It’s safe to say that goats are the number one animal at our place. Our small herd is comprised of both dairy and meat goats. We love mingling with these wonderful animals. They provide us hours of entertainment and keep both our refrigerator and freezers full.
Alpine Goats are dairy specialists. Originally from France, these beautiful caprines, produce an excellent sweet milk, and in copious quantities. The butterfat is lower than in some other breeds (3.2%), but rarely has the strong flavor that some other breeds have.
Alpines are a fairly tall breed and quite elegant in movement. At full maturity, grass fed does can produce a gallon a day. Those fed a traditional diet that includes grains sometimes produce double that.
Like all goats, Alpines are excellent foragers, but they have more discriminating tastes than many breeds and find some local hay varieties (like Bermuda) to be unacceptable. Mixed grass hay and alfalfa are more to their liking. They are superb destroyers of wild blackberry patches and kudzu.
We have recently added some young Nubian does to our herd. They are wonderfully sweet and provide copious quantities of milk. When crossed with Kiko or Boer bucks, their offspring make outstanding meat animals.
Probably the most important change in our farming operation is the addition of Kiko and Boer meat goats. Both breeds
are hardy and fast growing. The Kikos were developed in New Zealand and are providing hybrid vigor and strength to many existing meat herds. The Boers, originally from South Africa are the best known meat breed in the USA. They are striking in appearance and have wonderful temperaments.