Janice Spaulding teaches goat husbandry both at her farm in Maine, and around the country with her "Goat School."
Dairy goat farmer Julia Shewchuck learned a lot about keeping dairy goats in her first few months (and much more since). It was a learning curve too steep to be repeated willingly, but which has saved many other goats’ lives since.
Spending the time to get to your goats is more important than you may think
Here are 12 simple tips that will help you to fight the war on worms and coccidia in goats.
A dairy goat owner chronicles the frustrating beginning of her first breeding season.
Follow Sarah Cuthill's search for a dairy mentor and her very first experience milking a goat.
More goat babies and finding ideas to make money on a farm.
"Garbage in, garbage out," is as true to goat nutrition as it is to the computer world and more folks should take heed!
Author Maggie Bonham recounts the various ways she's managed to obtain free goats, including Craigslist ads and trading for chickens.
A chemical-free way to keep goats' teats clean and the milk pure.
A new homesteader commits some classic mistakes when buying her first goat.
There are some questions worth exploring, find out if there is a BEST way to clean your goat's udder before milking.
Ilene White Freedman contemplates sharing goat milk with the nursing kid.
An introduction from a goat-crazy Oregonian.
Our little farm received the USDA Value Added Producer Grant and we are embarking on an exciting future. Be with us from start to finish.
In the year of the goat we must compare the personalities and characteristics of goat people with goats.
Step 3 of "How to Start & Manage a Micro Dairy in 26 Steps" will help you understand how to handle cows and what to expect during milking.
A homesteading family undertakes Extreme Home Makeover: Goat Edition at the possible expense of their sanity.
Raising dairy goats has benefits that extend beyond fresh milk and cheese.
A look into each dairy breed, on how much milk each one averages and what to expect in taste.
The blog describes the experience of applying for a federal grant and shares some advice for others who might want to follow in those foot steps.
After a rocky start, the second half of breeding season ends happily for both goats and owners.
What to look for in a buck, and how to choose a herdsire.
The third and last part in choosing a herdsire.
The second part to choosing a herdsire for the dairy goat herd.
Learn from the trials and tribulations of a beginning dairy goat owner!
Homegrown.org blogger Dyan Redick of Bittersweet Farm honors - and helps keep alive - the legacy of fellow Maine goat herdswoman Pixie Day.
The summer days are getting longer, and so is the list of barn chores! Goats are kidding, cows are arriving, and a dream of having a raw milk dairy is becoming tangible.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Dyan recalls how the seasons affected her childhood and how they guide her activities now on her Maine dairy farm.
Dyan writes about the changing season at Bittersweet Farm, and introduces us to the newest member of the flock, a black sheep named Little Man.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my short time of being a goat herder, it’s that at breeding time, the goats are in charge.
Overdue does, goats with bloody milk, harried milkmaids... Oh where does it end?! Life isn't ALWAYS roses in the goat life; sometimes it does leave you tired frustrated.
Even dairy goats can have self-esteem issues...
Learn from the trials and tribulations of a beginning dairy goat owner.
When one of her goats starts looking for love for the first time, and hollering her little head off, Angela has to do some quick thinking to keep her precious pets from becoming that night's dinner!
A big benefit of running the private and FDA-certified Bob-White Systems Dairy Lab is that we get to see what works and what doesn't work to keep milk clean. “Clean," for our purposes, means that it passes Vermont's Tier II Raw Milk Standards, which happen to be some of the most stringent in the country — more stringent than federally regulated pasteurized milk standards. At the lab we perform FDA-certified testing to ensure raw milk producers are compliant with Vermont’s standards.
This video of goats playing shows how simple it is to keep your goat herd entertained.
Submit your goat stories for possible book publication.
Using fresh raw cream to make butter by hand.
Steve Judge of Bob-White Systems in Vermont offers his Micro Dairy expertise in this blog series on how to start and manage a Micro Dairy, from farm and barn planning to selecting dairy cows, goats and sheep to daily operations and being profitable.
