Dairy goats

Most farmers grow goats precisely for the purpose of obtaining tasty and healthy milk suitable for the preparation of various dairy products. Different breeds of these animals are characterized by individual productivity in terms of milk yield, therefore, in order to choose the most suitable option for yourself, it is worth familiarizing yourself with the features of the most popular dairy breeds.

The best high-yielding breeds of dairy goats

For a small private farm, a few ordinary goats will be sufficient, with average productivity and high unpretentiousness in terms of care, but if we are talking about a large agricultural enterprise, the amount of milk yield immediately becomes a key criterion in choosing a breed. Here are some of the most profitable examples.

Toggenburg goats

They were bred in the XVIII century on Swiss farms. Among the main external features are the absence of horns, erect powerful ears. The legs are long and elastic, but in relation to them, the udder seems even more powerful. The average weight is 55–65 kg. The color of the coat is brown, but different shades are possible.

The lactation period of the Toggenburg goats is 270-310 days, and during this time one individual gives 1100-1300 liters of milk, fat content of 3.6%. It is noteworthy that even in the cold season, milk yield is not reduced. The main advantage of animals of this breed is an easy and quick adaptation to any climatic conditions.

Saanen goats

This breed comes from the Swiss Alps, where alpine wide meadows, a mild climate and long-term selection work to increase milk production rates had a great influence on its productivity indicators. Today, one goat produces about 1200 liters of milk per year, with a fat content of 4.6%.

Read more about the Saanen goat breed.

The external characteristics of the representatives of the Saanen breed allow us to call them strong and correctly folded, and the maximum live weight of the goats reaches 120 kg.

Gorky goats

The formation of the breed occurred at the beginning of the twentieth century, when breeders crossed the representatives of the Saanen and Russian breeds. Outwardly, these are quite standard animals, with a rather mediocre appearance, but good milk characteristics. A neat udder of small size gives about 1000 liters of milk per year, and under very good conditions of maintenance and nutrition, this figure can reach up to 1300 liters (about 4 liters of fat milk per day). Depending on the season, the duration of the lactation period averages from 250 to 320 days.

Alpine goats

Compared with the previous ones, the milk yield of this breed is slightly less and does not exceed 1000–1100 liters per year (fat content 3.5%). In appearance, these are rather large representatives of the dairy direction, weighing 60–75 kg. A distinctive feature of animals is high fecundity (3-5 goats can be born in the second and subsequent lambing).

Learn more about the alpine goat breed.

Motley German goat

An animal with a light brown, chocolate or dark brown color, obtained by crossing local German breeds with brown Alpine. A characteristic dark stripe runs along the ridge line, and in the lower part of the body and on the stomach, the color of the coat can vary from light to dark fawn. The weight of animals ranges from 55–75 kg, although there are goats with a body weight of up to 100 kg. For a year, one goat is able to produce up to 1000 liters of tasty milk, with an fat content of 3.2–3.5%.

Of course, this is not all representatives of the dairy direction with good milk yield, but the rest should be told taking into account the high taste qualities of their milk.

Did you know? Like humans, goats may faint, and do so often enough. However, they do not always lose consciousness, most often the legs simply fail in animals.

Which breeds have odorless milk

Many of the breeds listed below are characterized not only by high milk yield, but also by delicious milk, which has no unpleasant odor. The following goats will be the most popular in this regard:

  1. Czech brown. They were registered as a breed in 1970 and since then attention to them has been declining and increasing. Outwardly, these are medium-sized animals, with a body weight of 70–85 kg and smooth bends of the body. The color of the coat is black-brown, with a longitudinal black stripe on the back and a small black triangle between the ears. In a year, one goat weighing 75 kg produces up to 1000 liters of milk with a fat content of 3.5–4.5%. A characteristic feature of these animals is the creamy taste of dairy products, without a strong goat flavor.

