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.
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.
Milking is a fun and easy chore! Here are some hints on milking in an easy fashion.
An experienced homesteader discusses the pros and cons of one family keeping either a cow or a goat for their milk supply.
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!
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.
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.
A look into each dairy breed, on how much milk each one averages and what to expect in taste.
There are some questions worth exploring, find out if there is a BEST way to clean your goat's udder before milking.
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.
When you have goats, you need to do something with all that milk. Why not try making Queso Blanco, an easy cheese which tastes great and cooks well.
How to make cajeta, Mexican-style goat's milk caramel.
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.
Ilene White Freedman starts her cheesemaking trials with an aged pressed cheddar cheese with goat's milk from the farm.
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.
Learn from the trials and tribulations of a beginning dairy goat owner!
Even dairy goats can have self-esteem issues...
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.
A native southwestern milkweed seed is now available, thanks to the collaborative efforts of Terroir Seeds, The Xerces Society and Painted Lady Vineyard over the past 2 years.
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!
Janice Spaulding teaches goat husbandry both at her farm in Maine, and around the country with her "Goat School."
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?
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.
Submit your goat stories for possible book publication.
This video of goats playing shows how simple it is to keep your goat herd entertained.
How to use herbs on goats, blends, suggestions, and tips.
An all-day adventure to the Oregon Megabucks show!
Bucket milkers offer small and micro-dairy farmers affordable and reliable system for milking cows. Here are my basics for how to use a bucket milker on a micro dairy.
How installing a pipeline milking system can help dairy farmers of all sizes make the most of their valuable time.
There is no “one size fits all” bunch of information that works every time in every location, every person, and for every goat.
"Garbage in, garbage out," is as true to goat nutrition as it is to the computer world and more folks should take heed!
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.
The goat herder extraordinaire, Annie Warmke, talks about the care of breeding bucks, and a life in the day of a goat herder.
Learn how to decipher milk labels in order to purchase the best milk and cream.
Carmen Ortiz shares stories of visiting grandpa on his urban farm where she learned to milk cows, avoided the outhouse and gained an appreciation for gardening.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What to look for in a buck, and how to choose a herdsire.
The second part to choosing a herdsire for the dairy goat herd.
The third and last part in choosing a herdsire.
Chad Gadya. Not just a Jewish song anymore, but now the future name of Goat Song Farm's herdsire.
No babies yet, so a few anecdotes about Angora kidding,labor
Goat School needs a class room, visit our Kickstarter project and enjoy our video of Goat School!
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.
Autumn is very busy at Stony Knolls Farm between the Common Ground Fair and Fall Goat School!
The Yule Goat is an ancient Scandinavian tradition which predates Christianity. Learn about how our oldest farm animal became the symbol of Christmas.
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.
Find out what makes sour milk different from buttermilk, and get ideas for putting past-its-prime milk to good use.
The popular idea that the Chinese have always shunned milk products is quite inaccurate. Try Anne Mendelson's wonderful recipe for Chinese "Fried Milk" to see how wrong we've been.
New organic milk contains Omega-3, which is not approved as an additive to certified organic milk. The Cornucopia Institute found this illegal synthetic additive in new organic milk in its latest investigation.
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.
Angora Goats are not the easiest of the breeds to raise, however, even though the work can be intensive, the rewards are incredible!
Goat School will be traveling to British Columbia and then to Ohio in September.
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.
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.
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.
The babies have arrived, now is the time to take care of all of the other parts of caring for the newborns!
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.
The newest member at Goat Song Farm: A 3 week old, purebred Nubian doeling named 'Rose Of Summer'.
The kids have finally arrived, and we have plenty of photos of them!
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.
Use milk crates to build this beautiful, sturdy free-standing furniture piece.
If you have access to raw milk, it's surprisingly easy to pasteurize it on your own kitchen stove. Here are the basic steps you need to follow.
You'll love Anne Mendelson's recipe for the delicious cold beet soup from Poland known as chlodnik litewski.
This is the favorite version of mango lassi served in Indian-American restaurants.
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.
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.
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.
Made from creamy chevre (fresh goat cheese) instead of the typical cream cheese, this surprising cheesecake is sure to please cheese lovers and dessert lovers alike.
Sue Weaver provides her expertise on making homemade cheeses and yogurt and how to raise a happy, healthy, and highly productive backyard cow.
Did anyone ask if you wanted your milk to be homogenized?
The farm is looking into buying some TB-free Ayershire cows.
With its recent FDA approval, the first LiLi pasteurizer was purchased for use at a New York micro dairy.
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.
In Greece and Turkey, revani is the general name for a family of cakes made (usually) with durum-wheat semolina or a semolina-flour mixture, which are soaked after baking in some kind of syrup. You'll adore this simple, lemon-flavored version from Turkey.
Learn how to make nut milk, a delicious beverage of its own and a nutritious alternative to cow’s milk that can be turned into nut yogurt, nut cheese and even nut ice cream. Almond milk is the most popular type of nut milk, but any nut will work.
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.
The joys and heartaches that can come with kidding season are a part of life on a goat farm.
How to prepare for a successful kidding season.
