Feedback on How to Raise and Keep Goats

The advice in Grow It! on how to raise and keep goats didn't entirely jibe with the personal experience of one reader, who wrote in to offer her own perspective.

| September/October 1973

  • Feedback on Goats
    Keeping goats tethered was a practice reader Sue Gross couldn't endorse.

  • Feedback on Goats

My husband and I have just read the goat chapter from Grow It! and feel that we must throw in a few remarks for the consideration of other readers.

It would have been helpful to know where Richard Langer got his information, and how long he's raised goats personally. So much of what he says just doesn't check with my own five years' worth of intensive and sometimes tragic experience ... five years during which we've owned and boarded enough different goats to have handled a fair cross section of the breeds and the problems one is likely to run into.

It seems sad for MOTHER EARTH NEWS to be publishing advice on how to raise and keep goats that doesn't agree with real practice or natural methods. As an alternative, we'd like to suggest that novices can avoid many problems by trusting nature.

Here, first of all, are a couple of the points with which we disagree:

[1] Langer's suggestions on housing and equipment for dairy goats—as well as on their purchase—are swell if you have that kind of money. I never have and never will. It's far better, anyhow, to provide the minimum shelter necessary in your climate. Here in California we have no barn at all but merely a roofed shade where the creatures are healthy and happy. Being tied to a wall in a shed would be slow death to my animals!

Milking equipment can be equally simple: a blue earthenware pot, mesh strainer, and fiber milk filters. Any tight glass jars will do for containers, and—unless you feel that you must go in for super-caution—you can forget all that jazz about ice and sterilization. Your dairy should be clean, yes ... because that is natural.

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