What You Can Find on Our Website, allthingsranch.com.
- Buy our ranch and body care products in our online STORE.
- Recipes using goat milk products
- Informative articles about goat’s milk
- How to join our Herd Shares Program or Soap Making Classes
A quick note on this time of year for our farm!
I wanted to inform each and every person who has signed up for our newsletters or is a customer. Each year it is very imperative that we exam the health and stability of our lovely herd of milking goats. We check their blood, to make sure they are healthy on the inside. IE no blood born pathogens or disease that can hurt our herd, milk or customers! I am happy to say that the 3rd season is yet another success of a healthy and happy herd of goats.
The girls get their manicure for the fall season (pictures will be posted on our page soon.) We make sure we are adjusting the diet to the needs of the season. Sometimes summer season is meant for fresh grass and yummy treats, while in the winter time they get rich leafy alfalfa that gives them the calories they need to keep producing the yummy milk we all drink, as well as make that milk a little more rich in flavor for this time of year.
Which leads into our discussion for this newsletter.
Goats are considered a seasonal dairy producer. What does that mean for the goats and for you? Most goats in the dairy industry start milking as early as January, most farm goats will start milking in early spring. These does* will produce at peak somewhere in the fourth month of milk production. This is the time to get your goat milk! It’s so fresh and light! It does not even resemble goat milk like you have “heard about” – you know, that real goaty flavor and pungent smell. So many people think it truly is cow milk. Although we take great pride in making sure we change our does’ diet as the season changes to keep it as fresh tasting as possible,sometimes it can be hard to keep a goat in a long production of milk without it starting to taste funny, or smell kinda weird.
Why you ask ?
This is where the seasonal part comes in. A goat is not meant to be bred once and milked for
years and years after, that is why we breed our does and have a “dry off” period every year. In
the spring we freshen, which sounds just like it is, getting fresh milk from our lovely ladies after
having a break, makes all the difference in the world on flavor and quality of the milk. Not to
mention, safety and health for our does, who deserve a break once a year to insure high quality
babies and milk.
The reason goats are seasonal is not just because we made them seasonal but because they
naturally produce different stages of milk. When a kid* is first born, for the first 72hrs the mother,just like humans, has colostrum to feed to their kid, this is very important for the vitamins and antibodies needed to insure a healthy life for for the baby.
After the colostrum runs its course, then the fats, SNF*, and minerals kick in( particularly calcium and phosphorous), and follow a pattern in which concentrations are highest in the colostrum and decline to minimal in the third or fourth month of lactation and slowly increase
thereafter. The milk of goats is found to have significant daily variations associated with almost every component. These daily fluctuations become especially pronounced after the fourth month of lactation when minimum concentrations have been passed. This is when we usually
start to see the change in texture of the milk as well as flavor and smell. We have observed that around mid November all our does will start to decrease their own milk production regardless of what we are feeding them. This happens partially because the amount of daylight starts to
lessen, therefore the does know instinctively that it is nearing winter and like a bear will start stocking up on calories in their bodies and stop producing the heavy flow of milk, causing them to have somatic cells*. This is that thick, almost stringy, texture we start to see about this time of year, mostly because of hormones but also because of the lack of daylight and increase in calories to their bodies not their milk.
So nevertheless, I hope this helps out with why we do what we do on our farm! Not only is it to protect you from foul tasting milk but to also insure we keep up to code with our morals as well as the state regulations, and let’s not forget our four legged beauties! Plus when the bouncing
babies are born we can continue to grow our herd and stay true to our ethics of health and happiness.
For individual questions or concerns please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
SEE YOU NEXT SEASON! ( Approx. February)
*Somatic cell: Primarily white blood cells. They are the first defense against bacteria that enter
the teat canal, also linked to high hormone counts.
*Doe: Female goat
*Kid: Newborn goat, or kidding a female goat in labor with the young goat.
*SNF: Solids not fats, IE beta casein, lactose, vitamins, minerals, etc..