We’ve raised dairy goats since 1996, starting with grade does, then moving onto purebred Nubians and soon after that we purchased our first Nigerians. We are lactose intolerant as a family and since Jay has a background in otolaryngology, specializing in allergy treatment, we always wondered if goat milk would help our occasional upset stomachs when we consumed too many cow ‘dairy’ products (i.e. that extra bowl of ice cream before bedtime!) We remain amazed at the over all changes in the degree of health we experience as a family, at the benefits of goats milk, which is so highly bioavailable as compared to cows milk. We’ve found that when we are better able to digest our foods, we can basically enjoy a nonrestricted diet, as long as we stick to our goat’s milk and kefir dairy products. Tummy aches disappear, teenage acne clears up, nasal allergies disappear and we just feel better emotionally and physically. We do feel that the pure pleasure of keeping goats (for those of us with shepherd and shepherdess hearts) keeps us active as a family and fills our lives with joy as we care for these special creatures.
As I share this, it comes to mind that some of you may want to rush to the store and purchase either fresh or canned goat’s milk. Don’t! It’s the most terrible substance we’ve ever personally tasted. Please do locate a clean dairy herd and ask for a fresh sample of goat milk. We’ve had guests sample both cow and goat milk directly from our refrigerator and the only noticeable difference they could find was that that the goat’s milk was creamier (sort of like cow’s milk with heavy cream added!) Milk from clean, quality dairy goats that are fed properly should never smell or have an aftertaste.
Our standard sized Nubians provide the base milk supply for our family, with our petite little Nigerian does filling in ‘gaps’ in the supply and providing their own beneficial, high butterfat milk for our family. Our little Nigerian ladies have such an awesome desire to milk, we really couldn’t keep them off the milk stand if we wanted to! They’re just not happy unless they’ve filled their milk pans just like their ‘big sister’ Nubians. We do use a milking machine, so it doesn’t take that much longer to milk any of the does who are currently fresh.
We also enjoy raising buff bantams, sex link chickens and pheasants, which we raise organically and butcher ourselves. We are seeking a small herd of miniature sheep so that we can begin raising those for wool and also for ‘mowing our pastures’! We are interested in heirloom vegetable gardening, off grid power supply, canning of our own fruits and vegetables, soap making, butter and cheese processing and living as self sufficiently as possible on our 5 acre homestead. We live a very quiet, somewhat secluded life due in part to our disabilities (Jay and I have both had lumbar surgery and he has degenerative disc disease with multiple herniated discs so we don’t travel very well), but also due to choice. God has indeed blessed us with a beautiful little homestead to enjoy and we just really like being here at home! We now complete building projects together as a family, that just a few years ago we would have paid to have done. We’ve learned to be self reliant and found great joy in the process. We can’t move at the fast pace we did before we became disabled (thank God!), but then we’re more at peace than we’ve ever been as a family.
JEREMIAH 6:16 “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you find rest for your souls.”
Might God bless each of you with the desires of your hearts, as He has ours! Jules