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Old 12-30-2012, 08:57 AM   #1
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Goats/cows for milk...

Hubby and I have been considering getting a few goats, maybe a cow for milk. Does anyone do this? Is it complicated? An old neighbor of mine used to have a cow and she said she boiled the milk to sanitize it for home use. I have never drank goat's milk, but heard it's one of the most nutritious. I'm a bit concerned that milk prices might double in the coming year. Looking for lots of advice!
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:57 AM   #2
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Re: Goats/cows for milk...

We have a couple milk cows. Would you want to handmilk or use a milker? You need the proper equipment and set up.

We don't pasteurize our milk, but drink it raw instead. You will get a LOT of milk from one cow (5-6 gallons a day if you milk her to her max), so unless you plan on cheese/butter/dairy making and/or having people barter with you for it (it's illegal to sell in our state); I might be tempted to try a goat first.

We don't own goats, but I imagine they give less than that!
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:37 PM   #3
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Re: Goats/cows for milk...

We have Nigerian Dwarf goats and plan on milking after babies in March. They are small dairy goats and perfect for a family wanting to milk.
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:51 PM   #4
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Re: Goats/cows for milk...

If you haven't had goat milk, buy some from the store before you get any goats. IMO I don't like the taste of goats milk. It's very " gamey" tasting to me. We buy local raw milk from a farm.
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:54 PM   #5
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Re: Goats/cows for milk...

Goats will give anywhere from 1/2 to a gallon a day, and they ( like cows) have to be milked twice a day, everyday. It's a pretty big commitment. Goat milk from the store is NOT a fair test of how it tastes, that stuff is awful. I've had good goats milk from a friend's goats, and plenty of not so good goats milk. Find a good local dairy or two and try their milk.
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:07 PM   #6
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Re: Goats/cows for milk...

Goats milk is better for you then cows milk.. But they are a pain - mostly because you can not milk them unless you keep breeding them, so they need to have babies, then produce milk for a little bit. You would need a few unless you can breed them with someone else around you.

I don't know about the pp comment but goats do not have to be milked twice a day. Our family does it once a day for 20 years with no problems! Cows are twice a day...
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:19 PM   #7
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Re: Goats/cows for milk...

We don't own either cows or goats, but we buy raw milk from local farms. From what I understand from them, as long as you keep your cows and equipment clean, you can just drink the milk raw. You won't have to boil it. They don't have to boil our milk for this reason.

I hear fresh goat's milk is better than the store stuff, but I haven't had the guts to try it.

I will say though that grass fed anything can get "gamey." Part of the reason you get that flavor is because of what the animal eats. The more bitter the grasses, for example, the more bitter the animal's flavor. That is a simplistic way to look at it of course, but it works nontheless. I have had plenty of gamey tasting grassfed beef. Not as bad as some of the deer and moose I have had, but certainly the taste is there.

I have no idea what gamey milk tastes like, but definitely some raw milk taste better on some days than others. I still prefer it much more than most store milk.

Good luck with whatever choice you make.
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:13 AM   #8
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I'd love a milk cow. I really detest the taste/smell of anything goat (to eat), so I don't think a goat is in my future.
We would be hand milking. Does anyone know what tools are needed for a hand milking setup? We would be drinking it raw...
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:54 AM   #9
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Re: Goats/cows for milk...

As far as milking equiptment, this is basic- a stool and milk pail (stainless is best), udder wash (to sanitize before), teat dip (for after), halter, rope, ect... then of course everything needed to care for the animal which is a much bigger list. For a goat of course you would add a stand. I'm sure there is more but I can't think of it right now.
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:16 AM   #10
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Re: Goats/cows for milk...

I will say I think goat milk is discusting but I love goat cheese LOL.
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