Dairy Goat Breeds, List, Milk Production, Breeding

Introduction to dairy goat breeds: Dairy goat breeds are goats that are very good for milk production. Goat’s milk is a healthy and excellent source of nutrition. You can raise one or a few dairy goats to provide nutritious milk for your family. If you want to start producing goat milk commercially, you also need to choose the best and most productive dairy goat breeds. Due to the high demand for goat milk around the world, dairy goat farming is considered to be very profitable. In this article we also covered the below points about dairy goat breeds;

  • What is the best dairy goat?
  • Common breeds of dairy goats?
  • Is raising dairy goats profitable?
  • Do dairy goats always produce milk?
  • Is dairy goat farming profitable?
  • Raising goats for beginners
  • The best breeds of dairy goats for milk production.
  • Some tips to get you started with the best goats for milk

A step by step guide to best dairy goat breeds, list, milk production, feeding and breeding

Dairy Goat Breeds
Dairy Goat Breeds (Image source: pixabay)

Goat’s milk is very healthy and easy to digest. And milk is high in fat and low in lactose compared to other types of milk, such as cow’s milk. Goat’s milk is easy to digest for people who are lactose intolerant. The goat market is becoming increasingly popular, with the demand for goat’s milk. Much of the effort to improve dairy and goat management has been made to provide more milk. These efforts include;

1. Breeding and selecting to produce as much milk as possible.

2. Better feeding and grazing methods.

3. Better accommodation for extreme weather and climate.

4. Improved sanitation of milk and dairy products.

5. Control of internal parasitic diseases that often lead to poor health and reduced milk production.

6. Better marketing of dairy goat products.

7. Development of information and research services.

In terms of body shape and size, dairy goats are quite tall with long legs. These goats are tall and have no fat in their bodies. Goats are fun to raise, and many people use goats for their use that means for milk, and perhaps cheese or other goat’s milk products and some dairy goats commercially.

For these reasons, the demand for goat’s milk is gradually increasing. And starting a goat business for milk production is a good decision today. If you are planning large-scale commercial production or just want to raise one or a few goats, you need to select the best quality dairy goat breed to get maximum milk production. The following are the three most important recommendations for ensuring the efficiency and productivity of a dairy goat enterprise.

  • Firstly, manage young does to have them ready for breeding at the age of 7 months. This increases the total lifetime milk production.
  • Encourage work to be refreshed as long as possible. It provides a year-round source of milk to the customers.
  • Cull animals to eliminate low producers. If animals are killed for genetic reasons, it can increase herd production.

Housing and equipment for raising dairy goat breeds

There are generally four requirements for the efficient housing of dairy goats. Firstly, the building should be properly ventilated and the walls and ceiling should be free from condensation. Secondly, the bed area should be dry and clean. Thirdly, feeders and watering devices must be well constructed and located so that feed and water are not contaminated with animal waste or improperly wasted. Good access to good quality water is essential for milk production and herd health. Fourthly, housing must be arranged so that minimum wages and time are required to keep it clean.

The milking area should be separated from the stable area and there should be a concrete floor to facilitate cleaning. The milking platform should be 15 to 18 inches above the floor so that milking can be done easily. The milk should be cooled immediately after milking and kept at a temperature below 4°C until processed or used. Cooling is essential for maintaining the taste and quality of milk. Bacteria in hot milk begin to multiply in a short time and cause poor milk quality. Coldwater is more effective than cold air in cooling milk. For refrigerators or small herds, one or more milking buckets in the cooler should contain one pan of water equal to the amount of milk.

Dairy goats need a clean, dry place that is free of drafts. You will need a barn that is warm and enclosed. Providing plenty of forage for goats is key to a happy and healthy herd. And you have to make sure that you have an extra-strong, probably electric fence for the goats.

Feeding management for dairy goats

Feeding the goats –Dairy goats are often bottle-fed because they are provided with as many nutrients, fats, minerals, and vitamins as are necessary to produce high-quality milk. There is an increasing amount of care for raising dairy goats. Milk production, high quality, and its large quantity require certain parameters.

Goats have a high level of care for milk and they need a lot of care. They need the highest quality food as well as a lot of it. It is worth noting that goat milking equipment is expensive. In addition, the process of milking process itself is very time-consuming. You also need to make sure that the milking parlor and area are clean. It is also a fact that dairy from goats needs to be licensed and regulated. Simply put, raising goats for dairy can be expensive, time-consuming, and labor-intensive. Dairy goats are profitable because they can breed and produce young goats. Also, keep in mind that dairy farmers should milk their goats every 12 hours. Maintaining this schedule can be another challenge associated with dairy goats.