  2. We recommend that you learn more about the features of keeping Czech goats.

  3. Nubian goats. They are considered one of the most ancient representatives of the meat and dairy direction, the history of which began hundreds of years ago. Outwardly, these animals are not similar to many of their relatives, because instead of branched horns, their heads are decorated with powerful and hanging ears on the sides. The body is graceful and even thin, the legs are long, the udder is of the correct form, proportional to the main parts of the body. A day, one goat can produce from three to five liters of healthy milk, very delicate in taste. It does not have an unpleasant goat aroma, and the percentage of fat content ranges from 4–9%.

  4. Megrelian goats. Representatives of this breed come from the southern Georgian regions. Among the main external features are large horns and a middle beard, the color varies from white to roan and light gray. In comparison with previous breeds, Megrelian goats are not so powerful, and the weight of one individual rarely exceeds 60 kg. A year, the goat produces up to 800 liters of tender milk, from which the world-famous varieties of cheese, feta cheese and cottage cheese are subsequently made. One of the main advantages of Megrelian goats is good vitality and high immunity.

  5. Cameroon goats. The first representatives of this dwarf breed appeared in the western part of the African continent, and were transferred to European territory only in the middle of the last century. Today, these animals produce about 1-2 liters of milk per day, which does not even compare with high-milk representatives of other breeds. However, Cameroonian goat milk has excellent taste, for which animals are appreciated by breeders. Outwardly, these are small goats, whose growth does not exceed 55 cm, and the weight ranges from 15 kg. Males are slightly larger than their girlfriends, but they do not gain more than 25 kg in weight.

  6. Learn more about Cameroonian dwarf goats.
  7. White Russian goats. Among the ancestors of these animals are the best breeding individuals of European breeds with very good milk productivity. During the lactation period, from one female you can get up to 800 liters of milk, with a fat content of 5-6%. It really lacks a strong goat smell, but much in this matter depends on the conditions of keeping and hygiene of animals. Outwardly, they are strong animals with a short body and short legs. The ears are medium in size and diverge to the sides, with white hair covering the face and body.

Important! Breeders do not stop at the result and the white Russian breed is still being improved. The priority is to increase the productivity and quality of milk, as well as resistance to disease.

External features

Regardless of the breed of dairy goats, there are a number of common features of their appearance, which make it possible to judge their productivity. First of all, these are:

  • strong skeleton;
  • wide and straight back;
  • wide chest
  • rounded belly
  • elastic pear-shaped udder with well-defined milking and thick milk veins.

The color and density of the coat does not play any role, although some farmers note higher productivity indicators in smooth-haired animals.

Did you know? A goat is not a cheap pleasure and an ordinary farmer does not have enough money for every breed. One of the most expensive ones is shami, since buyers will have to pay tens of thousands of dollars for each animal.

Why milking hairs

Udder hairs are a natural defense of this organ against possible mechanical damage. Goats often graze in various territories, climb between bushes and jump over rocks with prickly vegetation, so accidental damage cannot be avoided. In addition, in some rocks, the coat in the chest area protects the animal from hypothermia and related problems.

Main characteristics

Today in the world more than 350 different breeds of goats are recorded, each of which is distinguished by its individual level of productivity. Good milk yields are not the only productive qualities of the animals described, and some goats can be raised for completely different purposes. Based on this, the criteria for determining the level of productivity can also be considered:

  • the amount of wool (“fur” goats are bred in Russia, America, Turkey and Iran, and the resulting products are supplied for further production of wool products);
  • volumes of fluff (for this purpose, animals are bred mainly in Russia and Mongolia);
  • meat productivity (more interesting for India and China);
  • mixed direction (such goats do not have a clearly pronounced specialization and are equally often bred for the purpose of obtaining milk and meat).
It should be noted that dairy breeds are not in vain considered universal, because such goats are bred in almost every country and are grown both for personal purposes and on a production scale.

Breeding Features

The first thing you should pay attention to when breeding goats is the most balanced daily diet of animals and suitable living conditions that meet the requirements of each individual breed . Let's look at an approximate menu of goats in different periods of the year, and learn about the most common requirements for the place of their keeping.

