Comparing Soap Ingredients: Farm-Made Goat's Milk vs Corporate-Brand Soaps

Here are the ingredients listed on the Dove Brand label, with a comparison to the ingredients in our Goat’s Milk Soap. The definitions and explanations for the ingredients were taken from the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep website. No interpretations or judgements were added.

The ABCs of Homesteading: G is for 'Goats'

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.

Starting a Rotational-Grazing Goat-Rental Service, Part 2: When Things Go 'Baahd'

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?

Starting a Rotational Grazing Goat-Rental Service, Part 1

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.

How to Prepare for Raising Goats

Getting ready for goats means setting up a stall and pasture and making sure you have all the right food for them.

Stories from a Goat Farm and Micro-Dairy (with Video)

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?

10 Simple Ways to Keep You Safe on Your Farm

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.

Keeping Dairy Goats on Rotational Pasture 24/7 to Reduce Internal Parasites

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.

Concerning Dehorning Mature Goats

Goat packers who have goats with horns that have become an issue around the home or farm is that, depending on age and sexual hormone levels, there may be options less dire than surgical complete dehorning or banding at the base of the horn, which compromises your pack goat’s defensive capability and confidence on the trail. Certainly talk to at least two vets before committing to any plan of action regarding full removal of horns from goats over the age of 6 months old.

Coping with Animal Deaths on the Farm

Last year was the year from hell. Literally. We lost 7 baby goats, 4 llamas, 2 dogs, and 1 cat due to different causes. But I did have victories. I'll be talking about what I learned here and in my next blogs.

Tips for Training Goats to Electric Net Fences

Portable fences made of electrifiable netting allow practical movement and protection of small livestock on pasture. It’s important to use and maintain the nets properly, and to train goats to respect the barrier for their own safety and security. Well-managed net fencing offers significant benefits to the health of herds and pastures, and to the homesteader’s peace of mind.

Hoof and Leg Issues in Pack Goats

Goats need sound feet, knees and legs to carry a pack in the backcountry. Here are some problems and solutions that pack goats experience with their legs, including proper goat hoof care.

Goat Packing as a Use for Male Goats

Training wethers to pack can be an option for dairy goat breeders looking for alternatives to less attractive means of dealing with the problem of too many males.

4 Reasons to Drink Goat's Milk

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.

Traveling Without Goats: Three Ways to Share the Workload of Dairy Animals

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.

A Slice of Winter Homesteading Life (with Videos)

Mark pulled out the camera this week to share a few short videos about our winter garden and goats. Explore our December garden and goat pasture in these short homesteading videos.

Choosing Hay for Your Dairy Goats

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.

Gentle Heritage-Livestock Breeds for New Homesteaders

Starting with gentle livestock breeds is key to success for new homesteaders. Scottish Highland cattle and Dorper/Katahdin cross sheep proved easy-to-handle and good producers for a retired Missouri couple.

Feeding Greens and Other Garden Materials to Dairy Goats

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.

Build a Simple Goat Restraint for Slaughter, Maintenance or Milking

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: A Plant Toxic to Your Goats and Yourself

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.

Basic Goat Shelters for Your Homestead Dairy Herd

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.

Getting Started with Dairy Goats: One Homesteader’s Experience

Over 6-1/2 years, goats became an integral part of the author’s life. He experimented with shelter designs, pasturing methods, the elimination of grain and chemical de-wormers, fencing styles, and milk management. This hard-won knowledge of homestead dairy goat management is introduced in this post.

Cheese Whiz: Making Microwave Mozzarella, Part 1

When you have as many goats go through kidding as I do, eventually you have to do something with all that milk. In the past I’ve done things like feed the milk to the chickens, but it always seemed wasteful. Many people I know who have goats and pigs often feed the pigs the extra milk. If you’re butchering pigs, it’s not as bad, because the milk does a great job in fattening up pigs. But there is another way to preserve that milk goodness, and that is to make cheese.

Kidding Blues

Every year I go through playing goat wet nurse because I seem to have one or two goats who have difficulties.

Goatwatch 2015

So, while I’m making mead, tanning skins and staring out at the weird weather, two of my pregnant goat does are having a race to see who will deliver first.

