The best breed of dairy goat is the one that fits your needs! Have you really thought about how much goat milk do you need? How much milk do you use now? How many dairy products will you be making? What kind of dairy products will you make?
Also, consider how much space you have. Bigger goats need more space. Do you want to milk all year or just in the spring/summer? Take fall and winter off.
Is it important to you that your natural resources can sustain the goats without need of a feedstore?
Asking yourself these questions will help you determine what breed is best for you.
The Best Dairy Goat Breed
I started out with Nubians. I didn’t feel like they gave enough milk despite them being from a dairy farm (Bullet Creek) that claims to have Nubians that produce lots of milk.
They barely produced a quart a day milking twice a day though! Yikes! But they ate alot being that Nubians are full size goats. So I tried Alpines, Toggenburgs, Lamanchas, Saneens, the big goats that give more milk.
They gave TOO much milk and within a week, my 3 big milk goats overwhelmed me! I was making hard cheeses and still got overwhelmed! At the time we had pigs and LGDS so the extra milk went to them. A lot of money and work for pig and dog food though.
I could have easily been fine to milk just one alpine.
There was another problem, though. The big milkers had terrible tasting milk to us. We didn’t like it in coffee and it make just awful yogurt. It also made really low cheese yields and icky ice cream.
The Nubian goat milk didn’t make great yogurt. Made ok fudge and ice cream. Cheese yields were ok… but I decided to bring in Nigerian Dwarf milk goats because they had the highest butterfat of any goats.
Then it happened… winner/winner!
Pick the Goat Breed to Fit Your Needs!
So are you starting to put in you head how much goat milk do you need? I struggled! Really, I did! I liked the big gallon a day and then some milk goats. Not because we needed it, but because it seemed so abundant! I hated the milk though!! It was so watery and yes, at times ‘goaty’ to me. It didn’t matter what I did to improve it.
I also hated my feed bill! There was no way my natural resources could sustain those big goats if the shtf!
The Nigerian dwarf milk goats had amazing creamy milk! Made the best yogurt I’ve ever had! Makes wonderful ice cream, big cheese yields and they breed all year long. Meaning I can schedule does to kid in spring for summer milk and fall for winter milking. Thats nice!
Yes, some of the big milkers will milk for over a year, but I don’t like to milk a doe over 6 months if I can help it. After 6 months, the nutrition content of the milk goes way down, so that’s not as beneficial to our health. So I prefer fresh milkers every few months.
Most people don’t know this but Long lactations are hard on the goat. Carrying a kid is actually less stressful that lactating!
Other reasons I choose Nigerian Dwarf Milk Goats over others
Besides the better quality milk, I like that I can have a larger herd of them but not a larger feed bill.
I like that they can milk without any grain at all! I like their heat tolerance, ability to breed all year as I said and I like how freaking cute they are!
They are so much easier to manage due to their small size. Although they can be sassy! You want to make sure you get goats that have been handled if you want to milk. I’ve got a lot of experience training unhandled goats to be milked and let me assure you, its not easy sometimes!
Hope this article helps you in your decision to find the best breed of dairy goat for your needs!
Also check out this article that goes a little more in dept on the milk. How much milk does a goat produce per day?