This is the fifth blog post in an alphabetically organized introduction to homesteading. It covers considerations for how to raise goats on your homestead, including research strategies, space planning, herd management, the fundamentals of milking goats, pasture development, and making cheese and yogurt.
When starting a farm business, make sure you know your states rules and regulations. You can contact your states Department of Agriculture and/or your county Cooperative Extension Agency for info. Make sure you know what you need to know about the basic safety and maintenance of goats to begin with: What are their needs when it comes to health, shelter, food, etc., and what are concerns such as plant toxins and predators?
Goat rentals are a good way to "value-add" your goat herd, as well as provide additional rotational-grazing space. But, sometimes you run into problems. This blog series about how we started our rotational-grazing goat-rental service wil outline what some of those problems are and how to deal with them.
You've heard of a one-horse town? Well, we are a one-goat micro-dairy! That doesn't mean we only have one goat to milk, but that our milking parlor is set up to take only one goat in at a time for feeding and milking. Here is a story about a little goat kid who wouldn't give up so, how could we?
Farm life has its risks and we don't need to add to them by acting in unsafe ways. Read more for 10 Simple Ways we follow here on Serenity Acres Farm to keep us safe.
Rotational grazing can reduce the parasite load of goats, but this is difficult to accomplish with a dairy herd which needs to return to the same location every day for milking. On our homestead, we developed a rotational shelter and management system that allowed us to keep the herd on pasture 24/7 during the warm season. This significantly reduced our reliance on chemical de-wormers and helped us feel better about the quality of our milk and our soils.
Follow these 11 easy tips to experience a good kidding season as shared by Serenity Acres Farm.
Finding balance between farm work, work life, family, fun and business.
Not many people in our sphere of influence drink goat’s milk, so we have a great opportunity to educate those we come in contact with about the benefits. These are our four main reasons why we drink goat's milk.
Serenity Acres Farm shares its experiences with WWOOFers so yours will be a good one.
There are many ways to use raw goat’s milk, but these three favorites are quick and fantastic. Let us tell you about them!
Goats tie you down, particularly dairy goats. Even an overnight absence, or a short trip to visit family for the holidays, creates a management problem for the daily needs of your left-behind livestock. By developing working relationships with other goat enthusiasts, you can have your milk and travel, too.
How should you choose good hay for your dairy goats? Hay should be composed of plants goats like to eat, cut and cured properly for best nutritional content and storage life, and free of unwanted chemicals and weed seeds. If you can, buy hay fresh from the field of a trusted source, where you can inspect it and its growing conditions.
Our DIY goat barn was built using mostly reused materials and cost us less than $1,000. In this post, we show you how we did it and give you tips along the way!
Raw milk, so controversial to buy and drink, can also be used in the kitchen for everything from cheese and yogurt to soufflé and custard.
Many garden vegetable crops produce excess leafy material perfect for feeding goats. Using these materials as milking snacks helps reduce the need for purchased grain & hay while recycling these waste products on the homestead.
Goats need to be held still in various contexts, including slaughtering, hoof-trimming, and milking. Ideally, the method of restraint should be comfortable/humane, strong, portable, easy to use, and affordable. We’ve developed a homemade goat restraint that fits these categories and has worked for many years.
White snakeroot (Ageratina altissima) is a potentially toxic plant, particularly for dairy animals as the toxins can be passed through the milk. It caused many human deaths during the age of European settlement in eastern North America, due to dairy animals grazing in brushy areas and woodlands. Modern homesteaders using such landscapes for their goats or other ruminants should learn to identify and remove white snakeroot to ensure the safety of their milk supply.
Are you planning to buy a goat? Here are 12 tips to consider when you are shopping for a goat.
Homestead dairy goats need proper shelters. Ideally these would be easy to set up and move, while providing all the animals’ needs. A variety of basic shelters can be based on simple, reusable pieces like cattle panels, pop-up tents, and chain-link panels. These structures make pasture-based goat management easier on a budget.
Includes a list of 21 must-have medical supplies a goat farm should never be without and a list of some nice to haves we have at Serenity Acres Farm.
In the year of the goat we must compare the personalities and characteristics of goat people with goats.
Homegrown.org blogger Dyan Redick of Bittersweet Farm honors - and helps keep alive - the legacy of fellow Maine goat herdswoman Pixie Day.
Here are 12 simple tips that will help you to fight the war on worms and coccidia in goats.
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.
There are some questions worth exploring, find out if there is a BEST way to clean your goat's udder before milking.
Spending the time to get to your goats is more important than you may think
Ilene White Freedman contemplates sharing goat milk with the nursing kid.
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.
21 things you should know—or wish you had known—before starting a goat farm.
More goat babies and finding ideas to make money on a farm.
After a rocky start, the second half of breeding season ends happily for both goats and owners.
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.
A homesteading family undertakes Extreme Home Makeover: Goat Edition at the possible expense of their sanity.
Follow Sarah Cuthill's search for a dairy mentor and her very first experience milking a goat.
A chemical-free way to keep goats' teats clean and the milk pure.
A dairy goat owner chronicles the frustrating beginning of her first breeding season.
Author Maggie Bonham recounts the various ways she's managed to obtain free goats, including Craigslist ads and trading for chickens.
A new homesteader commits some classic mistakes when buying her first goat.
"Garbage in, garbage out," is as true to goat nutrition as it is to the computer world and more folks should take heed!
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.
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.
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.
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 third and last part in choosing a herdsire.
The second part to choosing a herdsire for the dairy goat herd.
What to look for in a buck, and how to choose a herdsire.
A look into each dairy breed, on how much milk each one averages and what to expect in taste.
An introduction from a goat-crazy Oregonian.
Janice Spaulding teaches goat husbandry both at her farm in Maine, and around the country with her "Goat School."
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!
Even dairy goats can have self-esteem issues...
Learn from the trials and tribulations of a beginning dairy goat owner.
Learn from the trials and tribulations of a beginning dairy goat owner!
Raising dairy goats has benefits that extend beyond fresh milk and cheese.