Preparing for kidding time is always crazy, and sometimes things never go the way you planned.
An introduction from a goat-crazy Oregonian.
Ilene White Freedman contemplates sharing goat milk with the nursing kid.
In the year of the goat we must compare the personalities and characteristics of goat people with goats.
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.
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.
A dairy goat owner chronicles the frustrating beginning of her first breeding season.
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.
Follow Sarah Cuthill's search for a dairy mentor and her very first experience milking a goat.
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.
More goat babies and finding ideas to make money on a farm.
When it rains, it pours, when it comes to kidding goats.
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...
Do you know where your Goat is NOW? A quick overview over fencing materials, fencing type, fencing do's and don'ts.
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.
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.
A mysterious "ailment" brings our first frost to the goat pen.
Fresh peaches and creamy goat cheese unite in the perfect summer sandwich.
Safely bring a new goat herd home and getting them used to you and their new surroundings.
Nutrition breakthrough lets health conscious consumers drink in the benefits of Omega 3s.
GloryBee Foods announces today that the company adds Aunt Patty's Organic Creamed Coconut to its selection of natural foods.
According to the USDA, consumers can feel secure in the accuracy of the biobased claim and can make better informed purchasing decisions.
On my kitchen counter sits a quart of milk that my kefir grains live in. In a couple of days that milk will turn into the nutritious kefir.
A really nutritious snack for the kids, and they can, ummm, play with it!
There is much to be learned when taking care of dual-purpose cows including how to avoid birthing problems and retained placentas, how to manage mastitis and when to do artificial insemination.
Using fresh raw cream to make butter by hand.
In our culture we are used to government regulations telling us what to do – can we talk on our cell phones while driving? Or, should I wear my seat belt? Or has this food been properly processed? Raw milk is your chance to embrace your rights and freedoms and do your research and ask the hard questions – you have no one else to rely on to do this for you.
You'll love Anne Mendelson's delicious recipe for syrniki (also known as tvorozhniki, or Russian pot-cheese fritters). Like pancakes or French toast, this useful breakfast/brunch dish can be given any number of sweet or savory spins.
Whether or not it was devised by clever Mexican potato growers, the cheap, easy to build, and space-saving potato tower is a unique alternative to rows, barrels, and other methods for planting, growing, and bringing in your season's spuds.
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.
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.
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!
A new homesteader commits some classic mistakes when buying her first goat.
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.
21 things you should know or wish you had known before starting a goat farm.
Hints for kidding in the very cold weather.
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.
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.
There are some goats you don't want, no matter if the price is right. In this case, the goat was free.
Cut old milk jugs into the shape of your choice, rough them up with sandpaper and string them together to make surprisingly pretty window shades that offer privacy while letting the sun shine in.
Fifteen family farms and over 50 restaurants have committed to participation in No Goat Left Behind, a new program developed by Heritage Foods USA.
How we prepared and ate all the meat of the goat Caleb raised and butchered.
Rachel gets a scare with Daisy the goat - is it bottle jaw or something else? A trip to the vet provides some lessons.
The author discusses setting up small-scale dairy for local, doorstep milk sales in Great Britain.
Dairyman Nick Snelgar reflects on the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health certification process and bagging hay for winter on his UK dairy farm.
How and why I started using leftover raw milk as a natural soil supplement and fertilizer on my dairy farm.
Many of the herbs used for beauty and health today have been tested and tried over centuries. A new article by James A. Duke, Ph.D., discusses the history and uses of flax, myrrh and others.
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.
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.
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.
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.
At breeding time, things aren't always what they seem. Sometimes things can really go awry!
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.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Dyan recalls how the seasons affected her childhood and how they guide her activities now on her Maine dairy farm.
A beginning farmer learns that keeping does and keeping bucks are two different things.
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.
Raising dairy goats has benefits that extend beyond fresh milk and cheese.
A homesteading family undertakes Extreme Home Makeover: Goat Edition at the possible expense of their sanity.
Describes the heartache that can come of now observing and working with nature when raising goats.
After a rocky start, the second half of breeding season ends happily for both goats and owners.
How to make a cheap hay feeder for goats that cuts down on wasted hay.
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.
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.
Ilene White Freedman’s goat is in labor, reminding Ilene of her own natural childbirth experiences.
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.
Homegrown.org blogger Dyan Redick of Bittersweet Farm honors - and helps keep alive - the legacy of fellow Maine goat herdswoman Pixie Day.
Vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes and winter squash are easy to grow and provide healthy supplemental nutrition for working goats.
One woman's vision of a family farm comes to life in her back yard thanks to one friendly goat.
So maybe you can't afford the pricey furniture and decor on display at the design shows in Milan and Vegas. Just take a look at these ideas and start riffing.
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.
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
A beginning farmer makes the most practical fencing choice available to her: electric nets. And gets tangled up, occasionally.
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.
Rachel and her husband committed to a year without groceries, and they made it! She shares her experiences in local food in this post.
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
Growing Local Food is a new book that encompasses all the needed basics to grow plants, keep heritage breed animals and bees. The author is a homesteader and physician who gives the readers the basic information to grow or find nutritious, local food