Acquired: Bred animal myself
Posted Jul 29, 2016
My parents and grandmother have always kept a few goats so that I grew up around them as a child, with healthy products such as goat milk and cheese on everyday menu. In my country, the goats are often being called as "the cows of the poor' because they can produce enough milk to feed a whole family with small amount of hay and green fodder, supplemented with kitchen waste from the households. This is absolutely true and moreover, the goats require little space to keep them, they are resistant to weather conditions and it is enough to keep them under the roof protected from the waterfall and they will thrive.
In the last 20 years, Alpine goat breed is increasingly popular in my country, so I bought a pair of these goats. They are characterized by slender body shape, tough hooves because they can easily climb the rocks. Their appearance resembles roe deer as they are red brown with dark lines along the back and dark legs. Some specimens have horns unlike the others. They produce milk of the highest quality from the black udder, very white in color and much easily digestible compared to cows’ milk.
My alpine goat Milka can produce up to 4kg (9lbs) of milk per day when in full lactation. She gives birth to 2-3 kids every year and after 2.5 - 3 months of suckling, the young kids start feeding on their own.
What makes me particularly delighted about goats is that they are absolutely clean animals and they require hygienic conditions refusing even to drink water from a container that is not absolutely clear. It is the same when they are on the pasture. Goats choose only the most delicious grass and shrubs unlike the voracious sheep which are not fussy grazers. Clever goats selectively choose only what they find tasty.
Many people refuse to consume goats' cheese and milk complaining that a strong odor repels them. It is true that goat's milk contains caproic and caprylic acid, which give a specific flavor of goat's milk, but if the production process is carried out hygienically and if goats are kept separated from the billy goats, then the milk and cheese have only a slight odor.
Since goats are seasonally polyestric animal, with the days becoming shorter from September on, they enter into estrus showing the symptoms of sexual heat (anxiety and reduction of milk production). These symptoms are easily noticeable and if you want to make sure that the goat has kids the next spring, it is enough to walk your goat to the nearest billy goat keeper and single mating ensures offspring.
In particular, I would recommend all those who live in rural areas and who have no conditions for keeping the larger animals to resort to keeping the goats. With a minimum of work and feed/fodder you can get high quality products and your children will have playful kids to play with throughout the year.