To maintain milk production, goats must be fed a balanced diet for energy, protein, minerals, and vitamins based on the requirements. To reduce costs, fodder such as grass, silage, and pasture should be the majority of the daily diet. Goats are efficient browsers and can choose from low-quality to high-quality food, especially when using unconventional pasture plants (such as weeds, shrubs). Available forages should be assessed based on plant species and maturity, with the highest quality fodder safe for pregnant, lactating, and growing animals. It is important to supplement the diet with a dietary supplement to provide extra energy and protein, especially during lactation. Grain mixes can also contain extra minerals and vitamins. Cereal feeding should be limited because a high-grain diet with low fiber intake can reduce rumen health problems (such as indigestion, acidosis) and milk fat intake. The availability of dietary energy is important for high milk production while protein and fiber affect milk quality. High-producing does need quality fodder and extra grains at a rate of 2.5 to 3 pounds of milk per 1 pound.

Forages usually do not have enough minerals to meet nutritional needs, so supplements are usually needed. A mineral mixture of salt with calcium, phosphorus, and trace minerals is commonly used. Fruit fodder (for example, alfalfa, and clover) contains a lot of calcium and requires only phosphorus with a trace mineral supplement. If pasture is the main source of fodder, then vitamin supplements are not important. If only grass or sludge is used, additional vitamins A, D, and E will be needed. Vitamins can be provided in a free-choice mineral source or grain mix. Commercial cow rations or custom grain mixes can be fed to 14 to 20% protein goats. Most sheep products will not have enough copper for goats.

Breeding management for dairy goat production

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Dairy Goat Breeding
Dairy Goat Breeding (Pic credit: pixabay)

Breeding is essential that you plan for kidding. Occurs mostly in autumn and winter and has an 18-21 day estrous cycle. The first mating usually occurs when the duo is 19 months old; however, they can become fertile from the age of three months so they must be separated from buck kids early.

Breeding is seasonal which needs the use of hormones and light manipulation. The gestation period of goats is about five months. Most does are mated during the fall to have fun in the spring, when plenty of green feed is available. A doe usually has an average of two kids per mating. Newborns should be protected from predators (such as dogs, foxes) and given adequate shelter.

Goats are usually docile animals, which makes them relatively easy to milk. For those who live on very small estates for cows, keeping dairy goats can be a great alternative. Lactation usually lasts for 300 days; each doe produces an average of 2-3L / day. It may be necessary to breastfeed twice daily during lactation when up to 4L / day may be produced.

The supply of milk to goats is seasonal due to the breeding cycle. This can make processing and distribution difficult because milk is not easily supplied throughout the year. The flock can be organized separately and milked on a rotating basis to help with the year-round milk supply. However, seasonal production can simplify management and provide some time. Special equipment will be required if you plan to run a commercial dairy, but small milk can be hand-fed. Requirements of the milking premises can include;

  • Shed, holding yard, feed box, feeder
  • Milk storage facilities (for example milk wheels)
  • Access to tracks for trucks or tankers
  • Effluent disposal system and ponds.

Tips on how to raise dairy goats

  • Select goat breeds based on all the important factors like cost/production length/ease of maintenance, etc.
  • Dairy goats need a clean and dry environment, which means a closed warehouse during the winter months.
  • Always make sure you have large and stiff fences, as goats are usually the notorious escape artists.
  • To feed a variety of grasses, shrubs, grasses, woods, and supplements.
  • Milk goats should be milked twice a day to prevent young goats from drinking all of their mother’s milk.
  • Goats reach maturity between 4-12 months, mostly in terms of breed, diet, nutrition, and overall health.
  • After the goat is born, she will start making milk or freshen. If milked continuously, she will be able to produce milk for an average of about 10 months. And she should be allowed an interval of a few months before rearing her.
  • Goats must be milked twice a day that is about 12 hours apart. It is advisable to keep a good routine for your dairy goats. Changes in routine or environment can lead to a decrease in milk production.

Choosing a goat breed for milk production

Before choosing a single goat for milk production, there are several factors that you should consider. These include the following factors;

  • Demand.
  • The amount of milk that a particular breed can produce.
  • Difficulty breeding in question.
  • The taste and quality of milk
  • Milk is viable for making cheese, soap, and other related products.

