What kind of milk goat?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Morning Owl, Oct 22, 2006.

  1. Morning Owl

    Morning Owl Well-Known Member

    Oct 13, 2005
    I wanted to get a dexter for milking but after looking into it I realized that will not work for me. They are way to expensive to start and the up keep would be too expensive as well. So now I'm thinking about a goat, is there a goat that has milk similar to cow milk? Can I make butter with goat milk?
  2. allenslabs

    allenslabs Saanen & Boer Breeder

    Feb 5, 2005
    You can make butter although I never have but goats milk doesn't have much cream settle to the top as it's natually homogenized. I like my saanen milk and think that it tastes like whole milk from the store and have had people tell me the same. But everybody has a different opinion.... but I have a barn with 8 saanens in there that I have milked every one and would love them over any other breed. They're sweet docile and just make life so much fun!

  3. Corky

    Corky Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2002
    There are several breeds of milk goats and I wouldn't dare tell you that one is better than another as I would get a fight from someone..... no.... several someones, if I did.

    I have an alpine that also gives milk that tastes just like whole milk from the store.
    I have had Toggenburgs and did not like their milk but others just love it.

    I am sure Saanan milk tastes that way too as it is the breed most popular in daries.
    Nubian milk is higher in butter fat so if you wanted to try to make butter you might prefer that breed.

    I would suggest that you find someone that has several different breeds and check them out and decide which is best for you.
    Taste the milk from the goat you think you want before you buy her.
  4. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

    Mar 6, 2005
    There are also miniatures of each breed availible, the result of crossing a full size dairy doe with a Nigerian dwarf buck. Or you can get fullbred Nigerians or go for the kinders, which are a nubian/pygmy cross. the miniatures are smaller in size, eat less, and take up less space. Also, Kinders are supposedly able to keep up with thier larger counterparts in the milkroom, if bred correctly. At least that's what I've heard.
  5. full sun

    full sun Well-Known Member

    Aug 5, 2005
    Western North Carolina
    I chose a Saanen because they are gentle and quiet, good producers and give tasty milk. I have to say that my saanen is all of the above. Yes, her milk does taste like cow milk.

    I have nigerian dwarfs and they are supposed to give high butter fat content. I have not milked mine. They are more fun and fiesty than the saanen.

    Good luck!
  6. Janis Sauncy

    Janis Sauncy Well-Known Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Although I still have the goats, I'm not milking anymore. But, if one were choosing based on personality alone, I would have to recommend Saanens, too. They have the most mellow personality. I've got a Toggenburg and I've had Nubians and they all have their good points, but there's something really easy-going about the Saanen personality that I find appealing. (Of course, they do all tend to look alike!) I had a Saanen buck who was also very mellow, although he still had all the other stinky habits bucks of other breeds have.
  7. prairiecomforts

    prairiecomforts Well-Known Member

    May 28, 2006
    somewhere out there
    We choose Nubians because they have personality plus!! :) But I realize that is why some people don't like them. They can be noisy and they definately let you know when something is wrong. All of mine are good milkers - if they aren't averaging 1 to 1 1/2 gallons a day at peak, I don't keep them. We are breeding for does who have good milk production and as well as for show. We did add a togg doeling this spring. She came from the pastor and his wife who were downsizing and we are really happy with her. She will be AIed in Dec. to keep the togg lines and I can hardly wait to see how she does when she comes in.

    Determining what you are looking for first is a good idea. Are you going to be breeding for milk production?....for show?...does registration matter to you? And by all means - pick a goat who's personalitiy is a match for you. The first goats we ever got were Saanens. They were beautiful animals, good bloodlines, excellent milkers - but something just didn't click with us. So we tried Nubians and I feel in love. Good luck with your search!
  8. dk_40207

    dk_40207 Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2005
    We, too, love our Saanens. I have to say that ours are NOT quite and layed back. They yell at us anytime we are outside, and if we go in there w/ them, they will climb into your lap and nuzzle you(while sampling the fine tasting ballcap/flannel/shirt buttons etc). The milk, to me, is like 2% cows milk--but better. It doesn't have the distinct cow flavor that cows milk has. I read that they were bred and used in France for odorless milk.
  9. Shazza

    Shazza Well-Known Member Supporter

    Nov 20, 2004
    Victoria Australia
    All I can add is that out of all cattle breeds Dexter milk is the most like goats milk...in its make up....and its butter and cheese making ability. So all the things you planned to make with Dexter milk you will be able to do with Goats milk. Here I would reccommend Toggies or Nubians...because they have higher butter fat than the Saanens and Alpines...they are the only breeds we have here but you may have another with high b/f.
    Good luck.
  10. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

    Oct 6, 2005
    My personal preferences run toward Lamanchas and Nubians. Nubians were and always will be my first love, their milk is rich and sweet and they have very loving personalities. Lamanchas are awesome!! Even lactations, plenty of good sweet milk and such nice personalities.....
    But there are exceptions to every rule so pick the breed you want, then buy the personality you want!! Goats are all individuals and they have all different sorts of personalities.
  11. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2003
    Verndale MN
    The Toggs here in the States have been selected for volume, not butterfat:(
    The 2003 ADGA DHIR breed average shows Nubians at 4.9%, Lamancha in second place with 4.0%, and Toggs in last with average BF of 3.2%.
  12. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2004
    If you want lots of cream for making butter, get the highest butterfat you can find. That would be either from one of the mini breeds (Nigerian dwarf crossed with one of the large dairy breeds) or from Kinders, which are a Pygmy/Nubian cross. I have to leave jars of milk in the frig for a few days to get enough cream to rise even with my Kinders, but with the other breeds it would take a lot longer and the milk would probably have spoiled by the time enough cream came to the top of the jars. On the other hand, if you want to buy and clean a cream separator, you can get any of the breeds. Of the large breeds the best for butterfat is the Nubian.

    I've had most of the different large breeds, and found that milk flavor does vary -- I think the biggest factor is the percentage of butterfat. So, again, look for the highest butterfat you can get.

    Kinders CAN produce as much as an *average* of a gallon a day. I haven't had one of those so far. Mine have *peaked* around three quarts a day, tapering down to a quart or a little less by the time I dried them off. This is still enough for most families nowadays, especially since you need to keep two or more goats anyway. I haven't had any of the mini-breeds -- but I have heard that their butterfat is as high as the Kinders, and they might have higher milk production, since Nigerian Dwarfs are a dairy breed, while Pygmies (although used for pets in this country) are a meat breed. However, if you think you might ever want to butcher any of your surplus kids for the freezer, the Kinders would be the better choice IMO.

    I think the Kinders and minis are ideally suited for small families; for people wanting to make butter (or soap, since the high butterfat will make a superfatted soap); and for people with small properties. If you have a large family and/or more land then the larger breeds of goats would work fine for you.

    And here's a radical thought: for higher butterfat in a large-breed goat, add a little Boer. But only do that if you don't plan to ever show, because with showing ruled by the ADGA, you won't ever be allowed to show your part-Boer does against the ADGA registered animals.