There sure is an awful lot of great info out there about raw cow’s milk. I think y’all might like to know about goat’s milk too. It’s so good for you and can be used in cooking and to make cheese. Here’s more than you probably wanted to know but sometimes when I get on a roll it’s hard to contain myself. Hope you enjoy.

The flavor and quality of goat milk varies widely depending on the breed of goat and the methods used in the handling of the milk. For these reasons, many folks are a bit leery of giving goats milk a try. However, when raised on quality pasture with lots of attention and care dairy goats can produce some of the best tasting nutritious milk on the market. Nubians are especially known for superior flavor and quality.

The goat milk brands generally found at specialty markets like Whole Foods taste very different from cow milk and can be hard to get used to. Nubian milk on the other hand tastes so similar to cow milk that some of our customers say their children can’t even taste the difference.

Nubians are a particular breed of dairy goats know for their large size, roman noses and beautiful long ears. They produce less than other breeds but their milk is superior in butter fat, nutrition and flavor.

Here’s what Nubians look like.

Nubian goat milk is slightly richer than whole cow milk because it has a high butter fat content. I took this photo of milk from our goats to illustrate the rich butter fat content of Nubian goat milk. As you can see, some of the butter fat rises to the top and can be skimmed off for making butter or stirred down. We just shake the jar and pour. The high concentration of butter fat is actually good for you.

Goat Milk vs Cow Milk Comparison

Goat milk fat has a much higher concentration of medium chain fatty acids (33%) verses cow milk (17%). These fatty acids protect against disease and stimulate the immune system. They contain glycospingolipids which prevent intestinal distress, and conjugated linoleic acid which has strong anticancer properties. (Campaign for Real Milk Web Site a project of The Weston A. Price Foundation – What is Real Milk Web Page).

Compared to cow milk, goat milk provides 13% more calcium, 25% more vitamin B-6, 47% more vitamin A, 134% more potassium and 350% more niacin. Goat milk is also higher in chloride, copper and manganese and contains none of the controversial bovine growth hormone. (GOAT MANAGEMENT: Alternatives in Dairy Goat Product Market By George F. W. Haenlein, Cooperative Extension Dairy Specialist University of Delaware)

References obtained from: http://www.fiascofarm.com/dairy/rawmilk.htm#goatmilk

Milking 101

We begin milking our does two weeks after kidding. In the evening we put the kids in a separate stall so their dam’s utters are nice and full the next morning. We milk first thing in the morning and always leave enough for the hungry kids. After milking, we walk the does back to the barn and let their kids out to eat. The herd stays together the rest of the day until we latch the kids up for the night.

It cannot be overstated how important a clean milking environment is. I have outlined the basic steps we go through when milking each day but keep in mind we wash our hands many times during this process and use disinfectants on all surfaces before and after use. Milking equipment is always thoroughly cleaned after each use and sanitized before the next use as shown below. This information is  provided for the purpose of illustrating a general outline of how we milk our goats and is not meant to serve as an exhaustive guide for “proper milking procedures.”

Step 1: Prepare Sanitizer

We sanitize our stainless steel milking equipment and our glass milk jars with a bleach water solution. The ratio is 2 tablespoons of bleach to 1 quart of hot water.

Step 2: Sanitize Equipment

The equipment is sanitized with the bleach water solution and rinsed with hot water.

Step 3: Set Up Strainer and Filter

Out in the milk parlor, we set up our sterilized glass jar and stainless steel strainer with filter.

This is what the set up looks like with the filter in place.

At this point we go get our doe from the barn and get her on the milk stand.

Step 4: Wipe Teats

Each doe’s teats are wiped with a disposable sanitizing towel prior to milking.

Step 5: Strip Teats

The first one or two squirts from each teat are removed and discarded.

Step: 6 Trap Milk in Teat

Trapping is achieved by squeezing thumb and index finger together at the top of the teat.

Step 7: Squeeze Milk into Pail

Gentle but firm pressure is applied to the teat with the next three fingers, causing the milk to flow from the teat into the pail.

Steps 6 and 7 are repeated until the doe is finished milking. Then her teats are dipped in a sanitizing solution and allowed to dry before returning her to the barn.

Step 8: Dip Teat

Step 9: Strain Milk

While the doe’s teats are drying we strain the milk into our sterilized glass jar.

Step 10: Record

While the milk is straining, we record production levels.

Step 11: Date and Chill Milk

After straining the milk is dated and rapidly chilled to 38* F.

We thank our does each day for the milk they give us. These lovely creatures give so much more than they receive in life. For this reason we pamper them in every way we know how. Please consider how and where your food comes from and support humane treatment of livestock by buying from responsible animal friendly farmers.

This post is part of the Simple Lives Thursday blog hop hosted by GNOWFGLINS.

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