Tuesday, August 26, 2008

would i be crazy to get my own goat?

diapers on my clothes line

We got some bad news yesterday, not the bad news we were expecting, not the bad news that's always lurking around the corner and which we rarely talk about, no, this was bad news for which we were completely unprepared.

The goats at the nearby farm where we've been buying raw goat milk for the last several months or so are not producing anymore!! Goat milk season is over!!

Did you know goats produce seasonally? I should read up on the details before I open my trap about it, but I am going to guess that it's more difficult to sustain lactation with goats than it is for, say, cows. If we wanted cow milk, we'd still be up a creek, though, because the same farm has a waiting list for cow milk as long as my arm. But we made a choice to stop consuming cow dairy a decade ago and have no plans to start again. It's hard to compare something you can reference presently with something you barely remember from the past, but I think I like goat milk a lot better, anyway. Less, uh, cow-y. Ha! (You know how people dismiss goat dairy on account of its goatiness? well.)

I have not broken the news to the children yet. My daughter, especially, will take it hard. Sure we can start buying boxes of pasteurized Meyenberg again, but can you believe that inferior product is more expensive than what we were buying fresh, raw, local? I had my suspicions about raw milk when we started, but the taste difference is great. It will be hard to go back.

And, no, diapers on the line have nothing to do with an unexpected dearth of goat dairy, but I've already posted a couple picture-less entries in a row and so I threw that one in, just because. I took it on a day the sun finally came out last week, after bringing in several rain-soaked loads to be tossed, in defeat, into the electric dryer.


Lisa said...

I'm not going to try to convince you to switch to cow dairy, but I think if what you were drinking a decade ago was pasturized cow dairy then for taste, it really isn't a fair comparison. Raw cow's milk is much better tasting and a better texture than pasturized, just like goat's.

Did you have any luck with the two leads that I gave you? I would call goat's milk cyclical, more than seasonal. It depends on when the goats were bred, so certain farms may have milk while others have dry goats.

Virginia Lyons, dairy goat rancher said...

Goats are so much easier to handle than cows, and they eat less. But no matter which you get, they are all living creatures, sentient beings that have life cycles that must be respected.

I love my goats. I have a few Nubians and French Alpine dairy goats. But right now, their lactation is noticeably falling way off. Three goats are only giving me 1/2 gal per day. I'll start breeding (freshening them) starting now and on into Sep., and then dry them out in Nov for 2 to 3 months.

Responsible goat herders dry out their does for the last 2 months of pregnancy to give the kids the nutrition and energy from Mom. Plus at least 1/2 of Mom's milk for 6 to 8 weeks until the kids are weaned. This is just the way it is.

I strongly encourage you to get a couple of dairy goats (they need goat cpmpanionship to thrive). When July rolls around start freezing 1/2 of their milk production to get you through the winter. Then thaw the milk in the refrigerator, not at room temperature.

Right now, I am making cheese to cheese to put away for the winter.

Angelina said...

I don't think the county is ready for people to keep goats on city lots. But wouldn't it be cool?

Since I dislike goat's milk I would have no actual reason for keeping them besides the fact that I like them.

Lisa said...

Angelina-It's the city who makes the ordinances, but actually, we checked and you can have them on a city lot! As long as it is 5,000 (I think) sq. feet or larger. The same rules for chicken housing with the property lines and such applies.