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Farm Animals ~ Is Raw Milk Good For You?
There are different Goats breeds that specialize in either milk, wool, or meat.
Alpine Angora Boer Cashmire Kiko Kinders La Mancha Nigerian Dwarf Nubian Oberhasli Pygmy Pygora Tennessee Fainting Goats Toggenburgs Saanen
The little old lady could not walk very fast, but each evening she had her companions take a walk with her. These companions were of all sizes and shapes, but all were beautiful to her. They always walked along and she told them what was bothering her and how beautiful the world was around them. The companions quietly answered her back with their soft voices.
Sidney had to be watched because she would wander off and was always the last one in. Butterfly and Eve would always stay close and so would Xena when she was not too tired to go on these walks. Xena's little legs were deformed, so she had to have special care.
All together there were over forty- five plus beautiful girls that took walks with the old lady. She loved everyone of them and knew their personalities. The goats were the old lady's friends. They would stop to eat on the brush and trees that were growing along the way and they would check with her every once in a while to see is she was all right.
While other people were lonely the old lady always had someone to care about her. Of course they knew she looked after them too. They knew, when they were caught in the fence, that she would get them out of their predicament. When they were sick they knew she would notice and have them treated until they were well. There just seemed to be a bond with each of them. They would know when to start home and knew the old lady would protect them.
Bonds like this are always possible when an old lady takes a liking to her goats and they return the love. It is truly a picture of country living.
Nubians like the one pictured above are large, with long, pendulous ears and a roman nose.. They are the prima donna goats and can be a little flighty. They tend to be a little bit more stubborn than other dairy goats and make a distinctive sound. Even Nubian kids sound like they are complaining. They originated in the UK from the progeny of crossbreeding the British goat with the Indian or Egyptian descendants. Milk of the Nubian Goats is good for cheese making because of high butterfat content. They are very vocal. They are very popular but not quite as hardy as some other breeds. Nubians are usually seasonal breeders but sometimes may breed year round.
Alpines, also known as "French Alpines" are black and white or spotty with dished noses and upright ears. They can be almost any color except solid white and light brown with white markings They are popular with dairies due the amount of milk they produce. They originated in Switzerland. These goats are very nosy and will test your fence, and your patience because they can get out of many fences... Alpines are seasonal breeders.
This breed is all white with forward-facing upright ears. They are one of the most friendly of all Goats. Saanens Goats originated in Switzerland. Saanens are heavy milk producers, but there milk is lower in butterfat than some of the other dairy breeds. Their milk has an average butterfat of about 3.5%. Note: Saanens must be white. If a Saanen is born with color (which sometimes happens) they are called "Sables". Saanens are seasonal breeders.
Toggenburgs are the oldest known dairy breed. They are light brown and have white ears and lower legs. The side of the tail and two stripes down the face must also be white. They have erect ears and have the smallest height requirements of all the breeds. These goats originated in Switzerland's Toggenburg Valley. Their milk has an average butterfat of about 3.3%. This breed was originally developed to provide milk for cheese production and so their milk can sometimes have a strong flavor. They are seasonal breeders.
I have to admit, this is probably our favorite breed.
This breed is brown or spotty with short ears. In fact, the ears are so small you may not even see them, or think they are deformed. The tiny ears come in two types: "gopher ears", which are little "sweet rolls"; and "elf ears", which are little hooked ears less than 2 inches long. This breed is a very calm and quiet breed, an all-around sturdy, friendly, naturally healthy animals. It was developed in the USA from Spanish Goats. They are seasonal breeders
Oberhasli, sometimes called "Swiss Alpine" have very specific color standards and can be black, brown, or red with black facial stripes. They should also have a nearly black head. They have erect ears and are a medium-small breed. These Goats also originated in Switzerland. They are seasonal breeders
Goats other than for milking - either for meat, coats or pets
This breed originated in French Cameroon area and, then spreading to all of northern Africa, it was imported to the US in the 1950s and also exported to zoos all over the world as exotic. Children like to raise Pygmy goats because they are easy to raise and handle and they are affectionate, cute, lovable and playful. A full grown doe or whether ranges from 16 to 23 inches at the withers and they usually weigh from 40 to 70 pounds. Pygmy goats are year-round breeders so kids may be available at any time of the year. A litter usually consists of 1-3 goats and the kids weigh from 2-4 pounds. They can be milked or used for meat
The name "Fainting" goat is a bit misleading because they do not actually faint. They have a genetic problem with relaxing muscles. When they are startled or surprised their muscles lock up and the goat then sometimes falls over. Older goats sometimes learn to lean against something to prevent their falling over, and often they continue to run about in an awkward, stiff-legged shuffle.
