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read the board for a long time, but decided to register today. I have eaten the type of goat cheese that is like feta, and to me, the taste reminded me of the scent of goats I had been around. is all goat cheese this way? or is it the type of cheese? and I would like to have some goats, but my time is limited and would not be able to milk daily. so, would it be possible to mike a nursing goat occasionally to make small amounts of cheese? say milk a quart every three days?
 

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Good questions. :)

First, no all goat cheese is not like commercial feta. I dislike commercial feta also. It's goaty and salty. Homemade cheese is not like that. Other goat cheeses aren't salty.

If you can't milk daily, please don't get milk goats. The complexities of dairy goat ownership require quite a bit of attention. Not milking daily is not going to work well. It's the milking process (or the sucking of the kids) that keeps the milk supply going. Not milking starts the drying off process.

Find a neighbor or someone in the area with healthy goats and purchase or barter for fresh milk with which to make cheese.

Hopefully, eventually you'll have more time and can embark on the wacky world of goats.
 

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Glad that you have joined in.

Good questions. :)

First, no all goat cheese is not like commercial feta. I dislike commercial feta also. It's goaty and salty. Homemade cheese is not like that. Other goat cheeses aren't salty.

If you can't milk daily, please don't get milk goats. The complexities of dairy goat ownership require quite a bit of attention. Not milking daily is not going to work well. It's the milking process (or the sucking of the kids) that keeps the milk supply going. Not milking starts the drying off process.

Find a neighbor or someone in the area with healthy goats and purchase or barter for fresh milk with which to make cheese.

Hopefully, eventually you'll have more time and can embark on the wacky world of goats.
Excellent advice! Buying or bartering for milk from a goaty neighbor will get you started on cheesemaking at your own speed. It will give you an idea whether or not you like the cheese or enjoy the process, it can be very time consuming. It also gives you the opportunity to learn from a goat mentor to learn what is involved with managing goats. I don't think you could go wrong with that approach.
 

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Why couldn't you let the kids (goat babies) do the milking full time, but when you wanted milk pen them away over night and milk in the morning, then put kids back on? My goats kids are always willing to take over milking chores if I don't have time. You may find you have more time than you thought and can fit in the daily milking chores. I commute an hour to and from work so I am gone 11 hours a day. Plus my husband is gone out of town a lot in the summer and with all the chores, gardens, watering, milking, you would think I wouldn't have time. But I do, I milk at 5 in the morning and 5:30 at night, it works. I only have a couple milkers, it takes me 15 minutes from the time I leave the house to the time I am back in the kitchen to milk my Nubians, and they give me PLENTY of milk for all the cheese, cajeta, milk for my cousin and a couple friends....To me, milking is my quiet winding down time, I love my girls and it isn't a "chore". I miss that time with my animals when I dry them up for the winter. Well, sorry for the long post, but if you like goats and the wonderful milk they make, it is just so worth it. Such a wonder healthy milk for your family. And the cheese if wonderful! Not goatie at all.
 

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yes, that was what I was meaning. can you milk them ever so often while they have nursing kids? maybe a quart or so every so often and the kids are still nursing. can that be done without causing any problems to the nanny?
 

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Why couldn't you let the kids (goat babies) do the milking full time, but when you wanted milk pen them away over night and milk in the morning, then put kids back on? My goats kids are always willing to take over milking chores if I don't have time. You may find you have more time than you thought and can fit in the daily milking chores. I commute an hour to and from work so I am gone 11 hours a day. Plus my husband is gone out of town a lot in the summer and with all the chores, gardens, watering, milking, you would think I wouldn't have time. But I do, I milk at 5 in the morning and 5:30 at night, it works. I only have a couple milkers, it takes me 15 minutes from the time I leave the house to the time I am back in the kitchen to milk my Nubians, and they give me PLENTY of milk for all the cheese, cajeta, milk for my cousin and a couple friends....To me, milking is my quiet winding down time, I love my girls and it isn't a "chore". I miss that time with my animals when I dry them up for the winter. Well, sorry for the long post, but if you like goats and the wonderful milk they make, it is just so worth it. Such a wonder healthy milk for your family. And the cheese if wonderful! Not goatie at all.
I wouldn't recommend it for a first freshener. It is the consistent pressure of a full udder and daily milking that stretches mammary tissue to give capacity and it takes a doe a few weeks to adjust. I would be afraid inconsistent occasional filling would only cause discomfort and stress.

Another issue is that the babies need consistency as well. Most of us that dam raise, milk once a day and keep kids penned overnight. The doe increases production to adjust to both needs. However, if you occasionally "steal" milk, the doe can't increase fast enough to make it up for the babies, leaving them frustrated. And after the stimulation, the doe puts out more than the babies will eat. Therefore, I also wouldn't recommend it until after the babies can substitute browse for nutrition. If they are too young they will nurse like they're making up for lost time. If they are closer to weaning they'll fill up on hay/browse and leave her alone.
 

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when i first tried my hand at milking a goat it was just as you explained. i had this girl that always drops 1 kid and when they are young her bag looks about to pop all the time so i milked her for relief more than anything. I never separated the kid off her just milked her in the am feeding. she isn't a big producer as she is half boer. her milk is so fat it makes the lots of butter but just no real volume. she was giving me about 3 or so pounds with a tight udder. i milked her out once per day and he got the rest. once he got older he would just beat me to it and i got only a pound or two milk in the morning. i saw no unwanted side effects and the kid was so fat he had goiters and was twice the size of the other kids his age even 6 months after birth. good luck oh one side effect was that it fixed her utter. when i let her alone and wasnt milking her the kid only drank out of one side and so she got lopsided for a while. by milking out the side he didnt like daily it brought production on that side back up to normal and later when he got fat and greedy there was more milk for him to drink. if i didn't it would of dried up.
 
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