ADGA - American Dairy Goat Association
We raise Purebred Nubians, Purebred and American lamanchas, and we have a few PB Saanen dairy goats, all registered with American Dairy Goat Association. .
Goat care and management
Herd health is of highest importance at Old Paths. Our animals are CL free and CAE negative, we test the herd annually. We are currently also in process of G6S testing our animals. Those we tested so far were all normal, and we have several normal via parentage.
Adult animals are vaccinated for CDT, staph and pasteurella, wormed routinely pre-breeding and post kidding and as needed based on fecal sampling. We copper bolus since we are in copper defficient area and love the results in overall health, parasite resistance and quality of hair coat.
Hooves are trimmed once a month.
We feed free choice western alfalfa/alfalfa pellets, plenty of fresh water, whole grains on the milk stand (custom mix of oats, barley, corn, BOSS or premium quality horse ration for mares and foals with 16% protein and 5% fat) and Techmaster Complete mineral. We also offer quality grass hay free choice. In spring and summer months the herd is able to browse on our back 3 acres and they enjoy assortment of oak, hickory, elm, willow, blackberries, etc.
Our does are milked by hand twice a day. Adult does milk 1-2 gallons a day, first fresheners milking less but some also peaking at a gallon in their first lactation. We raise and train easy to milk does with good behavior on the milk stand, pleasant temperament, nice udder texture, good size teats and large orifaces. Our children help with milking chores so good milkstand manners and ease of milking are a must. Udder health is closely monitored, I am happy to report that we haven't had to deal with mastitis much in our herd.
Milk is immediately chilled to extend its longevity, filtered and stored in glass containers. We use stainless steel pails and strainers for processing. Milk stays fresh for 7-10 days. Nubian milk is sweet, rich and creamy, we enjoy making cheese, yogurt or pudding. We also use it to make our goat milk soap.
Standard dairy goats are seasonal breeders and does usually cycle in the fall. We have been blessed with heats as early as June and as late as March so we can have milk year round. Does are bred here when they reach 120lbs, are either hand bred or placed with the buck for 24 hours. We do pen breed certain groups but they are checked daily and breeding dates recorded for a solid due date. We blood test for pregnancies 30 days after breeding date to confirm whether or not out does settled. Does are dried off before breeding and we use the dry period to properly condition them for delivery and upcoming lactation. We attend all births.
Kids receive 20oz colostrum at birth followed by milk 4x a day. Some of our retained kids are dam raised. We don't wean doe kids until 6 months of age, milk feedings are decreased with age to 3x, 2x and eventually 1x daily. We prefer to keep kids on milk as long as possible to provide plenty of calcium for their growth. They weigh 60-70lbs at 3 months of age and we are very pleased with the results. They are offered free choice alfalfa hay/pellets and medicated pellets until 1 year old age. They have access to hay, pasture, fresh water, and mineral.
All kids are raised on cocci prevention and wormed monthly for tapes, barber pole and liverflukes until 6 months old. We vaccinate for CDT at 6, 9 and 12 weeks, following with a booster every 4 months. Even young stock get their hooves trimmed once a month.