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newb question

Discussion in 'Natural and Organic Husbandry' started by Tea Chick, Sep 5, 2014.

  1. Apr 17, 2015
    Banriona

    Banriona Chillin' with the herd

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    Piedmont region of NC
    For that much milk, a couple small goats like Nigerian Dwarfs or even one of the mini breeds (Standard breed X Nigerian Dwarf) being developed would work well. I believe the taste of the milk changes a bit depending on breed and feed. We chose Nigerian Dwarves for our family in part because they are reputed to have milk that tastes the closest to cow milk. Our doeilngs are just now reaching breeding age so we have yet to test this theory.

    If you choose cow, Dexters are a great breed and were the 'family cow' breed for many years before commercial dairies stepped in.

    Keep in mind whichever animal you choose will need to be bred in order to produce milk. What will be the plan for that? I don't own cows, but from what I've read that small of a pasture won't support one cow - nevermind a cow and another animal. Which is fine if you don't mind spending money on feed/hay. Just something to consider.

    Google your county's agriculture extension office. They will have a livestock expert to answer your questions, and will have a more area specific point of view.
     
    Tea Chick likes this.
  2. Jun 18, 2015
    mcjam

    mcjam Chillin' with the herd

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    Yes, for the amount of land you have, a few goats would be ideal. With the fencing you have, keeping them in would be questionable. Electric fence is usually pretty economical and easy to install as long as the land isn't too brushy and you take the time to train them to it.

    I would highly recommend though, that what ever species you start with, start with a mature well trained animal in milk already. Have the seller show you how to milk it and TASTE THE MILK! Especially goats milk, but also, each cow has it's own flavour. If you don't like the milk, there is no point buying the animal. Also, another reason for arriving at milking time and seeing the owner demonstrate and actually milking it yourself is to determine the animal's disposition. You need an animal who is kind, forgiving and knows their job. Any quality dairy animal seller would be happy to show you the ropes and understand the need to taste the milk.

    I have nubian goats and love their milk, but I have had goat's milk that made me want to spit it out as fast as possible. We also have 3 cross bred milch cows who each have their own strengths. One is our "butter" cow (high fat content), another is our fluid milk cow (very sweet) and the other we use for feeding pigs, chickens and calves. Her milk is just not quite as good as the others.

    Expect to pay a good fair price because the old saying is true: "buy quality and you only cry once". The bargain basement priced animals are usually priced that way for a reason, and most of those reasons are things that you do no want. You will get what you pay for.
     
    Tea Chick and animalmom like this.
  3. Jun 30, 2015
    mcjam

    mcjam Chillin' with the herd

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    We use Premier electric netting for our sheep and goats and rotate them to new grazing area every few days depending on how much to eat there is. You may not be able to fence the whole two acres, but with one section of electric fencing, an extra post with insulator between each included and a solar fencer, it should be fairly economical. If you really can't afford that, you may need to wait until you can save up the funds needed for quality animals and quality fence.
     
    Tea Chick likes this.
  4. Aug 16, 2015
    Tea Chick

    Tea Chick Ridin' The Range

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    Thank you so much for your input. I greatly appreciate the information and advice!!! :)
    Looking forward to more.


    PS: Currently, we're waiting on the milk animal, b/c it seems that we will be moving (and this property can't support our family's milk needs) and we want to do this right for the animal(s).