Ashmore, Illinois, United States
Posted Jan 13, 2019
My 2 dairy goats Betty and Shirley surprised me with how much they crave the company of people. As soon as they would see one of us leave the house they made themselves heard, but not only because they connect us with feeding time, no, they simply enjoy being around people and are more like a pet and not just a farm animal. Although vocal when wanting company, they are not very noisy otherwise, which definitely keeps the neighbors happy. I found them to be very sturdy and hardy animals. They are not bothered by hot or cold weather and are great foragers. Rose bushes? No problem. Prickly weeds? No big deal. These goats can also be used to clear land, or to keep hard to reach places such as steep hills or pond edges mowed down. Both goats were great mothers and gave birth without any problems and took great care of their offspring.
Milking dairy goats is not for the faint of heart, at least if you have never done it before. I would recommend finding an experienced farmer and getting some hands on lessons. That being said, once you get the hang of milking, it is quite enjoyable. If all fails, goat milking machines are available to purchase or if you're feeling up to the challenge you can even build one yourself, I did. A milking stand is a great tool to use for milking a goat. Nubian Goats can easily be trained to hop up onto a milking stand, their head gets locked in and they munch on some grain while being milked. The stand itself can be purchased or self made. Be sure to wash the udder and teats with warm soapy water and dry it off before you get to milking, this will keep the milk clean and reduce the risk of bacteria. It also helps stimulate the milk flow. Clean hands as well as a clean container to milk into are essential. In the summer I would recommend chilling the milk as soon as you are done milking to keep the milk from spoiling. Nubian milk is absolutely excellent and also plentiful . There's no funky taste and the milk is extremely creamy. If you want to invest in a cream separator, goat milk can be separated into skim milk and cream. The skim milk is great for cooking and drinking but the cream can be used to make butter, cheeses and ice cream or gelato.
One important consideration when buying Nubian dairy goats is your fencing. These goats will take any chance they get to come "visit" you if your fence is not up to par. Tight mesh, sufficient height and possibly even electrified fencing might be necessary to keep your Nubian buddies in their pasture.
There are many great products out there for your goat ownership needs. Some of the ones i found most useful are: A stiff bristle brush for brushing your goats (they love it) stainless steel milking bucket, milking stand, milking stool, hanging feeder, fly spray, fly traps, heated water buckets and salt mineral licks to name a few.
I highly recommend Nubian Dairy Goats if you want a hardy goat that has a great temperament and produces large amounts of great quality milk or if you want a smart and fun animal you can train to do tricks, which is easily done with the help of some treats and a tennis ball on a stick. Educate yourself on this breed and you will be surprised about the possibilities.