Making your own buttermilk and créme fraîche (French sour cream) is so easy, you'll never buy it again.
One woman's journey from life in urban America to a small town in Austria, then back to a suburban homestead in Dallas on which she tries her hand at keeping dairy goats.
How to finance your micro dairy and manage your budget for success.
With its recent FDA approval, the first LiLi pasteurizer was purchased for use at a New York micro dairy.
After almost 50 years of raising cows and dairy farming in New England, I’ve developed what I consider to be 15 universal truths for micro dairy owners.
Angora Goats are not the easiest of the breeds to raise, however, even though the work can be intensive, the rewards are incredible!
We passed the "phosphataze" test with the Health Protection Agency and know that the milk from our dairy farm is safe to sell.
Mark Oldham shares childhood adventures of taking care of dairy cows and beef cows including milking, herding cows out to pasture and employing a cattle call in Appalachian country.
There are so many different “types” of goats! My last post was all about Angora goats and their fiber; this post will be about the meat aspect of goats. So what makes a goat a meat goat?
Sherry’s son worked hard to raise a goat. Read how he, with the help of family and friends, butchered and prepared the meat for a homegrown Chevron treat.
Managing the feed regimen for cows in a micro dairy environment is a matter of setting clear goals and understanding what your cows need.
All land is not created equal when it comes to raising animals on a micro dairy.
In the wake of the summer solstice, HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan takes time to appreciate the longest days of the year.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan reflects on the changes that arrive with fall, including her own sense of melancholy.
Choosing the business model for Bob-White Systems micro dairy.
A boy growing up in Appalachian Country shares the farming practices of his family.
Facing massive snow drifts, HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan Redick forges a new path to her barn and finds inspiration in the process.
Micro Dairy Industry Leader, Bob-White Systems, Launches E-Commerce Site.
The author discusses setting up small-scale dairy for local, doorstep milk sales in Great Britain.
Why I have never trimmed my cow' nails in 8 years of running a micro dairy. Read on to choose whether you want to be trimming your cows' hooves.
Preparing for kidding time is always crazy, and sometimes things never go the way you planned.
How to prepare for a successful kidding season.
The joys and heartaches that can come with kidding season are a part of life on a goat farm.
Try this expert advice to keep goats from getting out of the pasture.
Of all the baby animals born on the farm — the chicks, lambs, puppies, calves — the goat kids are in a class of their own. Racing, playing, causing mischief, find out what makes kids so much fun and so invigorating to watch.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan learns that giving up control, whether over a mischievous flock or a single lamb, can have its own rewards.
We are trying to wrestle back the food business into our neck of the woods. To create a micro dairy and a micro economy for all to enjoy. Wish us luck !
A guide to creating realistic goals for your micro dairy based on your own experience.
Guidance for aspiring micro dairy owners and managers when navigating regulations and permitting on the local and state levels.
Five shops depend on Whitey Top farm for fresh milk supplies.
Now the milk is in the chill room and we can eat cheese and freshly made chiabata with nearby cheese and horseradish sauce.
Did anyone ask if you wanted your milk to be homogenized?
How a small and inexpensive High Temperature-Short Time pasteurizer could change the dairy industry.
Understanding and effectively executing a breeding program depends on understanding the calving cycle and when and how to dry a cow off in preparation of calving.
Silvopasture is a newfangled word for wooded pasture. Basically, all it means is that you are using wooded land with trees and forage for pasture. The trees can be managed for firewood production and/or saw logs and provide welcome shade and shelter for your livestock and forage.
Cows, goats, sheep, water buffalo, camels and, even, horses have been successfully milked by hand for thousands of years. Though it's an age-old practice, milking a cow by hand is not as easy as it may first appear. It’s best to know what you are getting into before you take on this important farming task.
