Dairy goat production continues to be a socially, economically and culturally important part of the livestock industry in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean islands. Goat milk, cheese and other dairy products offer consumers food products with nutritional, health and environmental benefits. In North America, Mexico produces the greatest volume of goat milk, but most is for family or local consumption that is typical of a mixed farming system adopted by subsistence farmers in dry areas. The United States is not yet a large global goat milk producer, but the sector has expanded rapidly, with dairy goat numbers doubling between and The number of dairy goats has also increased dramatically in Canada. Commercial farms are increasingly important, driven by rising demand for good quality and locally sourced goat cheese.
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Dairy Goat Production
Goat milk is often sought for its perceived health benefits and unique taste. Although a number of health effects have been attributed to consuming goat milk, scientific evidence does not support most health claims.
Goat milk is similar in composition to cow milk, but some important differences exist in the protein structure. Data from the American Dairy Goat Association. Because of these differences, people who have allergies to cow milk can often drink goat milk, and the fat globules in goat's milk stay in suspension longer, which leads to the perception of "natural homogenization. The main marketing issue for prospective dairy goat producers is the number of commercial processors to whom raw milk can be shipped.
It is against the law in most states, including Pennsylvania, to sell raw milk unless it is inspected by state milk inspectors. An alternative use for goat milk is as an on-farm substitute for milk replacer in lamb, veal, and pig diets. To use goat milk as an alternative feed source requires that the dairy goat producer buy and market lambs, veal calves, or piglets.
This means additional management and marketing skills are necessary, but it does allow the use of goat milk without state inspection. Dairy goat producers must also realize that income from the kid goat crop is important. In addition to marketing fluid milk or using it as an on-farm milk replacer, the producer must have a kid goat marketing strategy. It may be beneficial to raise kid goats to different market weights and for different market seasons.
Many ethnic groups are interested in purchasing kid goats, but producers must be aware of the desired weights and times when demand is greatest in such markets. For more information on raising meat goats, see Meat Goat Production.
The lactation period for dairy goats averages days, with peak production usually occurring 4 to 6 weeks after kidding. Representative production data for the various goat dairy breeds can be found below. Volume and composition of milk produced is controlled by the goat's genetics but greatly influenced by the diet consumed. Dairy goats reach sexual maturity at 4 to 5 months of age. Young does should be bred at a body weight ranging from 70 to 80 pounds, which usually is at an age of 7 to 10 months.
The gestation period ranges from to days with an average length of days. Does normally produce between one and three kids per year single-born kids weigh approximately 6 to 6. Birth weights generally decline with multiple births and are often associated with increased mortality.
Quality of nutrition during pregnancy influences birth weight and kid survivability. Pregnancy nutrition becomes an important part of good management as twin births are desired in an effort to improve productive efficiency.
Does giving birth to twins produce more milk and have greater total kid weight per maintenance doe unit. Daily weight gains after birth range from 50 to grams per day 0. Rate of gain will be determined by diet and the end product desired replacement doeing or various weights depending on the meat market.
To ensure efficiency and productivity of a dairy goat enterprise, the three most important recommendations are as follows:. To maintain milk production and good health, goats should be fed a diet balanced for energy, protein, minerals, and vitamins based on requirements defined by the National Research Council.
To reduce costs, forages such as hay, silage, and pasture should constitute a majority of the daily diet. Goats are efficient browsers and can select a high-quality diet from lower-quality forages, especially when consuming nontraditional pasture plants e. Available forages should be evaluated based on plant species and maturity, with the highest-quality forages reserved for pregnant, lactating, and growing animals.
Supplementing the diet with grain mixes to provide additional energy and protein is important, especially during lactation. Grain mixes may also contain supplemental minerals and vitamins. Feeding grain should be limited because a high-grain diet with low fiber intake can lead to rumen health problems e. Availability of dietary energy is important for high milk yield, while protein and fiber affect milk quality. High-producing does require quality forages and supplemental grain at a rate of 1 pound per 2.
Forages generally do not contain sufficient minerals to meet dietary requirements, so supplements are usually required. Mineral mixes of salt with calcium, phosphorus, and trace minerals are typically used. Legume forages e. If pasture is the predominant source of forage, then vitamin supplements are not critical.