A Fainting goat averages between 17-25 inches in height, and weighs between 50 and 165 pounds making it smaller and a bit easier to care for and keep in fences than larger meat goat breeds which makes the Fainting goat desirable for smaller farms. Goats in general prefer leafy or woody plants to grasses and therefore make effective weed and brush control for pasture used in rotation by grass grazing animals such as horses. They can also be used to reclaim overgrown fields.
The Fainting goat may also be raised as a pet or show animal as they can be friendly, intelligent, easy to keep, and amusing.
The goats appear to have arrived in Marshall County, Tennessee in the early 1800's, courtesy of a reclusive and unnamed farm worker who was most likely from Nova Scotia. Before he left the area, he sold his goats - three does and a buck - to Dr. H.H. Mayberry, who bred them.
The Nigerian Dwarf is a miniature goat of West African Origin. It's conformation is similar to that of the larger dairy goat breeds. The parts of the body are in balanced proportion. The nose is straight. The ears are upright. The coat is soft with short to medium hair.
Dwarf goats come in many colors. Main color families are black, chocolate and gold. Random white markings are common, as are spots and other color combinations such as red, white, gold and black.
Color is one of the BIG factors that makes breeding Dwarves so popular. You never can be sure what color the babies will be until they are born; even then you can't be sure because many times their color will change.
The Boer goat was developed in South Africa. They have long pendulous ears and a "Roman" nose. "Boer" is a Dutch word meaning farmer. The major portion of the Boer's body is white with dark coloration around the head. Their horns curve backwards. They are gentle, strong and vigorous. Boers breed year round.
The Cashmere Goat was artificially bred in Australia and brought to the USA in the 1980s. Cashmere is the softest fiber for sweaters.. Cashmere is soft, light weight, durable, very warm and makes wonderful feeling garments for wearing. It has long been one of the most exotic and rarest fiber to be found. Cashmere is the term for the soft down undercoat of Cashmere goats. The fleece of Cashmere goats is made up of two distinct fibers. The coarse outer hair and the fine cashmere undercoat. The coarse outer hair is called guard hair. The fine undercoat (under 18.5 microns) is the source of Cashmere fiber for clothing.
pictures donated by Sweeping Spring Farm
The Angora Goat is valued for its mohair, which has a smooth surface, very thin scale and lacks the felting properties of wool. Angoras Goats are sheared twice a year and each gives about 5.3 pounds of mohair per shearing. Angoras are less active than the typical dairy goat and are more easily confined. They are excellent browsers and will derive a large proportion of their food supply from tree leaves and branches. They also eat weeds, if available.
A Pygora goat is a breed purposely bred and then registered in Oregon by Katherine Jorgensen. She wanted an animal, which would produce fine fiber for hand spinning. She bred the Pygmy, a goat with short, soft down to the Angora, a goat with long silky fleece.
There are three different fleece types. No one type is "better" than the
other is; they just have different characteristics.
Type "A": (Angora type)---A long, lustrous fiber up to 6 inches long, hanging in long, curly locks. The hair coat is not obvious on a type "A"
animal. This fiber is very fine mohair. Some type "A", "F1" Pygoras are single coated. These animals must be shorn.
Type "B": (Blend type)---A blend of the Pygmy goat undercoat which is cashmere and the Angora mohair. It is between 3 and 6 inches long, and it has a nice crimp (curl). The second coat is usually obscured by the type "B" fleeces that is 3 to 6 inches long. Type "B" can either be lustrous (shiny), or have a matte (dull) finish. This fleece type is the most common, and these goats may be shorn, combed, or plucked.
Type "C ": (Cashmere type)---A very fine fiber, with no luster, and length of 1 to 3 inches. The hair coat looks very coarse in comparison to the two types above. Type "C" can be acceptable commercial cashmere. These goats may be shorn or combed.
Most Pygoras produce from 6 ounces to 2 pounds per shearing. Many Type "A"s are sheared twice per year.
are a small duel propose breed (both for dairy and meat) developed in the US by crossing Nubians with Pygmies. They come in a variety of colors and patterns. Kinders breed year round.
Kiko goats were bred up on a base of feral goat stock in New Zealand. They were selected for survivability under range conditions. The Maori word “kiko” means simply flesh or meat. Kikos were exported to the United States in the 1990s, and there are now a number of enthusiastic breeders of Kikos in that country. Kikos breed year round.