Friday, June 26, 2015

What's So Good About Goat Milk?

Fresh milk after using his Henry Milker!
Not trying to tell you to switch to goat milk, just saying...

Store Bought Goat Milk
First let me say, if you have only tasted goat milk from the store, you have not lived! Goat milk bought in a store has a very goaty taste that I do not even like. It has been processed differently than fresh, raw goat milk. Most often goat milk from the store has been pasteurized (it is not even necessary).  When pasteurized, the freshness of the milk is always compromised. The fresh taste is also diminished because of the time it takes to process, handle, package, and deliver the milk to the store.

Better For You
About 70% of the milk consumed by humans worldwide is supplied by goats. That is mainly because goats are easier to keep than cows and also because it is better for you. Some reasons why goat milk is better:
  • triggers fewer milk allergies
  • acceptable to many people with lactose intolerance
  • more nutritious
  • produced more naturally
  • great tasting
  • available raw (especially if you have your own goat)
  • supplies more vitamins and minerals than cow milk.
More Goat Tips and Fun Stories
Proper Care of Goat Milk
How to Build a Milking Stand 
Buying a Goat For Milk
The Henry Milker: How Does Goat Milk Taste
Does Your Goat Milk Taste Like Your Goat? 
How to make Goat Cheese?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Shiloh Hill a Heavenly Place

 

At Shiloh Hill, James and Catherine Crawford raise American Alpine and Boer goats. I have to say their goats are amazing. A few years ago, the couple dreamed of raising a quality herd and now in 2015, have accomplished just that.

The Crawford's invested in Alpines to have milk and cheese. They do not show their goats, though they come from show quality genetics. To the left, James is using the Henry Milker 2 to finish the milking chores. The folks from Shiloh Hill were kind enough to write an article on their website about their experiences with the Henry Milker.




James and Catherine have goats for sale and you can see some along with many other great photos like the one to the right. I would bet that the largest animal with the white nose might not be for sale.

The Crawfords are the perfect example of what makes our great country a place where dreams do come true. Well done James and Catherine.

Other shorts you may enjoy:  
 How to Build a Milking Stand 
Buying a Goat For Milk
The Henry Milker: How Does Goat Milk Taste
Does Your Goat Milk Taste Like Your Goat? 
How to make Goat Cheese?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Goat Barns That Work

Goat Barns that work provide good protection from wind, rain and snow. Yes, I know, there is a big dog in one of the stalls. All of my goat feeders are on the outside to avoid waste.

Other shorts you may enjoy: 
How To Build a Hanging Hay Feeder
Heated Water Bucket - How to Build
Don't dump your livestock tank heater
Goat Water System
How to Build a Milking Stand
My goat is getting shocked at the trough

Monday, April 6, 2015

Is My Goat Sick ?

You gotta listen to your goat!

Goats make different sounds

1. Bleating persistently
  • May be hungry
  • May be thirsty
2. Occasional bleating, twitching of the tail
  • May be in "heat"
3. A sick goat cries, often making moans. Stressed calls are also common. 
  • May be sick

 
If you believe your goat is sick, you may want to take the goats temperature. A goat's normal temperature is around 102°–103° Fahrenheit, depending on the individual goat.



 

Other short stories you may interested in reading
Vaccination a must for all goats
Preventing Mastitus
Does your goat suffer from CAE


Friday, January 2, 2015

How Much Grain Should I feed My Goat?

 GRAIN
Grain (concentrate) is low in fiber and higher in energy than hay (roughage). Concentrates come from the seeds of a plant. Examples of concentrates include corn, wheat, oats or barley.




Don’t feed your goat too much grain!
 


  • Too much grain can cause an acidic condition in the goat’s rumen called acidosis.
  • Too much grain to a pregnant doe during the first 100 days of gestation can result in kids that are too large-boned to be delivered.