The flavor and shelf life of the milk you sell directly to consumers are directly impacted by how the milk is produced and handled on your farm. Here are my best practices for handling and producing the highest-quality, most delicious milk on the farm.
Cows love routine. The more things stay the same for cows, the safer and more secure they feel. Here is my abbreviated list of best practices for milking a cow, learned over many decades in the barn.
Your homestead is complete when you get your own cow for milking. But problems such as a cow who holds her milk or who kicks can make milking difficult and even dangerous. Here are some helpful hints so that you can enjoy your cow and enjoy milking her.
Cows are big, powerful animals, and milking puts you right beside the strong hind legs and feet. If you find yourself with what I call a kicky cow, there are steps you can take to manage the animal.
Whether you abstain from dairy by choice or you’re lactose intolerant, you probably know how difficult it can be to find really great non-dairy cheese. I’ve taken away some of the guesswork by reviewing some popular brands: Vegan Gourmet, Daiya, Dr-Cow, Chreese and The Vegetarian Express. Read about my dairy-free cheese experiences, and let us know which brands you’re loyal to.
I can hear it now: “What the devil? Angus? They are not milk cows!” Well, it all got started when the neighbor purchased four, what he was led to believe were, Black Angus calves from someone in a valley some distance from us. But the udders on these two cows were huge! They clearly had more milk than the calves could handle.
There are many non-dairy sources of calcium to choose from to make sure you are getting enough of this vital nutrient.
It's important to prepare your Micro Dairy or small farm for winter by making small improvements to your facilities. But it's also important to mentally prepare for the dark, cold months.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel recounts how she went from half-hearted to full-breed-ahead when it comes to breeding goats.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan Redick honors the determination of women farmers, even as she observes a bittersweet month on her farm.
Owning an intact male goat can be difficult, even if you know about their little idiosyncrasies. Learn about (and laugh at) one goat owner's attempt at doing something simple, like switching female goats in a buck pen.
Goats will get into and out of everything. Some thoughts on why you need to keep your feed secured.
When the temperature drops below zero Fahrenheit, you have to keep an eye on your goats.
If you have dairy goats and plan on getting milk, inevitably you have to deal with difficult kiddings. Most of the time, you walk in the barn and there’s mom and her kids staring at you, all dripping from birth slime. To be honest, that’s how I like it. All I have to do is dry the kids, tie off the umbilical cord, and dip it in iodine.
Do you know where your Goat is NOW? A quick overview over fencing materials, fencing type, fencing do's and don'ts.
When you have too many bucklings, you need to neuter or wether if you're going to keep them. Here's how I do it.
Since Lulu and Belle had their kids, I'm now waiting on three more does to have their babies. Only, they aren't. So here is how the experts claim you can discover if your goat is going to kid. Only, it's really wishful thinking...
When it rains, it pours, when it comes to kidding goats.
These kids just won’t quit! Jumping up and standing on horses is one sure way for goats to get up higher than the rest.
Play on the farm in this week’s Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your own pictures, and you could be the next Photo of the Week!
Confrontation with life and death situations are unavoidable when living on a farm. Seeing baby animals come into the world is beautiful, but sometimes these beautiful moments can be full of anxiety if things aren't going just right.
Cam babysits a baby goat for the weekend.
A mysterious "ailment" brings our first frost to the goat pen.
Safely bring a new goat herd home and getting them used to you and their new surroundings.
How and why I started using leftover raw milk as a natural soil supplement and fertilizer on my dairy farm.
There is no “one size fits all” bunch of information that works every time in every location, every person, and for every goat.
The goat herder extraordinaire, Annie Warmke, talks about the care of breeding bucks, and a life in the day of a goat herder.
21 things you should know or wish you had known before starting a goat farm.
One of the most exciting facets of raising goats is when kids are born on your farm. Knowing how to prepare for the grand event makes for a smoother and more successful kidding process.
Hints for kidding in the very cold weather.
HOMEGROWN.org blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm says keeping animals in the garden improves her soil and fights weeds and pests.