2015: The Year of the Goat

In the year of the goat we must compare the personalities and characteristics of goat people with goats.

A Great Herdswoman's Legacy Lives On blogger Dyan Redick of Bittersweet Farm honors - and helps keep alive - the legacy of fellow Maine goat herdswoman Pixie Day.

First Frost

A mysterious "ailment" brings our first frost to the goat pen.

Building a Goat Shelter and Bedding

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.

Rude Goats

There are some goats you don't want, no matter if the price is right. In this case, the goat was free.

My Goats Have Green Thumbs blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm says keeping animals in the garden improves her soil and fights weeds and pests.

A Difficult Goat Kidding

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. Not yesterday.

Goat Fencing 101

Do you know where your Goat is NOW? A quick overview over fencing materials, fencing type, fencing do's and don'ts.

Goat Midwifery

Ilene White Freedman’s goat is in labor, reminding Ilene of her own natural childbirth experiences.

Predicting Goat Kidding; or, Why My Goats Think I'm Nuts

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...

Preparing for Goat-Kidding Season

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.

Kidding-Season Tragedy

Preparing for kidding time is always crazy, and sometimes things never go the way you planned.

Baby Goats

The joys and heartaches that can come with kidding season are a part of life on a goat farm.

How a Dairy Goat Farm Grows

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.

The Yule Goat

The Yule Goat is an ancient Scandinavian tradition which predates Christianity. Learn about how our oldest farm animal became the symbol of Christmas.

Why You Really Don’t Want a Billy Goat

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.

Can You Really Get Goats For Free?

Author Maggie Bonham recounts the various ways she's managed to obtain free goats, including Craigslist ads and trading for chickens.

HOMEGROWN Life: Geeking Out on Goats

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.

Fun Times at Goat School

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.

Goats: You Are What You Eat

"Garbage in, garbage out," is as true to goat nutrition as it is to the computer world and more folks should take heed!

Meat Goats Two

There is no “one size fits all” bunch of information that works every time in every location, every person, and for every goat.

Goats: Meat Goats

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?

Goats: Raising Angora Goats

Angora Goats are not the easiest of the breeds to raise, however, even though the work can be intensive, the rewards are incredible!

Goats: It's Cold Out There

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.

Goats: It's All In The Names

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!

HOMEGROWN Life: A Change In Seasons

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.

Goats: Love is in the Air?

At breeding time, things aren't always what they seem. Sometimes things can really go awry!

HOMEGROWN Life: Milking with Frannie

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.

How to Start & Manage a Micro Dairy in 26 Steps – Step 2

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.

Goats: A Busy Autumn

Autumn is very busy at Stony Knolls Farm between the Common Ground Fair and Fall Goat School!

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

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.

Goats: Udders and Hand Milking

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.

Goats: Spring Goat School is History

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.

Waiting For Kids...

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.

Goats: Getting Ready for Goat School!

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!

Goats: Why Raw Goat Milk?

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.

Goats: Horns or No Horns

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.

Natural Goat Care

How to use herbs on goats, blends, suggestions, and tips.

Goats: Spring Cleaning!

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.

Goats: Just Kidding! Part 5

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.

Goats: Just Kidding! Part 4

The babies have arrived, now is the time to take care of all of the other parts of caring for the newborns!

Goats: Just Kidding! Part 3

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.

Jack's New Home on the Goat Farm

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.

Goats: Just Kidding! Part 2

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.

HOMEGROWN Life: A Bit Of ATreat

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

Choosing a Dairy Goat Breed

A look into each dairy breed, on how much milk each one averages and what to expect in taste.

No Rest in the Winter!

Traveling with Goat School on the Road, and learning all about newborn kid hoofs.

Mahmoud, Stone, Abraham and Isaac

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.

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

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!

The Goat Whisperer(2)

Learn from the trials and tribulations of a beginning dairy goat owner.

The Goat Whisperer

Learn from the trials and tribulations of a beginning dairy goat owner!

Getting My Goats

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.

On the Farm, a Tale of Sorrow and Hope

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.

Photo of the Week: Kid on the Farm

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!

Chevron: Butchering a 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.

Fostering Community

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.  

Marriage and the Marks of Farm Life

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.

Raising a Pack Goat

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.

Goatie Time!

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.