Feeding ration

Not all products are equally available at any time of the year, so each owner of goats should prepare a sufficient amount of nutritious food for the winter for their wards. In the summer, there is no shortage of vitamin greens, and the main thing here is to choose the right place for grazing animals.


In summer, from early morning until evening, you can graze milk goats in meadows and forest glades, where they will have no shortage of green fodder. For one day, one animal can safely eat 7-8 kg of fresh herbs, in addition to which you can give him fruits or peeling from cabbage, potatoes, fodder beets or carrots. Also, goats will not refuse kitchen waste, it is only necessary that they be fresh and finely chopped.

In the warm season, goats are fed twice a day: morning and evening, and in the daytime they are driven out to pasture. A horned breakfast should consist of a soaked feed mixture with the addition of wheat bran, bone meal and chalk. For dinner, various vegetables and hay are suitable, which can be left overnight in the manger. Clean water should be near the animals all day.

Important! Cold water is not suitable for goats, especially if they spent the whole day in the heat. In a hot organism, such a fluid can lead to pneumonia or gastric arrest.

In winter

With the advent of cold weather, greenery on the street becomes less and less, therefore, satiety and the general condition of animals depend on home feeding. For one adult goat per day, there should be at least 2.5 kg of hay, 1.5 kg of beets and 0.8 kg of wheat bran. Distribution of food is performed three times a day, at about the same time. In the morning, you can steal a blender with bran or compound feed, and in the evening leave hay and vegetables. In the afternoon, animals are isolated from summer brooms from leafy trees and silage (about 0.5 kg per individual).

When harvesting roughage, special attention should be paid to straw:

  • bean;
  • bean;
  • pea;
  • spring;
  • lentil.
You can increase the nutritional value and usefulness of such food by calcination and supplementation in a mixture of special concentrates. Mineral supplements (salt and chalk) are given at any time of the day, but strictly adhering to the norm: 1 goat can account for no more than 6-8 g of such compounds. Alternatively, you can place the so-called lick salt in the barn so that the horned ones themselves can consume as much salt as they need.

Important! Be sure to ensure that all solid feed given to the goats is pre-chopped - if not into flour, then at least into very small pieces. Otherwise, even wheat can clog the stomach and upset the digestion of the animal.

Video: Goat feeding in winter

Conditions for keeping

Most goat breeds are highly frost-resistant and are not picky about the level of lighting in the room, so the main thing to pay attention to when organizing their permanent location is the absence of drafts and the dryness of the room. In regions with relatively warm winters, you can build a stall right in the yard, covering it with a canopy and blocking it from several sides with dense windproof material. Boardwalks or even more brick structures should be erected only in regions with severe winters, where the temperature often drops below -10 ° C. The optimum temperature for keeping adults in such conditions is approximately 3-5 ° C.

Room requirements

A barn for goats must meet certain requirements and standards that must be taken into account even at the stage of construction. For example, for the construction of the goat house, the highest and driest place on the site is best suited, allowing you to organize a small walking yard for animals on the south side. As a material for the construction of walls, adobe, plank or log structures are suitable, and the gap between the individual parts can be closed with pine needles, peat, leaves and dry sawdust (the main thing is that there are no voids left). The height of the finished shed should be at least 2 m, and the fence placed in front of it should reach 1.5 m.

The windows of the room are best done on the south side, deviating from the floor line about 30 cm. On the opposite wall, at the same height you can nail wooden shelves with a width of at least 1 m. They will serve as a good animal bed, protecting them from colds.

It is advisable to attach the feeders to the walls so that you can fill them with food without going into the pen itself. Alternatively, you can organize a small corridor in the room, separated from the main space with the help of a lattice wall (it is the feeders that are attached to it).

