals (for example, Russian white goats), then the farmers will cope with the experience with more thoroughbred and high-yen goats such as Zaanen.