Jenna gets a pack goat to help carry gear for hiking trips. Share her experience of buying a buck kid and raising him to be a pack goat.
There are some goats you don't want, no matter if the price is right. In this case, the goat was free.
The Africans showed up at our door on a sunny, chilly November afternoon. Two men introduced themselves as Stone and Abraham. In the background stood a young woman with a gregarious little boy, Henry, about 2 years old. They were looking for goats.
Why keep a buck? Because they are wonderful, friendly, lovable creatures! Here are all the reasons why having bucks on your property is a good thing.
Often time choosing the right name for your kids is the most difficult part of kidding! Here is a little help on picking out names that are appropriate!
Maine and Minnesota Goat Schools are over, and a great time was had by all; Janice Spaulding recaps the events and prepares for the next one is in Ohio in September.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Dyan Redick divides her time differently these days, Before Milking and After Milking, in the wake of spring births on her Maine dairy farm.
Selecting the location for the Bob-White Systems’ micro dairy barn.
Why we chose to build the Bob-White Systems barn we did.
Choosing cows for the Bob-White Systems micro dairy.
Cow manure is a key indicator of bovine health and well being. After milk, it is the most valuable thing your cows will produce. Micro-dairy expert Steve Judge explains why it pays to get comfortable with cow manure.
How installing a pipeline milking system can help dairy farmers of all sizes make the most of their valuable time.
Government subsidies to corn growers results in foods that are less expensive then they should be, resulting in people eating more than they normally would.
Nutrition breakthrough lets health conscious consumers drink in the benefits of Omega 3s.
What you need to think about to prepare your cows, barn, feed and yourself for the cold weather.
Feed and hay management tips to get through winter.
Finding time to make improvements on a small dairy is difficult but making a few improvements as the seasons change can often make a micro dairy or any size small farm more efficient. Here are 7 steps to help you prepare your barn for the cold winter months.
Helping your cows transition from fall to winter can be easy to do. Here are five steps to consider when the cold weather starts settling in.
As farmers, we know the importance of creating a milking environment that is clean and healthy for the animals. In Part 2 of Making Clean Raw Milk, we outline the steps needed to milk your cow or goat in a manner that keeps it clean.
Four easy steps to guide small dairy farmers to filter, chill and clean properly to ensure delicious, farm-fresh milk, yogurt or cheese every time.
At breeding time, things aren't always what they seem. Sometimes things can really go awry!
The cold, hard facts about how Annie Warmke, goat herder extraordinnaire, found her calling in a barn with Eleonore Rigby and her two tiny kids.
Who would think it’s possible to discover the artist in me, incubate a business, plus milk goats, grow a garden...all in one unforgettable summer. I'm a rich woman by any standard.
This series of posts chronicles Betty Taylor's adventures in goat farming. This first post covers selecting a goat breed and breeder, costs, and preparing for arrival of my goats.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan Redick gets through winter — and goat breeding — by taking a page from her herd and sticking together.
Describes the heartache that can come of now observing and working with nature when raising goats.
How to make a cheap hay feeder for goats that cuts down on wasted hay.
Ilene White Freedman’s goat is in labor, reminding Ilene of her own natural childbirth experiences.
One woman's vision of a family farm comes to life in her back yard thanks to one friendly goat.
A beginning farmer learns that keeping does and keeping bucks are two different things.
How to use herbs on goats, blends, suggestions, and tips.
Chad Gadya. Not just a Jewish song anymore, but now the future name of Goat Song Farm's herdsire.
A basic overview of why shelter and bedding are must haves for your goat operation. Also, some of our personal experience with a few options.
Life with goats, sheep, cows, chickens and other livestock isn't all roses. Publisher Bryan Welch considers the value of finding and keeping the right partner for tackling life on the farm, goose poop and all.
Goat School needs a class room, visit our Kickstarter project and enjoy our video of Goat School!