Meat vs. Dairy Goats

Meat goats are very easy to raise and care for, but generally do not generate as much profit as dairy goats with more time and energy. You can only slaughter a meat goat once, but a dairy goat will continue to produce milk for many years, as well as offspring, which can then be used to produce more dairy or meat. Of course, in addition to raising goats for meat, raising goats for milk production purposes is another lucrative option.

Raising dairy goats for profit

Of course, in addition to raising goats for meat, raising goats for milk production purposes is another profitable option.

Goat milk production per day

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Goat Milk Production
Goat Milk Production (Image credit: pixabay)

Your average dairy goat produces 1 to 3 gallons of milk per day or about 12 liters. Best dairy goats will produce up to 1,800 liters of milk during the 305-day lactation period. The amount of milk and the length of lactation vary from generation to generation, as does the amount of butterfat in milk. Boer goats often produce three times and sometimes four times as much, although standard boars have only two teats. Extra kids often need bottle feeding, which creates additional demand for fresh goat’s milk.

The best goat breed for milk production depends on whether you want to market milk alone or dairy products. Saanen goat breed produces the most milk per lactation, with a range of 275-2,740 liters of milk per milk. But their milk is only 3.3% butterfat, among the lowest of the popular dairy goat breeds.

Nubians produce an average of 560-4,270 pounds, or 252-1921 liters of milk per lactation, with a shocking average of 4.9%. The Nigerian dwarf goat has the most butterfat of all dairy goats. Goat’s milk is high in fat when making dairy products, including cheese, soaps, and moisturizers. Goat’s milk is structurally different from cow’s milk because it is naturally the same and milk and cream will not be separated. This makes the milk taste rich and smooth, but also makes it difficult to make cream or butter from goat’s milk. The best breed of goat for milk depends on what your final product will be for consumers, as well as how much space there is on your farm and your local climate. Some breeds of goats work better than others in hot, arid areas, and some prefer cold, bad weather.

Health management for dairy goats

Dairy goats are usually healthy by the life span of 15-20 years. Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis (CAE) virus is a major viral disease in goats. The virus causes chronic arthritis/synovitis in older goats and weakness of the hind legs, leading to paralysis, fits, and death in kids. However, only 10% of the infected goats may ever show signs of disease. CAE is transmitted through infected colostrum, saliva, urine, blood, and through numerous uses of injection devices.

Another health problem for dairy goats is mastitis. Mastitis is caused by a physical injury or bacteria and can damage milk production. Subclinical mastitis is difficult to detect because there is no significant change in the composition of the udder or milk. However, milk production will decline and scar tissue will form in the udder. To prevent mastitis, make sure you have good hygiene. You should talk to your doctor about any treatment for mastitis.

Goats are also susceptible to internal parasites and fly strikes and need treatment when infections occur. Regular faecal eggs are counted to determine if parasites are present. Some chemicals will require a withholding period, where milk will be unsaleable so that the residue is not passed on to consumers. The instructions are printed on the label and should be followed carefully.

Goats are susceptible to clostridial diseases such as enterotoxemia and tetanus and should be properly vaccinated. Consult your veterinarian for advice on all aspects of goat health.

Best dairy goat breeds

There are several different goat breeds available to be the best and profitable milk producers. Before choosing a dairy goat breed, there are a few things you want to know about dairy goats in general.

  • Milk goats twice a day, 12 hours apart.
  • They must be bred and give birth (usually every year) to produce milk.

Dairy goats also need standard grains or alfalfa, hay, minerals, and pasture. The nutrition of dairy goats is especially important as they spend most of their lives pregnant or lactating. This requires adequate protein and a balanced diet. Goat’s milk, when tasted raw, tastes like cow’s milk. Here is a list of top breeds of goats for milk production.

The major breeds of goat are;

  • Toggenburg goat
  • Alpine goat
  • Nigerian dwarf goat
  • Nubian goat
  • LaMancha goat
  • Saanen goat
  • Oberhasli goat

The average lactation period for dairy goats is 284 days, with most yields usually 4 to 6 weeks after kidding.

Saanen goat

This is the most profitable type of dairy goat. This high production makes them the most popular dairy goat in the world. It is the most widely distributed dairy goat in the world and is valued for its abundant milk production. Saanen is one of the largest breeds of dairy goats and it is white. Saanen females give up to 4 liters/day of milk (during lactation, they can give up to 5 liters/day). The lactation period of Saanen goats is about 180 to 200 days.

Alpine goat

Alpine is an excellent dairy goat breed that produces an average of 1-2 gallons of milk per day. The breed was originally from the French Alps. The average butterfat content in alpine goat’s milk is about 3.5%. The alpine dairy goat is also called the French alpine goat. They are hardy and acceptable animals that grow in any climate conditions while maintaining good health and also excellent productivity. The hair is medium to short.

