Let’s learn about goats!

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This is not the first time we’ve posted photos of #totesadorbs baby goats, and it certainly won’t be the last. We’ve known since we first invented Quiet Farm in our heads that we want to keep milking does, so as with all other aspects of farming, we’re learning how to do that from books and the University of YouTube and on-farm experience, too. By the time we actually find our farm, hopefully we’ll (sort of) know what we’re doing.

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Some fun facts about goats:

  • Goats have a reputation for eating just about anything, including clothes, trash and other inedible items. This is entirely untrue; goats are browsers, rather than grazers, and are naturally curious. They use their lips and teeth much as we use our fingertips – to investigate unknown objects – and they’re actually quite fussy about what they’ll eat. Goats also only have teeth on their bottom jaw, not their upper.
  • Goats are fantastic climbers and love to quickly attain the highest perch available – hence the popularity of goat yoga. Goats can climb trees!

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  • Does are pregnant for 150 days on average, or about five months. Goats most often have twins, with single births and triplets less common. Recently a doe gave birth during goat yoga, which presumably made everyone’s day. Does recognize their kids not by sight, but by their unique bleat and of course their smell.
  • As with any mammal, goats need to kid regularly in order to continue producing milk. Statistically, of course, this means that about half the kids will be male, and therefore unnecessary. Acknowledging that dairy production naturally leads to meat production is a key aspect of responsible consumption, especially for vegetarians.

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  • Goat meat is by far the most widely consumed meat in the world – except not in the United States. It is difficult to find goat meat in the U.S.; your best bet is to search out a halal butcher.
  • People who have difficulty digesting cow’s milk may find that they tolerate goat’s milk better, as the chemical structures are slightly different. Goat milk is naturally homogenized, meaning it doesn’t separate into layers. Unless you live close to a goat dairy, however, almost all of the goat milk sold in standard supermarkets will be UHT. Don’t waste your time with it.

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  • Convinced you hate goat cheese? Try a high-end brand, like this one. There is a lot of lousy goat cheese out there, and poor-quality products ruin things for everyone. Cheesemakers say that keeping the buck with the does gives the milk that particular “goaty” flavor, so a good dairy will keep males and females separate. Also, try aged goat cheeses rather than fresh chèvre, which most often has that tang that many people dislike (and that others absolutely love).

Hopefully the next goat photos we post will be of our own herd!

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3 thoughts on “Let’s learn about goats!

  1. Hi, I thought that has time progresses, mammals will give less milk but not dry up as long as they are being milked. Is that right or wrong?
    Thanks

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    • Hi Marty! In most cases, dairy animals will produce less and less milk until they dry up entirely – even if milked – unless they become pregnant again. This “natural lactation curve” might be weeks or months or even a couple of years for certain animals, but this system wouldn’t yield enough consistent milk for commercial needs, hence the regular birth of young animals. Plus, milking without pregnancy can be very hard on animals, too. I do think it’s very important for people who consume dairy of any type to understand that dairies necessarily produce way more animals (mostly males) than they need to sustain their herd size, and those animals have to end up somewhere.

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  2. Pingback: An announcement | Finding Quiet Farm

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