Having goats on a farm is kind of joy and happiness to a lot of farmers as they are playful, curious and very intelligent. Raising goats for milk is an absolutely amazing investment as the nutrient in goat milk is known to be better than cow milk.
So, how much milk does a goat produce? Let’s see the answer in this article.
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Health benefits of goat milk
Many people may not be aware that goat milk is quite similar to human. It’s been the primary source of milk in a lot of developing countries thanks to its health benefits and taste.
Additionally, compared with cow milk, goat milk enables easier digestion for babies as it can heal cow milk allergy which usually occurs when parents add cow milk to their babies’ diet, causing problems, even deaths to many infants.
For further information related to the nutritional value of goat milk in comparison with cow and human milk, you can refer to the table below from America Dairy Goat Association.
|Comparison of average milk composition|
|Energy (kcal/100 ml)||68.00||69.00||70.00|
|Cholesterol (mg/100 ml)||20.00||15.00||12.00|
|Vitamin A (IU/g fat)||32.00||21.00||39.00|
|Vitamin D (IU/g fat)||0.30||0.70||0.70|
|Vitamin C (mg/100 ml)||3.00||2.00||2.00|
|Thiamin (μg/100 ml)||17.00||45.00||68.00|
|Riboflavin (μg/100 ml)||26.00||159.00||210.00|
Judging from the table, the energy content in goat, cow and human is quite the same. However, the lactose content of goat milk is lower than the others, which lets it be the alternative for those who have digestive problems upon consuming cow milk.
By the way, there is a higher level of beneficial fatty acids which support digestion. Among the 3 types of milk, goat milk contains the highest level of phosphorus, which is the reason why it’s the choice of vegetarian people who usually have fruits and vegetables in their diet.
It’s more interesting to know that goat milk comprises the similar content of calcium and vitamin D to cow milk. The level of vitamin A in goat milk is twice as much as cow’s milk, and it’s very rich in riboflavin (Vitamin B2) good for human growth.
Thanks to all those potential health benefits that goat milk brings about, it’s been popularly consumed by over 65% of the world’s population.
Other uses of goat milk
Because goats are excellent browsers who seek good and fresh parts of plants to feed on, their diet has a great effect on the aromatic and nutty flavour of milk. This has enabled a lot of farmers and businessmen to discover new ways of processing goat milk instead of only consuming and selling fresh milk.
Some may have it for shakes, smoothies, and ice-cream, or as the ingredient to make a latte. In cooking, it can be used for oats, soups or sauces. Especially, the most well-known products from goat milk might be cheese, whereas there are some unique brands of goat milk soap.
So, how many litres of milk does a goat produce per day? Let’s find out the answer in the next part.
How much milk does a goat produce?
Does commonly give around 6-12 lbs. of milk per day. Does are known to produce a significant amount of milk that they can nurse the kids, and give an adequate amount of milk to humans at the same time. Nevertheless, the amount of milk produced varies upon a lot of factors such as the diet, the care, or the housing condition.
A doe only gives milk after giving birth, so the first condition to have milk is to get your doe bred once a year, which means you must have a buck. Normally, the lactation period will last for around 9 to 10 months, with the peak production in 4 to 6 weeks after kidding. During this peak period, it’s sometimes possible to milk a doe 3 times per day.
However, after the peak production period, the amount of milk produced slowly decreases, which is the reason why your goats should be milked every 12 hours to maintain productivity.
A lot of experienced farmers may claim that how they take care of the goats matter the most. If a goat is happy, fed enough, kind and gentle, it can potentially give a lot of fresh milk. Depending on the level of goat milk production per day, goats can be divided into 4 types below.
- Low producer: around 2 quarts (4 lbs) per day. Finished after 6 months.
- Modest producer: 2 quarts (4 lbs) a day for the period of 10 months.
- Good producer: 3 quarts (6 lbs) per day for 10 months. Approximately 1,800 lbs per year.
- Super-goat: 5-7 quarts (10-14 lbs) per day during the peak period. Around 2,000 lbs a year.
Moreover, various dairy goat breeds may have different productivity. Let’s see the table below for more information about the production of the 6 most popular dairy goat breeds.
|Breed||Average production (lbs/lactation)||Production range (lbs/lactation)||Features|
|Nubian||1,820||560-4,270||Richer in butterfat.|
|Saanen||2,577||610-5,490||Lower level of butterfat.|
|Toggenburg||2,115||940-4,380||Long lactation period.|
Fun fact: Does which have twins are likely to produce more milk than others.
Nutrition for dairy goats
Another factor that plays a crucial role in the quantity and quality of goat milk is the nutritional diet. The first thing that you need to always bear in mind is the balance of energy, protein, minerals and vitamins in everyday diet. Because goats are ruminants, cellulose, usually from forage – hay or pasture plants, is the main source of their diet.
To reach the most potential goat milk production per day, you are advised to follow those requirements in the regular diet.
1. Grain mixture
- Should contain minerals and vitamins.
- 1 lb. per day for every 2 quarts (4 lbs.) of milk produced.
- Provide adequate energy and protein, especially during the lactation.
- Should be limited because feeding a lot of grain with low fibre can lead to digest disorder and low-fat content in goat milk.
2. High-grade leafy alfalfa hay
Does will eat all. In case of the lack of hay, alfalfa pellets can be the alternative.
Does will drink all.
This can be plant mixtures from carrots, kale, apples or peas, however, they should be fed as the supplement, not the main diet, and limited in amount.
Read more: What Does Goat Taste Like?
How to milk a goat?
After learning about how to take care of good quality milk, you will have to know how to milk a goat and how to store the milk for the best quality, avoiding any medical problems later on.
- Milking area: Clean and dry, away from the dust of housing and roads which might get into the milk.
- Before milking: Wash and disinfect the doe’s udder and the milker’s hands with warm water, then dry thoroughly.
Step 1: Hold the top of the teat with your thumb and forefinger to push the milk out of the teat.
Step 2: Close your other fingers, forcing the milk out slowly and steadily. Remember not to SQUEEZE. Be gentle. The first stream can’t be used as it contains a high level of bacteria.
Step 3: Repeat the process with the other hand. Continue until you see the milk flow stop.
Step 4: Filter the warm milk properly, and cool it immediately by placing the container in ice water for 15-20 minutes. Then, refrigerate the milk.
In big farms, they will use the best goat milking machine to increase productivity!
Is it incredible to learn about the great nutritional value of goat milk, and that goat milk is perfect for those having lactose reactions like me? How many litres of milk does a goat produce per day? It is a more surprising fact, right? Whatever your purpose of having a goat is, remember that goats are lovely and surely, if you treat them well and properly, you will have your fruit one day.