Dairy goat farming has increasing popularity, as the demand for goat milk and goat cheese increases worldwide. To be able to produce the milk that the market is calling for, it is important to have the proper animals for the task, as certain breeds of goats are more suited to milking than others. Of the many types of goats around all over the world, we have focused our attention on several of the most popular breeds of goats for milking:
Each breed of milking goats has its own benefits that come with it, so you'll have to decide what you're after. Will you be keeping just a couple of goats so that you have enough milk just for your household? or do you plan on producing large quantities of milk, and marketing it? there are also many people who started small with just a few goats, producing cheese and soaps and selling from home. All these things will factor into which types of goats you decide to go with.
Some types of goats produce smaller quantities of milk, but with a higher fat and protein content. Often the milk from these types of goats will be great for cheese making. Other breeds of milking goats will produce much larger quantities of milk but with lower fat content - good for drinking, and also for cheese making.
Interesting fact about goat milk vs. cow milk, is that the fat in goat milk does not sit on top of the milk, as it does in cow milk. It's homogenized naturally, whereas cow milk needs to go through a homogenizing process.
We hope to help you narrow your decision through the explanations of the various types of milking goats out there. Be sure to check out the links on each goat breed to find out more about that type of goat.
Here's a handy chart to give you a general overview of the production rates of several goat breeds that would be recommended for dairy goat farming:
chart (above) used with permission