Another wall of the goat house will serve as a good basis for fastening nurseries (nursery-type feeders) made of metal rods. Under them, you can install a small box-feeder, in which leaves and small pieces of plant stems will fall out. In addition, here you can also make various mineral additives and salt, so that animals can replenish the body’s reserves with useful components at any time.

Learn how to make a goat feeder with your own hands.

Additional feeders and drinking bowls can be installed on the territory of the walking yard, but only so that their contents are closed from debris and moisture. Damp feed is not attractive to animals, so it will often have to be changed to fresh.

Grazing Features

One or several goats can be tied in the immediate vicinity of a private estate - the main thing is that a large number of useful herbs grow on the territory. Also take care of shelter in case of bad weather and rain (a small canopy will not be superfluous). On hot days, do not forget to take out water to the animals, and even better - just place a few drinkers around the perimeter, and the horned ones will get drunk when they want.

A small chain or a strong rope several meters long can be used as a leash. She must hold the goat, but not hurt her.

It is good if there is a meadow or field near the house, because it is in such places that the goat will be able to find alfalfa, vetch, winter rye, comfrey, hogweed. You can always supplement them with a garden in the form of cabbage and other vegetables.

Loose housing

Grazing without a leash is more characteristic of large goat herds, but it is far from always possible to organize it. At least a selected area should be enclosed with a high and strong fence that does not allow animals to scatter across the field. The horizontal poles of the fence should be placed on the outside so that the goats cannot use them for escape.

Ropes are not suitable as a shielding material, because active and curious animals easily chew them. When using wire, you should pay attention to safe products that can not injure goats who want to chew them. As for the pasture itself, then trees (except for pines or firs) and only useful plants, without any poisonous specimens, should grow on it.

In the case of goats, the latter include:

  • warty euonymus;
  • marsh rosemary;
  • marsh callas;
  • black bleach;
  • speckled hemlock;
  • poisonous milestone;
  • smelly dope;
  • pink mustard;
  • St. John's wort
  • perennial buttercup;
  • sharp gusset.
Of course, this is not a complete list of all possible poisonous plants, so before releasing the animal to an unknown territory, try to carefully look around and examine the area to exclude any possibility of injury from sharp stones or poisoning with inappropriate food.

Did you know? Representatives of many goat breeds are able to bounce up to a height of 1–1.5 m. True, such jumps are more characteristic of slender and energetic goats (goats with a full udder are not up to it).

How often to drink

Некоторые фермеры предпочитают не размещать рядом с животными поилки, а отдельно приносить им воду по нескольку раз в день. В среднем одна коза выпивает в сутки не менее 8–10 л воды, а в летнее время ещё больше. Поить её нужно сразу после кормления, чистой жидкостью, с температурой не ниже 10 °C. При наличии в рационе большого количества сочных кормов потребление воды может снижаться, в зимнее время на этот показатель также влияет наличие снега на пастбище (при свободном доступе к нему он отлично заменит часть питья). Но полностью полагаться на снег не стоит, поскольку на его нагрев тратится очень много энергии и удои падают. Без воды коза совсем не сможет вырабатывать молоко.

У коз хорошо развита выделительная система, а это значит, что они могут пить воду с солёностью 0, 9%. Однако не стоит брать это за правило, ведь длительное использование солёной воды приводит к закупорке мочеотделительного канала и последующему ухудшению общего состояния коз.

Сколько живут

В среднем, при хорошем уходе, молочные козы спокойно доживают до 15 лет, а некоторые представители рогатых могут отпраздновать и двадцатый день рождения. К сожалению, это не говорит об их хорошей продуктивности в течение этого времени и чаще всего после семилетнего рубежа количество удоев существенно снижается. Пик молочной продуктивности приходится только лишь на небольшой промежуток времени: от 3–4 до 7–8 лет.

Как доить

Процесс получения козьего молока мало чем отличается от доения коровы, разве что рога у некоторых представителей больше (если вы не уверены в спокойности животного или коза уже подтвердила свой скверный характер, перед выполнением процедуры её лучше привязать за рога).