Mature goats should get about 1 pound of grain each day.
  • One pound of grain each day is for a 100-pound goat.
  • A 200-pound goat should get 2 pounds of grain daily.
Pregnant does, in the last 50 days of gestation should get about one and a half pounds of grain each day.
  • 1.5 pound of grain each day is for a 100-pound pregnant goat.
  • A 200-pound pregnant goat should get 3 pounds of grain daily.
When making changes to a goat’s diet, do it very slowly.
  • Any change in feeding amounts or practices should take a full week of gradual daily changes.
Other short articles that you may be interested in reading
How To Build a Hanging Hay Feeder
Goats Grazing 
Feeders
Feeding  
Feeding Hay 
Feeding Scraps 




Saturday, October 11, 2014

Vaccination - A must for all goats!


Enterotoxemia is not a nice disease. 
  • It is pronounced [en-tuh-roh-tok-see-mee-uh] and is easier to prevent than pronounce. 
  • It can kill your goat in a matter of days with little chance of recovery, even with immediate treatment. 
  • The good news is, it can be prevented with a regular vaccination and proper feeding practices.


Enterotoxemia is caused by 2 strains of bacteria called Clostridium perfringens [Clostridium per·frin·gens] and are termed types C and D. 
  • These type C and D organisms are normally present in small amounts in the small and large intestine of all goats and do not cause problems unless the numbers of organisms increase dramatically. 
  • What appears to trigger the increase in numbers and the cause of the disease is a change in the diet of the animal. 
  • Most commonly, the change that triggers disease is an increase in the amount of grain, protein supplement or milk replacer for kids.  
How do you prevent this disease?

1. Proper feeding practices. 
  • Do not change the type of grain you are feeding immediately. If you change the amount, change it gradually, over a 1 week period of time.
2. Vaccinate with Clostridium perfringens type C + D
  •  This is the vaccine that everyone raising goats should use. 
  • Adult goats should receive vaccine once every year.
  • Keeping the mothers vaccinated is the best way to protect newborn animals against this disease Bacterial toxins are transferred to the newborns in the colostrum (first milk).
  • Growing babies get vaccinated at 10 weeks.  
Other shorts you may enjoy: 
Does Your Goat Suffer From CAE?
How to take a goats Temperature
How To Build a Hanging Hay Feeder 
Proper Feeding of Goats
A Clean Goat is a Healthy Goat 
Does You Goat Have Bad Breath?  
How to Build a Milking Stand
Feeding a Pregnant Doe
Newborn Goats Gotta Have It- Colostrum 
How to Build a Milking Stand 
 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Shocking Truth

My goats, cows and horses seem to be getting shocked when drinking from the water trough and will only lick at the water.
Tongue shocking while drinking is a very common occurrence. Livestock water troughs with tank heaters or troughs situated close to your electric fence are the most common scenarios. Both of these problems are fairly easy to fix. 

It might be that you animals are being shocked with "stray voltage". Cows, horses and goats specifically, are very acute to electric shock or even if there is electricity flowing down a wire, before they ever touch it.

Electric Fencing
First of all, electric fencing is used to keep animals away from stuff. I would say in all instances that it would not be anyone's intention to keep your animals away from the water trough. The best solution for stray voltage from your electric fence is to move your water trough completely away from the electric fencing. If that is not possible, install a ground rod near the water trough in a place that is most often wet. You will need to attach a ground wire to the rod you pounded in the ground (soil) and attach the other end of the wire to the ground post on your electric fence energizer. this should take care of your "stray voltage" from the electrical fence.

Tank Heater
Tank heaters almost never short out while under the water. If this were to happen, the breaker would most certainly trip and cut the power almost immediately. What does happen fairly often is that "stray voltage" is carried through the ground wire and into the trough, as the animal drinks, the circuit is completed and a slight shock occurs at the tongue. Purchase a 3-pronk to 2-prong adapter from any hardware store. Plug the tank heater into the adapter and the adapter into the electric source. Pound a ground rod into the soil close to the plug. Firmly attach a ground wire to the ground rod and the other end to the eyelet on the adapter. There you have it, you have stopped the "stray voltage" and provided a great ground for your tank heater.

Other shorts you may enjoy: 
How To Build a Hanging Hay Feeder
Heated Water Bucket - How to Build
Don't dump your livestock tank heater
Goat Water System
How to Build a Milking Stand









Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Feeding a Pregnant Doe


You can find a whole bunch of reading when it comes to diet and feed ration for goats. The advise that you are about to get is conservative and the result of “lessons learned” from common mistakes made by others in the past.

