Today's Quote

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

Friday, January 16, 2009

Goats or a Cow? Help!

Ok, we are in a deciding process and are asking for your help and opinions. We want our own milk animal. However, milk cows are not easily found in my neck of the woods anymore, living in beef country. So that is one drawback to having a dairy cow. The other drawback is that they produce a lot of milk, A LOT. So I am afraid that I will have milk, butter, yogurt and cheese coming out of my ears and the ears of my neighbors also. I don't like to waste things so am afraid that there might be too much waste. Although I could cut down on the amount of waste by letting the calf nurse also and this will cut down on the amount of milk that I obtain from my cow. The only goats I have every known have been cantankerous critters. After my grandaddy's billy goat jumped the fence and chased my cousin and I up onto the car I swore I never wanted to see another goat. However, here I am many years later considering getting just that. Goat milk tastes much different from cow's milk. It is better for you and much more tolerant on the human body. However, I haven't found any that I can actually enjoy drinking. All goat milk that I have tasted, taste like I have just licked a very dirty smelly billy goat. Goat herders I know swear that the milk tastes great. I haven't seen that yet. So any suggestions from you readers would be great! Goats also need special fencing. I have fencing for horses and cows (most of the time). Anyone who knows cows knows that they will get out someway somehow even with the best fencing. However, goats will always get out unless they have exactly the proper fencing. So fencing for a goat will cost some money. The offspring of both can be put in the freezer, but it is much easier for my husband and I to butcher a goat than a cow. Goats eat less, thus a lower feed bills for my milk. I am afraid that the feed cost would outweigh the benefits of having a cow. it is much easier to keep a billy to breed a goat back to, however, I have no interest in keeping a bull. This would mean that i would have to transport my cow somewhere every year and pay to have her bred. More extra expense. However, if I can't stand drinking the milk from the goat there is no reason having her other than to but meat in the freezer. So any suggestions from my readers would be great. I would love to have some other opinions and viewpoints. I am putting a poll here on the site so please vote, cow or goat. Thanks and have a great day.


RL said...

If I had to choose between a goat or a cow I think I would get the goat. For one goats eat less and can forage. Finding a good goat is like finding a good dog. You might have to shop around for a while and don't be afraid to part with an animal that isn't working out, ie. bad tasting milk, escape artist, etc.

We've had goats in the past and have friends that have milk and meat goats. Bad tasting milk can be a real turn off and there are things you can do besides having a well bred animal to make the taste palatable. I believe our friends chill the milk right away and that helps the taste. And cleanliness is essential.

Now that I've promoted goats I will say that my family is looking for a good cow currently. We've never had a cow before and they want to try one, mostly just to say they did and for the experience.

But, I still stand with the opinion that if I had to choose between the two I'd pick the goat. Especially if survival was an issue. A goat is a great survival animal. I have cousins in TN who have goats and rely heavily on them for their own sustenance and have for 20 years or more.

Kat said...

Thank you so much for your input. Survival is an issue and that is the main reason that I have been leaning towards a goat. They are much cheaper to feed than a cow. I really appreciate the advice and will keep on the hunt for goat milk that I can stand to drink. There has got to be a goat herder somewhere in this state that has palatable goat milk! Again thank you. The advice you have given is invaluable. God bless, Kat