Choosing to keep goats on the home farm can produce a consistent supply of goat milk and meat. In general, goats are great at foraging fields, like a form of manual lawn mowing. Additionally, many experienced goat farmers love raising goats for their eccentric personalities, which keep things at the farm fun and exciting. However, have you ever wondered which goat breed is the best to choose from?
Knowing the right breed to add to your homestead can make or break the efficiency of your farming plans. In fact, there are roughly 200 types of goat breeds that exist today! It does depend on what you intend to do with these goats though, as some breeds are known for producing milk, some for meat, some require specific living conditions, and so on. Goat meat is known to be the leaner meat compared to the average beef meat too, while goat milk contains more protein than cow milk.
If you’ve come to this article to take a closer look at the different goat breeds great for homesteading, you’re in luck. If you have a hard time deciding whether to raise goats for their meat or for their dairy, don’t fret. Most farm goats are a dual-purpose breed, meaning they produce quality milk and meat! In this article, we’ve compiled some of the popular goat breeds — so if you’re interested in learning more, just keep on reading.
The Pygmy Goat
The Pygmy breed is a dual-purpose goat that is usually raised for their meat and for their milk too. This breed is known to be easy-going, which is why they’re popular breeds chosen for homesteading. The pygmy nanny goat has the astounding ability to produce milk that matches other bigger nanny goat breeds too. They have a typical lifespan of 15 years.
The Nigerian Goat
Just like the pygmy breed, the Nigerian is a dual-purpose breed of a smaller size too. The breed’s nanny goat produces one quart of milk that tastes sweet daily too. Unlike standard goat breeds that breed twice a year, the Nigerian goat breed up to four times a year. Additionally, they’re great for hotter climates.
The Boer Goat
This breed has a larger stature compared to the Pygmy and Nigerian goat and is usually bred for meat production. They’re popular homestead goats thanks to their vigorous growth rates and strong fertility numbers, so don’t be surprised at the prices they’re going for. Due to their stocky frame, they were once raised in packs.
A comprehensive guide to maintaining a healthy herd of goats, this book will teach you how to successfully manage goats; from how nature designed them to thrive, including their nutritional and psychological needs.
Compact and handy, you can hang this against a wall or a fence easily. It makes hauling heavy loads easier and is made from polyethylene resin that is impact resistant and prevents stress cracks.
Known for its soft texture and sweet flavor, this is not just a favorite among small pets; but livestock like goats as well. It provides essential fiber and contains no artificial colors or preservatives.
The Tennessee Goat
Perhaps you’ve seen some funny clips of this goat on the internet as they’re known for ‘fainting’. Despite its name, this American goat breed does not actually faint, but rather stiffens up and tumbles over sideways when startled due to a hereditary condition called myotonia congenita. This charming goat is mostly kept on the farm for its amusing reactions — it’s no wonder it’s managed to have captured the hearts of many. Aside from being entertaining, they produce top-quality meat and breed very well too.
The Alpine Goat
Popular for its excellent milk production, the Alpine breed is good to have if you plan to use goats for milk only. This goat has the ability to produce at least two gallons of milk per day, which also has a high content of fat in it. In fact, the Alpine breed is to thank for most of the world’s butter, cheese, ice cream, and many more dairy products!
The Spanish Goat
This breed looks majestic and adds almost a mystical vibe to any homestead. With their large horns and sturdy build, they can look like very intimidating creatures. The Spanish Goat is popular for its tender meat, which is something you can consider if you’re intending to raise goats for meat.
The Nubian Goat
Although more popular for its ability to produce one and a half gallons of milk daily, the Nubian breed has a perfect stature great for meat production too. Plus, its milk is sweeter than most breeds and is popularly used for making cheese. In some places, the Nubian goat is also bred for its high-quality hides.
Highly recommended by veterinarians, this provides higher digestible fiber and is lower in protein content. It has all the balanced and essential vitamins and minerals, as well as no additives.
A 10-tine ensilage fork, this has a poly D-grip and steel ferrule. Not to mention a 30” precision lath turned hardwood. It is perfect for dealing with hay on your farm on a daily basis.
The Brush Goat
Known to be an independent breed, the Brush goat is extremely capable of withstanding most environmental elements and climates. Despite its robust nature, the Brush breed is extremely easy-going. This sweet-looking goat has the ability to look for its own food and is one of the common goat breeds seen in farms around the world. Additionally, research has shown that Brush goats have a higher resistance to parasites compared to other breeds.
The La Mancha Goat
With a catchy name and a sweet demeanor, it’s no surprise most LaManchas are treated like pets. Although they have smaller ears compared to their counterparts, it’s often compensated for their ability to produce high-fat milk regularly. Its milk is vitamin- and mineral-rich and is an often sought-after alternative to cow milk thanks to its lower cholesterol levels.
The Kiko Goat
A breed native to New Zealand, the Kiko is capable of withstanding the most difficult environments. They were originally bred to create a stronger goat that can defend itself while at the same time produce quality milk and meat. In terms of quality and amount of meat, the Kiko goat produces similarly to the Boer breed, yet is sold at a cheaper price. Having Kiko goats help to improve land quality too.
To conclude, there’s no baa-baa-bad reason to have goats join the homestead. They’re very charming creatures that forage well, improve your land’s quality, and provide you entertainment every day. Hopefully, this article has helped you in the search for the right goat breed to keep. If you’re new to owning goats, try to start out with at least two to test the waters. Additionally, it’s important to know the purpose of keeping goats on the homestead too, as this can affect your budget and resource planning greatly. Don’t forget to do your research and planning before fully committing!
|1||Holistic Goat Care|
A comprehensive guide to maintaining a healthy herd of goats, this book will teach you things like their nutritional and psychological needs.
|2||Flat Back Bucket|
Compact and handy, you can hang this against a wall or a fence easily. It makes hauling heavy loads easier and is made from polyethylene resin.
|3||Oxbow Farm Fresh Hay|
Known for its soft texture and sweet flavour, this is not just a favourite among small pets; but livestock like goats as well.
Highly recommended by veterinarians, this provides higher digestible fiber. It has all the balanced and essential vitamins and minerals.
A 10-tine ensilage fork, this has a poly D-grip and steel ferrule. Not to mention a 30” precision lath turned hardwood for dealing with hay.