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Dairy goats: how to raise them


Dairy goats, goats are and are animals raised both for companionship and income. In addition to milk, they can provide meat or wool. In any case, therefore also the dairy goats, they are versatile, great to keep on a farm but there must be plenty of space.

It is important to understand what you want from a goat, I mean, to choose the breed, but first let's ask ourselves if we are ready to raise an animal which requires commitment, perseverance and presence and at times a lot of patience.

Let's not forget the spirit of tolerance and endurance: the dairy goats however, they are farm animals, we cannot expect that, even if we happen to be the most meek and hygienic of all dairy goats of the world, it behaves like a cat or a dog.

Raising dairy goats, but also from wool or a pet, it means feeding them every day, buying food, paying for visits to the vet and making sure they are happy and healthy. Taking into account the size and space at our disposal, like dairy goats we can choose from the most popular: Alpine, LaMancha, Nubian, Oberhasli, Saanen & Sable, and Toggenburg. Or there are those from meat (Boer, Kiko, Spagnole, Savannah, Texmaster, Genemaster and Moneymaker) or from wool (Angora, Cashmere, Pygora and Nigora) and finally those for pets, often in miniature, such as Nigerian Dwarfs, Pygmy Goats and Kinder.

Dairy goats: how to raise them

For raise dairy goats it is necessary to have a lot of outdoor space, as well as an indoor place where they can rest. Each specimen needs 3-5 meters of space which must be absolutely dry and without drafts, with a floor covered with a coating made of wood chips, straw and hay scraps. We do not forget the fenceotherwise goodbye dairy goats.

The most lively, which move quickly, easily and with a regular pattern, which have no protuberances or abscesses and show a deep and rounded belly, wide hips and downward breasts, are the dairy goats to choose.

If we are starting, we can focus on a pair of females, the male is rented when it is necessary to make them reproduce. It avoids a problem, because i males are aggressive and stink, usually these goats are taken for meat or for domestication.

For the age of the goats, it all depends on the budget and the time we want to wait, the younger they are, the less they cost, but we have to wait months and months and months for the first milk. It goes from dairy goats 8 weeks, cheap, but with which to wait almost two years before seeing the milk, until pregnant dairy goats which require an extra fee but the wait is 5 months. To buy old dairy goats it is cheap but risky, often the weakest or the sickest ones are foisted.

Dairy goats: feeding and reproduction

To feed the dairy goats a large amount of hay and wheat is needed, and then they need proteins, especially if pregnant, and mixtures of minerals. We can also grant them fruits and vegetables but only apples, pears, peaches, watermelons, bananas, carrots, celery, courgettes and spinach, NOT potatoes, tomatoes and black cabbage: they could poison themselves.

For the reproduction of dairy goats, they start at the age of 6 months and weigh 30 kg, when they are in heat, that is, in August or September. There pregnancy it lasts 150 days, with 2-4 puppies, and the milk cycle begins and then continues with a continuous production of 305 days interrupted by a "dry" period of two months before being able to give birth again. Milked morning and evening, the dairy goats they produce about 2.8 liters of milk per day.

Saanen goats

They are among the most famous dairy goats, come from Switzerland but are also widespread in many other European countries. This breed is intensively farmed, has white hair, a slender appearance, a weight of about 70 - 75 kg, even 80-100 for males: it is the largest among the dairy goats, enough to produce 900 liters of milk in 300 days.

Chamois goats

From the Alps come the chamois goats, they are dairy goats stop. In addition to Switzerland, they are found in France and Germany, am also in Piedmont and Trentino-Alto Adige, occasionally in Lombardy. The chamois goats they have a medium-large size, are robust and strong, tempered in the cold of the mountains.

The males have a beard, they all have horns, the name derives from the coat that recalls the color of that of the alpine chamois. The chamois goats are in fact fawn, with more or less dark tones and a black line along the spine. The extremities and the face mask are also black.

Murcian goats

This breed of dairy goats it comes from the south east of Spain and is very much bred in South America and North Africa. They are medium-sized animals (70 cm at the withers) and a harmonious physique, small ears and a coat of various shades of red, up to black. Like Dairy goats are great: produce up to 900 kg of milk.

Tibetan goats

They are called that but they come from Somalia, le Tibetan goats, and in Italy they are present for ornamental purposes, in zoos and in educational farms. The coat of Tibetan goats can be white, black, brown or piebald with two or three colors, as dimensions measure 50-60 cm at the withers, weigh 20-30 kg and have horns, both males and females.

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