If only hay or silage is used, then supplemental vitamin A, D, and E will be required. Vitamins can be supplied in a free choice mineral source or in the grain mix. Commercial cow rations or custom grain mixes varying from 14 to 20 percent protein can be fed to goats.
Most products formulated for sheep will not contain enough copper for goats. It is important to routinely use a technique called "body condition scoring" to evaluate the adequacy of the nutritional program you use.
Body condition scoring categorizes animals in scores from 1 emaciated to 5 obese based on the amount of palpable subcutaneous fat over the loin, ribs, and sternum.
Does should have adequate score 3 body reserves in late pregnancy as they enter lactation. High-producing does lose significant body condition during early lactation but should regain it again during late lactation and early pregnancy. Details on body condition scoring can be found on the Langston University Web site see reference listing for Web address. Goats, for the most part, are a hardy species that requires minimal, basic necessities to survive and produce a quality product.
Most herd problems relate to nutrition and reproduction, but a number of diseases are of concern. Some goat diseases can also infect people, so handlers must be aware. Services of a veterinarian should be sought to develop an appropriate herd health program. Parasites, both internal and external, are the most important health concern for goat health and productivity. Weight loss, rough hair coat, and diarrhea are common signs of parasitism.
Anemia pale mucous membranes due to internal parasites can also be an indicator of problems. A veterinarian or trained herdsman can determine if internal parasites are present by examining a fresh fecal sample. An increasing problem with parasite control in goats is parasite resistance to dewormers.
Repeated use of dewormers without other parasite-control management is increasing resistance problems. Below are other parasite control measures:. Because of year-round parasite problems, goats from the southeastern United States often harbor dewormer-resistant internal parasites. You will need to address this biosecurity issue if you plan on purchasing animals from this area.
Important infectious diseases of goats include caseous lymphadenitis CL , caprine arthritis-encephalitis CAE virus, Mycobacterium avium spp.
All these diseases are best controlled by practicing good biosecurity since they are readily passed by animal contact or through milk from an infected doe. There is essentially no treatment for these diseases and vaccines are available only for CL and sore mouth. It is recommended that you only vaccinate for sore mouth if there has been a history of the disease on your farm or within the herd. Work with a veterinarian to establish good screening test protocols for purchasing animals and a basic farm biosecurity program to prevent disease spread.
Other health problems for goats include footrot, abortion, and mastitis. Footrot is typically a bacterial infection of the skin between the claws.
Footrot control starts with biosecurity to prevent infected animals from being brought onto the farm. It can also be reduced by good preventive care including routine hoof trimming. Nutrition as well as infectious agents can cause abortion in goats.
Toxoplasmosis, transmitted by younger cats, can cause abortion in both women and goats. Prevention requires keeping cat feces from contaminating feed consumed by pregnant goats. Mastitis, an infection of the udder, is a major concern with dairy goats.
Providing sanitary conditions, good milking procedures, well-ventilated housing, and dry bedding are the best defenses against this disease. Injuries to udders and teat ends also contribute to this disease, which can lower milk production and cause permanent damage to does.
There are four requirements for efficient dairy goat housing. First, the building should be adequately ventilated and the walls and ceiling should be free from condensation. Second, the bedded area should be dry and clean. Third, feeders and watering devices must be well built and located so that feed and water are not contaminated with animal wastes or inefficiently wasted.
Ready access to good-quality water is essential for milk production and herd health. Fourth, housing should be arranged to minimize the amount of labor and time required for maintaining a clean facility. A number of housing systems can be successfully used for goat production. In the northeast United States, either loose manure pack or confinement individual stalls housing systems, with or without pasture access, are necessary to provide sufficient protection from adverse weather.
Building adequate fencing to keep the goats contained can be a real challenge. The best fencing for goats is electrified woven wire or livestock panels at least 48 inches high. The milking area should be separated from the stable area and have a concrete floor to make cleaning easy.
The milking platform should be 15 to 18 inches higher than the floor to permit easy milking. Cooling is critical to retain milk flavor and quality. Bacteria in warm milk begin to multiply in a short period of time and cause the milk quality to deteriorate. Cold water is more efficient than cold air for cooling milk.
