Dairy Goats

This page is dedicated to helping people who are new goat owners or are considering getting goats. It covers information that you should know prior to getting your goats, and gives you an overview of things to consider that will be beneficial as you embark on this new adventure. It is my sincere hope that this information will help you to make the change over to life with goats as stress free as possible. Keep in mind that there is always more than one way to do things, so take from this what you can use and will work for you.

I strongly encourage you to purchase these books and read them. Amazon had the best price when I checked, and the links will take you to their site.


The bottles/jugs that I use are purchased from Infinity Packaging. Each Spring I try to get together with a large group of friends and place an order for a full pallet of one gallon, wide mouth, glass jars. This way we can get them at a very good price. There are 120 cases (4 jars to a case) and our cost is just $6.16 for a case of jars. To purchase in small quantity from the internet you pay over $15.00 a case.

If you want to purchase one gallon plastic milk jugs (never been used before) for freezing milk to have over the winter, they can be purchased through Louisburg Cider Mill. I don't know the current price, but I previously paid 50 cents each. I do not advise reuse of these jugs -- recycle them instead.


I looked over all of the things that I have for my goats and milking, and I made up this "shopping list". Hopefully having the list organized this way will be straightforward and simple. There are other ways to do things, and plenty of other choices out there, but these are the items I have and like. My criteria is to have the best quality equipment there is, it must be safe for myself and the animals, and it must work well. I will not sacrifice quality for price. However, when two or more companies carry the same exact thing, I always go for the one that saves me money.


A personal note from Pamela

Running a small farm is a financial burden. Small producers must have a second income; be independently wealthy; own all of their property, equipment, and livestock outright; or have a significant other who works in order to survive. In my life, both my husband and I must work off the farm in order to survive. In the past we tried to keep enough livestock that we were able to sell the surplus product to help cover the cost of running the farm. I regret that we are no longer able to do so. We have kept our goat dairy running for several years now despite losing thousands of dollars each year. On paper, it made sense to sell milk at a price to cover the cost of feeding the animals, but that only worked if everything went perfectly. Well, perfection never happened. 2011 was our worst year yet, and we realize that we can no longer afford to run the dairy. I've been expanding my house cleaning business trying to make ends meet and it was depressing to learn that my earnings from house cleaning just barely covered our farm losses in 2011. We have sold all but enough goats to feed our family. We only hope that we've instituted these changes in time to save our home as the mortgage company has filed for foreclosure.

The food prices in our country are so artificially low, that the best a small producer can usually hope for is to cover the cost of feeding the animals. This does not cover the cost of the land, purchasing the animals, shelter, fencing, bedding, veterinary care, health care, minerals, supplements, de-wormers, equipment, electricity to run refrigerators, water (running a dairy requires unbelievable amounts of water), or any of the labor involved in running a dairy. I do this because it is a passion, my goal is to feed my family with whole, pure, raw food from the earth, and I love what I do.

Having dairy animals can be very limiting and restrictive.....there is a great deal of physical work, it takes a lot of time, and you must be there at the farm everyday, twice a day, at the same time of day. No exceptions!! If you can not be there, you must find someone to take your place. Most people can not even comprehend this amount of work or this restrictive a lifestyle. It requires undying dedication, determination, and a passion for what you are doing. I can not imagine not doing this, and instead of being frustrated that I work so hard for no pay (and in fact, work off the farm to support this habit) I see the benefits of my work. I have raw, farm fresh goat milk, goat's milk products (cheese, yogurt, etc...), goat meat, and goat hides, of unsurpassed quality that I can not buy from a store. I also have a close bond with highly intelligent, remarkably friendly creatures who are active, extremely agile, very curious, and who's antics can amuse me for hours. I do this because I want to know exactly where my food comes from, what is in my food, how my food was handled, and that the animals providing me with food are all individually cared for, loved, and looked after. I insist on there being a mutually beneficial relationship for each and every one of the members of this farm. I do not trust food that I buy from a store, and firmly believe that the only way to a healthy diet is to take responsibility and control over my own food supply. Thus, for me, the food I am able to produce here on my farm is priceless.