So, yes, I have become a lover of goats (and ducks have won me over, too). But the truth is, I can’t wait to eat the boys.
Hand milking and the ease of doing so, always lends itself to many questions. I try to answer some of the most commonly asked questions in this post.
Stony Knolls Farm has a new dog and getting him here was a wonderful, and amazing journey that is well worth sharing! Rescue dogs are so grateful for their new homes.
Traveling with Goat School on the Road, and learning all about newborn kid hoofs.
Kidding is quite a process! This blog covers the very first signs of impending birth.
An all-day adventure to the Oregon Megabucks show!
No babies yet, so a few anecdotes about Angora kidding,labor
Vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes and winter squash are easy to grow and provide healthy supplemental nutrition for working goats.
Dairyman Nick Snelgar reflects on the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health certification process and bagging hay for winter on his UK dairy farm.
While it's almost impossible to completely avoid GMOs, you can minimize your exposure by eating organic and knowing which products are the worst offenders.
Docking of dairy cows serves no purpose and causes pain and discomfort for the
Bob-White Systems is bringing the cows back home by providing supplies, equipment and support for Micro Dairies, Home & Farmstead cheesemakers and small-scale producers of local and farm fresh dairy products.
The Yule Goat is an ancient Scandinavian tradition which predates Christianity. Learn about how our oldest farm animal became the symbol of Christmas.
The newest member at Goat Song Farm: A 3 week old, purebred Nubian doeling named 'Rose Of Summer'.
Rachel and her husband committed to a year without groceries, and they made it! She shares her experiences in local food in this post.
Farm life is not always predictable, and some of the surprises turn out to be the most valuable lessons. This story from the ranch about some strong winter-born goats, a protective cow with motherly instincts, and a calf that’s making it against all odds will not only inspire you, but it may teach you something about the wonderful spirit of community support.
I am loving my time spent at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, Washington thus far. There are tons of great and interesting people to meet, delicious food, fun and information-packed lectures and demonstrations, and, best of all, adorable anima
Milking is a fun and easy chore! Here are some hints on milking in an easy fashion.
Goat School is over for a few months, and now the routine will be a little more normal! Great questions were asked at Goat School and some of those answers are shared.
Keeping goats inside during nasty weather isn't easy, but it's worth the time! Dealing with sick goats, fever and runny noses isn't fun, so taking precautions makes things much easier.
Autumn is very busy at Stony Knolls Farm between the Common Ground Fair and Fall Goat School!
Baby kids do not always present in the correct position when descending the birth canal. Learn about the different positions and how to handle them.
Be prepared for kidding season! Set up your kidding kit ahead of time. This information will help you have the right equipment at your fingertips.
This fall, while the chickens were still living with the goats, we had decided to fence off the leg and seed it with pasture seed. I wasn't sure if we should seed it for the chickens or for the goats. After doing some research we ended up going with
The babies have arrived, now is the time to take care of all of the other parts of caring for the newborns!
The tale of Carlotta's last day. A trip to the processor. Real happenings on a goat farm, it's not always lollipops and rainbows.
Why raw milk? Why goat milk? Things to consider for good health and nutrition for you family. Also a trick to get stubborn kids to nurse from a bottle.
A beginning farmer makes the most practical fencing choice available to her: electric nets. And gets tangled up, occasionally.
Getting ready for Goat School is always a daunting task, but once all of our new friends start arriving, we get excited! What a great time learning all about goats!
Spring clean up on the farm doesn't only include cleaning fallen branches, but cleaning up the goats too! Getting ready for kidding and making sure the goats are all set is our most important spring task.
Horns or no horns, that is the question! Why should you disbud your goats, or is it okay to leave the horns on? This post discusses both options with a link to a great article about horns and their beauty.
The kids have finally arrived, and we have plenty of photos of them!
After the kidding is over, we take good care of our girls! And, the babies need to be bottle fed, so here are the instructions on how we feed our kids.