В летний период, при обилии зелени и сочных кормов, дойку желательно проводить не менее трёх раз в день, а чтобы удерживать объём удоев на одинаковом уровне, процедура должна выполняться примерно в одно и то же время каждый день. Зимой достаточно будет и двукратного сдаивания, но лучше ориентироваться на состояние козы и рацион её питания на день (при большом количестве сочных кормов иногда может понадобиться трёхразовое сдаивание).

Что же касается способа получения молока, то чаще всего доярки сцеживают его вручную, сначала зажав сосок большим и указательным пальцем, а затем ритмично оттягивая его вниз. При большом поголовье коз можно приобрести специальный доильный аппарат, и тогда задача станет ещё проще.

Видео: Как доить козу

Особенности выращивания козлят

Маленькие козлята более чувствительны к внешним факторам, нежели взрослые особи, поэтому вопросу их ухода стоит уделить отдельное внимание. Например, температура в козлятнике даже в самые холодные месяцы не должна опускаться ниже 12 °C, а в самом помещении всегда должно быть сухо и светло. В летнее время десятидневных малышей стоит выпускать на прогулку минимум на 2–5 часов, а с двух недель они смогут проводить на пастбище и больше времени.

Совсем маленьких козочек молочного направления отлучают от козы практически сразу после рождения, чтобы по максимуму использовать возросшую молочную продуктивность матки. Что же касается самостоятельного дальнейшего выкармливания молодняка, то в первые несколько дней для этих целей хорошо подойдёт свежее и хорошо процеженное молоко, перелитое в небольшую мисочку (можно легонько мокнуть туда мордочку козлёнка). До одного месяца оптимальное количество кормлений в сутки — не менее 6 раз, причём, составляя рацион, желательно перенести первую кормёжку на 6 часов утра, а последнюю отложить на 8 часов вечера.

Important! До двух недель никакие витаминно-минеральные добавки козлятам не нужны, а уже с третьей недели после рождения можно дополнить рацион поваренной солью, в расчёте 6–10 г на одну особь.

На вторую неделю жизни вдобавок к молоку можно вводить в рацион животных свежеприготовленную, процеженную и остуженную до комнатной температуры овсянку. Ещё спустя несколько дней в дополнение к ней полезно выдавать козлятам мелко нарезанные корнеплоды и комбикормовые смеси, перемешанные с мелом и костной мукой. В 10–15 дней от рождения малыши могут начинать есть сено и лиственные веники, но доля таких кормов в их меню должна быть минимальной.

Видео: Выращивание козлят

Рекомендации для начинающих

Новички в фермерском деле часто сталкиваются с трудностями, вызванными неумелым обращением с сельскохозяйственными животными. Чтобы избежать неприятностей, важно заранее учесть все возможные проблемы и выяснить пути их решения. В случае с молочными козами владельцу стоит обратить внимание на следующие рекомендации:

  • проследите, чтобы животное получало только питательные и максимально полезные корма, вместе с достаточным количеством воды;
  • выпасайте коз не менее 6–8 часов летом и обязательно выпускайте побегать в зимнее время;
  • следите за чистотой и сухостью в козлятнике, при необходимости поддерживая оптимальную температуру и должный уровень освещённости (сокращение светового дня приводит к снижению удоев);
  • приучите козу к процессу доения: оно должно выполняться примерно в одно и то же время, в неизменном месте (выполняя процедуру, поставьте перед животным корм и воду);
  • выполняя дойку, не тяните и не щипайте козу за соски — если в первые разы процесс доставит ей боль или неприятные ощущения, то в дальнейшем вы просто не заставите животное смирно стоять на одном месте.

Молочные козы не зря считаются одними из умнейших сельскохозяйственных животных. С ними иногда трудно найти общий язык, но проявив максимум заботы и определённую настойчивость, владелец обязательно получит вознаграждение — большое количество полезного молока.

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