Different goat breeds, different taste of milk?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by farm mom, Jan 10, 2007.

  1. farm mom

    farm mom Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    Central Oregon
    I owned and milked Saanen's for about two years and really liked there milk. I had to sell them but am thinking of getting back into milking again. Do you think different goat breeds have different tasting milk? I have heard Alpine's milk doesn't taste good, etc... Have you found any of this to be true?
  2. prairiecomforts

    prairiecomforts Well-Known Member

    May 28, 2006
    somewhere out there
    I have noticed a little difference. We started out with two saanens, now we mostly have nubians and a few toggs and I have to be honest. I really like the milk from my nubians. I think breeding has a lot to do aslo with taste. Funny thing is my most expensive, ADGA registered - "comes from great milking lines" goat has the most awful tasting milk. Go figure!

  3. Fla Gal

    Fla Gal Bunny Poo Monger Supporter

    Jul 14, 2003
    Central Florida
    I wonder if this comes from what the animal eats. When I was milking cows the milk was pretty nasty when they got into wild garlic. I like garlic but not necessarily in my milk. Blech...
  4. DocM

    DocM Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2006
    NW OR
    Different breeds tend towards different average butterfat contents, but I have four different breeds and can't tell the difference in taste. Feed has a much greater affect on taste than breed. I have had goats that took a long time after kidding to come into good tasting milk - 2 or even 3 weeks, depends on the goat. If I had a specific goat that had bad tasting milk in general, over the course of a milking cycle, I'd be looking into an organic problem, an undiagnosed infection most likely. Bacteria makes milk go "bad" very quickly.
  5. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

    Sep 11, 2005
    Northeast Kingdom of Vermont
    I was just going to post a new thread very related to this topic. I was at a goat dairy workshop last Saturday and one of the panel of "experts" stated that the milk of Toggenburg goats tended to break down enzymatically very quickly and bring in that goaty taste.

    Does anyone else have experience with this in Toggies? I have one Toggie that I just bred yesterday. I think there may be a hint of either Alpine or Nubian in her, she is adorable---Her ears are exceptionally large and she has long wattles too. Her name is Zippity because as a baby she was, well, zippity.

    I wouldn't like to have to worry about the taste quality of her milk.

    The only goat's milk I have any long term experience with is Nigie milk, and it was sweet and delicious.
  6. nduetime

    nduetime I am a Christian American Supporter

    Dec 15, 2005
    We have both an alpine /nubian mix and a reg. nubian that I milked last year. They both had great tasting milk and I did not taste much difference between the two. Biggest difference was the amount the reg. nubian gave vs the mix. I never had any really goatie tasting milk from either.
  7. ChickenMom

    ChickenMom Well-Known Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    I milk an Alpine/Spanish X and she has sweet wonderful milk. I have a Nubian that I will start milking this year.
    I'm pretty sure it has more to do with what they eat. I did read that Toggs were bred for a stronger tasting milk for cheese making though.
  8. Blue Oak Ranch

    Blue Oak Ranch Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2005
    My ranch security manager has an Alpine that she runs with my Nubians and Mini Nubians, in the same pen eating the same things....and her milk is 'goaty.' Very, very little, but still there. I can't stand it - I'm very sensitive to the goaty flavor, I guess. Anja says she can't taste it, but then she also describes herself as 'nose deaf.' My Nubians and Mini Nubians have sweet, creamy, fantastic milk that stores for almost two weeks before I can detect any change in flavor.

    I like a goaty flavor in chevre, mind you....I just don't like it in my coffee or my cereal (grin). It makes me start thinking of what bucks do to themselves to get their goaty perfume....LOL....

    I think a lot of it is genetic and very individual. I've also heard breeders mention that American Toggs and Alpines are less likely to have the goaty flavor as pronounced as purebreds. I'd say your best option is find a doe in milk and then taste her milk. If you like it, buy her!


  9. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2003
    Verndale MN
    I've read in various sources- "Natural Goat Care" comes to mind- that dark colored goats need more copper and copper deficency can cause "goaty" flavored milk. When I have goaty milk the first thing I do is check the mineral feeders.

    In my own herd of Toggs, it seems that 2.8% butterfat is the cutoff for milk that can be safely given to goat milk haters. Anything lower has a goaty or "animal" taste regardless of handling. The doe that supplies the table milk here is 3.3% butterfat. Yum!

    My pasture has white sage and pine and it will come out in the milk as a cough medicine taste.

    Like Doc M said, a bacterial infection will make for some nasty milk. A doe can have mastitis with NO symptoms and you won't known anything is wrong with her if you're not doing mastitis tests- I had one doe do this recently.