Don’t feed your pregnant doe too much grain!
  • Too much grain can cause an acidic condition in the goat’s rumen called acidosis.
  • Too much grain during the first 100 days of gestation can result in kids that are too large-boned to be delivered.

Mature does should get about 1 pound of grain each day.
  • One pound of grain each day is for a 100-pound goat.
  • A 200-pound goat should get 2 pounds of grain daily.
Pregnant does, in the last 50 days of gestation should get about one and a half pounds of grain each day.
  • 1.5 pound of grain each day is for a 100-pound pregnant goat.
  • A 200-pound pregnant goat should get 3 pounds of grain daily.
When making changes to a goat’s diet, do it very slowly.
  • Any change in feeding amounts or practices should take a full week of gradual daily changes.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Don't Dump Your Livestock Tank Heater

How to Clean You Tank Heater
To keep all of my goats, horses, rabbits and chickens happy here in Palmer, Alaska, I keep 6 livestock water tanks heated during our long winters. I used to just trash my old tank heaters when they started to look crusty and began to loose heating power. Now I recondition them.



1. Mineral deposits that build on the heating elements are alkaline in nature and need a good soaking in a solution that is acidic. Vinegar, lemon or lime juice are all mild acids and can be used.


 
2. After removing the wire mount from the heating unit, place it in a container with the vinegar, and lemon/lime solution. Do not use water. This should soak for 12 hours or more.


3. Good as new!







Other shorts you may enjoy: 
How To Build a Hanging Hay Feeder
Heated Water Bucket - How to Build
Goat Water System
How to Build a Milking Stand
My goat is getting shocked at the trough

Monday, June 24, 2013

Proper Care of Milk


Goat Milk Needs Special Care


I can remember as a kid proudly bringing in the half full milk pail to my mom every evening after milking my goats. The milk always had hair in it, most often it would also have floaters, you know, pieces of whatever fell off the body of the goat down into the milk and always, the goat would stick her hoof in the bucket at least once, often, 3 or 4 times. Now I don’t know about you, but we never washed our goat’s hooves before milking.  The hoof is the area where large amounts of pooh collect and just one good kick and dip in the milk bucket would get that goats hoof clean as a whistle. I would bring the milk bucket to mom and apologize about the ‘stuff” in the milk, she would always say, “Mikey, don’t worry about it, it’ll all come out when I strain the milk”.
Mom would get a piece of torn-off old sheet (clean but old) and place it over the mouth of a gallon mason jar. A big special rubber band around the mouth would hold the cloth in place. With a steady hand she would then pour the milk from my milk bucket down into the gallon jar. At the end of the process there would always be pieces of stuff that got strained from the milk. I thought that was just fine and drank goat milked strained through a bed sheet for 10 years. I didn’t kill me but heaven only knows what that milked contained after those floaters soaked in the milk bucket and became a part of the liquid.
 
 Closed milking systems keep out the stuff
A closed milking system that would protect the fresh clean milk from dirt and hair was not the main reason I invented the Henry Milker but it was certainly the second place reason. After cleaning the udder and teats with a pre-milking wipe, you just hook up the teat cups and watch the milk flow into a fresh clean mason jar, just like mom used to strain the milk into when I was a youngster. With the Henry Milking system you will never have to worry about hooves in the bucket, dirt and hair in the milk and you’ll never again have to strain your milk.
 
Quick chilling of milk
Goat milk needs to be chilled as soon as possible after leaving the goat’s teat. Goat milk contains active enzymes that will quickly multiply and if allowed to multiply too long will cause a reaction that often gives goat milk that off taste that so often leaves rookie goat milk drinkers unimpressed.

Chilling the milk will slow the enzyme growth process and freezing the milk will completely stop it. As I milk each day with my Henry Milker, I fill one-quart jar, unscrew, place on a regular lid, and sit it in a small ice bag.
Once I have filled each of the quart jars and have finished my milking chores, I place each of the filled, chilled jars directly into the freezer. You want to make sure your jars are “freeze approved” (Henry Milkers come complete with 2 freezer approved jars). I have the best tasting goat milk around because of my closed milking system, special feed rations and instant chill/freeze procedures for milk.