Basing on the chart above, the Saanen goat breed is the most productive goat in terms of milk production. Originating from Switzerland, the Saanen dairy goats have an average milk yield of 838 kg in a lactation period of 264 days. The milk of Saanen dairy goats have an average of 2.7-2.9% of protein and 3.2-3.3% of milk fat.
One dairy goat breed not mentioned in the chart above is the Nigerian Dwarf goat. Dating back to the 1950s, these miniature goats were brought to the United States and have been used not only for companionship but for their awesome milk production as well.
Taking from its name, the Nigerian Dwarf goats are known for their small body weight. These animals are known to be loving, gentle and even-tempered, perfect for petting zoos and families with children because of its playful personality.
What makes Nigerian Dwarf goats attractive and beautiful is because they are compact but can produce an impressive amount of milk. For a miniature goat breed, Nigerian Dwarf goats can produce a surprising amount of milk, approximately three to four lbs of 6 to 10% of butterfat milk per day. The high percentage of butterfat this dairy goat breed produces gives their milk a rich, sweet, decadent smell and flavor.
Taking care of goats is not just a part-time thing; it requires time, effort and dedication. A background or interest in agriculture is also a plus. To ensure that the dairy goats you are raising are productive in terms of meat, cheese, milk, etc., you need to take note of the following recommendations below:
- Encourage freshening of the does and give the animal the widest span of time as possible. This is good for your domestic market because you will be able to provide a regular source of milk all year round. Aside from selling milk to customers, breeders can be sure that their family will also have a steady source of milk from dairy goats.
- Manage the health of young does to reap the benefits in the long run. Make sure to get them ready for breeding around 7 months of age because this will help increase the total lifetime herd production of meat and milk. This technique also reduces the number of non-producing animals in the goat herd.
- Eliminate producers by culling animals. Breeders can definitely reap the benefits of this technique because culled animals are expected to increase the herd productivity.
To ensure that dairy goats are producing stable and high-quality milk, these animals need to be fed with a healthy,balanced diet with vitamins, energy, minerals and protein as required by the National Research Council.
For breeders who are wary on purchasing goat feed, forages such as silage, hay and pasture can constitute a majority of a dairy goat’s daily diet. Simply supplementing the diet of dairy goats with simple grain mixes will lower the cost and expenses of goat breeders.
Typically, does give birth during spring and after 8 weeks, breeders can start enjoying milk for almost an entire year. It is highly advisable to re-breed a female goat sometime in fall so her milk production will freshen up again by spring.
There are lots of farm land and communities that are housing dairy goats. Below are 4 requirements to ensure efficient dairy goat housing:
- Make sure that the building has adequate ventilation and that the overall structure (ceilings and walls) should be condensation-free.
- Bedded areas for dairy goats should be clean and dry.
- Watering devices and feeders must be located in an area where the feed and water are not inefficiently wasted and not easily contaminated with animal wastes.
- The structure for the housing of dairy goats must be strategically arranged to ensure that minimum amount of time and labor will be needed to maintain the cleanliness of the area.
The purpose of a dairy goat show is simply not for the sake of showing off the goats. The actual purpose of a dairy goat show is to select animals which come closest to the ideal of productive, sound type.
Just like a pageant, there are judges who are competent in the industry of goat breeding. The publicity and awards gained during dairy goat shows give breeders the much-deserved recognition for the time, sincere effort and loving work spent in the barn. Winning in a dairy goat show can also be like a commercial for breeders, where the bred animals are placed in the spotlight for everyone to see.