LaMancha goat

LaMancha goats are known for their distinctive shape with small or invisible ears. They are friendly and also good for meat production. They originated in Spain and have an average butter content of 4.2%.

LaMancha has a short and glossy coat with a variety of color variations and patterns. They are considered a viable breed and are the best producers of milk which are rich in fat and protein. The LaMancha goat is a breed of dairy goat. LaMancha goats are easy and friendly. They were a really good milker and very friendly and he decided to raise them selectively. They can give one gallon of milk a day and are easy to milk.

Jamunapari goat

Jamunapari is an Indian dairy goat with an average production of about 1 gallon per day. This breed has a very beautiful shape with long ears. It is a very popular dairy goat breed in India and some other South Asian countries.

A normal goat can eat 4.5 kg of green manure in a day. The feed must include at least 1 kg of dry manure i.e., pigeon pea/peas or leguminous grass. Jamunapari goats browse extensively about 94% of their time in winter and slowly in summer (about 55% of their time).

Toggenburg goat

The Toggenburg goat is one of the oldest breeds of dairy goat, first seen in 1600. This breed has a different shape with a straight face and a full beard. The average butterfat content in milk is 3.3%.

They are quite hardy and work well in most climates, but cold weather is better for them. This dairy goat breed is medium-sized, averaging 120 pounds. Toggenburg originated in Switzerland and produces about 1 1/2 gallon of milk daily.

This breed is medium-sized, strong, strong, and alert in appearance. The hair is short, long, soft, and thin. Its color is solid, varying from light to dark chocolate with no shade preference.

Nubian goat

The Nubian goat is an excellent dairy goat that can produce milk all year round. Its average daily milk production is 0.5 and 1.5 gallons. It is a large and graceful milk goat known for its high-quality milk production. The head is characteristic of a particular race, the profile of the face between the eyes and the mouth is strongly convex.

Oberhasli goat

Oberhasli is a Swiss dairy goat. Its color is chamoisee. Does may be black, but kissing is preferred. Oberhasli is a medium-sized goat breed, averaging 120 pounds. They are a calm and gentle breed of goat. These dairy goats were born in Switzerland. The Oberhasli goat produces about 1 / 2-1 gallon of milk daily.

Sable goats

Sable dairy goats are medium to large. Their hair is short; their ears should stand up and move carefully. The face should be straight. Sable can be any color or combination of colors. These goats are a large breed of goats, weighing an average of 140-140 pounds. Sable goats are incredibly friendly and gentle. They originated in Switzerland. Sable goats produce an average of about one gallon of milk per day.

Russian white dairy goat

This breed of goat is quite large, weighing an average of 130 pounds. Russian white goats are quiet and gentle. They make about 1 gallon of milk a day. These dairy goats were born in Russia.

Majorero Goat

These goats are quite large, weighing an average of 135 pounds. They make about 1 gallon of milk a day. The Majorero goats are originated in the Canary Islands.

Dairy goat income streams

With dairy goats, there are many ways you can make a profit from a variety of sources.

Breeding and Selling – Many people make money raising their dairy goats and then selling them to some kids. If you follow this path, you can gradually increase the herd overtime to produce more goats and increase your profits. Often gives birth to two, three, or more kids at a time, so if you keep your babies for your herd, your herd can spread very fast. To take good care of your herd, you may need to buy other goats from time to time and make sure you do not have inbreeding.

Of course, you will need a lot of land for your goats, and it will cost money to raise and take care of the herd. But many people are looking for creative ways to reduce costs and make more money. You need to keep your goats healthy and happy, as well as make money. The happier and healthier your goats are, the longer they will be able to breed for you.

Some dairy farmers raise and rear “registered” goats so that they can enter the goat show and win awards. Another source of income is when you need to get rid of goats, such as when you are older or have a lot of money. With them, you can sell them like goats, and make extra money.

Sale of milk and dairy products for profit – Along with dairy goats, you can also benefit from their products. Firstly, you don’t have to spend money on milk again. Our family drinks a lot of milk from our goats, which saves money at the grocery store. Some farmers start their dairy or creamery to sell goat’s milk or cheese to the public. But this usually requires licensing and inspection, which can be costly and is intended later when your herd and farm are well established and large and you have more experience. With proper licensing, goat’s milk can be used to make some products like yogurt, fudge, caramel, ice cream, etc.



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