Meat Goat Production
Piper Hole farm- five workers all family members , ha of land of which 30 ha are meadows, in total animals goats, sheep, pigs and cattle , including goats for milk production Where? United Kingdom. The goal of the farm today is not the get the highest amount of production outputs, but to get the best quality products sheep meat and goat milk. The main income of the farm comes from selling lamb meat and goat milk soap as well as from the agri-environmental support scheme for meadow management. For animal feed only grass and haylage dry silage is used. According to the calculations of the farmer, the profit from keeping goats is ca.
Current status, challenges and prospects for dairy goat production in the Americas
I own a farm where I keep cattle, goats and sheep. I am writing to express my interest in doing business with morocco especially in exporting goats. Thank you in advance for your consideration. Kind regards, Airice.
8. Animal Production/Products
Almost 60 percent of Austria's utilised agricultural area is grassland. Cattle farming and milk production are therefore major lines of production in agriculture. Over the last few years, sheep and goat farming in Austria has become more and more important due to the extensive farming of grasslands and pastures. Approximately 24, farms keep about 2.
Signing up enhances your TCE experience with the ability to save items to your personal reading list, and access the interactive map. Animal agriculture is the practice of breeding animals for the production of animal products and for recreational purposes. Change in animal agriculture has been impressive. From the advent of genetically-informed breeding practices in the late 18th century, and nutritional studies of the effects of diet on animal growth, technological change in animal husbandry has greatly increased both the average size of farm animals as well as their productivity. Most broiler-sized chickens reach market weight at about 38 days of age in Canada, four times heavier than a broiler chicken of the same age in In , federal legislation established a nation-wide standard for pedigree records that gave breed associations the exclusive right to register pure-bred stock. Prior to the Second World War , most Canadian farms were small in size, and included a broad and diverse mixture of grain, specialty crops , dairy and beef cattle, hogs and poultry. However, following trends first established in the United States and northwestern Europe, in the wake of the Second World War, most food animals in Canada are now raised by large-scale producers specializing in a single species and phase of the animal production process. For example, chicken hatcheries are typically separate in both ownership and location from chicken growers that raise chickens to slaughter weight. Egg-laying hens are housed separately from meat chickens and hatching egg production is completely separate from table egg production.
Meat and Animal Feed
Goat farming in Lebanon is an ancestral heritage that may disappear by the overflowing of new technologies; its protection is necessary for the preservation of patrimonial traditions that support our regions. Although goat milk is very nutritious and is considered as an acceptable food in several parts of the country, its production and handling remain a major problem limiting its consumption. There is a growing interest in the consumption of the aforementioned typical goat products, which is partly due to the uniqueness of such foods. Their market is expanding; therefore, there is an increasing interest in maintaining the authenticity of these typical products. Considering the limited data available and the latest developments, the purpose of the present chapter is to 1 analyse the current situation of the goat dairy sector in Lebanon, 2 shed the light on the particular manufacturing practices and ripening tools used to yield a variety of artisanal products, and 3 review the attempts of valorisation of milk from goats. Goat Science. Lebanese goat population counts , animals [ 1 ] of which most of it The goat milk sector in Lebanon continues to improve for many years.
Each year, millions of animals in the U. These animals are raised in miserable conditions, subjected to cruel practices, and killed young — all to produce fibers that are unnecessary for comfort, utility, or even fashion. Thanks to innovations in plant-based and synthetic materials, excellent alternatives now exist for all these animal-based products. To learn more about cruelty-free clothing, visit our vegan fashion page. Wool, Leather, and Down Each year, millions of animals in the U. Wool Sheep used for wool suffer profoundly. Most wool comes from Australia, where Merino sheep are the most prevalent breed. The lambs are given no anesthetics or painkillers during this mutilation.
The Goat Dairy Sector in Lebanon
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Over the past 50 years, global meat production has almost quadrupled from 84 million tons in to more than million tons in The IAASTD predicts that this trend will continue, especially because the growing urban middle classes in China and other emerging economies will adapt to the so-called western diet of people in North America and Europe with its taste for burgers and steaks. The production and consumption of pig and poultry meat is expected to grow at a much higher speed than of bovine and ovine meat.
Whole goats' milk fills a niche market because it is easier to digest than cows milk. This means it can be of value to adults and babies unable to digest cows milk. The major difference between goats milk and cows milk is that the fat globules are much smaller in goats milk. And a substance causing coagulation of fat globules is naturally present in cows milk but is absent in goats milk.