We got a new dairy goat!! Their milk is more easily digestible and Nubian goats are kind of like the Jersey cow of goats, making large amounts of milk with high butterfat.
We first got mini Saanen goats in the fall of 2018. We’d lived here on the farm for about a year at that point. I had a season of chicken raising and gardening under my belt and felt ready for the next adventure!
Goats seemed perfect, because I really wanted a source of our own raw, A2 dairy. But I wasn’t quite sure if I was ready for a cow yet. Plus, goats are great for clearing land as well so I figured they would earn their keep.
Our mini saanens, the first goats we got
However, the goats we got were only a couple of months old. And even as I’m writing this they are only 7 months old. Ideally, they shouldn’t be bred until they’re over 12 months, so I’m going to wait. Meaning that our original crew of 2 does (and 1 wether, they were triplets so I bought all 3 because goats are social and happy in a little herd) won’t be in milk until spring of 2020.
A goat’s gestational period is 5 months. So it’s a process to start with kid goats, raise them, breed them, wait out the pregnancy, and then finally have fresh, raw milk when they lactate. And I was starting to get antsy, not wanting to wait a year to have fresh dairy! So, when a friend told me about one of her Nubian goats that was needing a change of scenery, I decided to try her out.
Sofia the Nubian and her kid Blaire (named by Vivi)
Sofia and one of her kids she had in December came from an awesome home, but a bigger herd. And she just wasn’t fitting in well. She had hurt her leg, too. So, when she got here I put her and Blaire in with our minis who are super sweet and I knew wouldn’t bother her. She got to eat lots and lots of Alfalfa, graze all day, and rest.
We’ve had her about a week and she’s perking up some already. After a few days I tried milking her and got a decent amount, but now that she’s really eating well and Turing around, her production is going up daily.
Nubians are full sized goats, but they are much calmer than mini’s (I’ve read this and it holds true for the goats we have). She’s basically like a big, calm dog. I’ve heard Nubians can be really noisy, but she hasn’t been at all thus far. I’m absolutely loving her!
watch me attempt to milk our Nubian goat #rookiestatus
Plans for Sofia
Even just having her a week, I’m becoming really fond if this breed. The big, floppy eared Nubians are so cute! They are so calm, cut the grass for free, and give lots of good, buttery milk in return! Can’t beat that.
I’m going to let her rest and live the dream grazing away this summer. And maybe think about breeding her toward the end of this year if she’s doing really well. I don’t have any plans to own a buck since I don’t want to be a breeder. And they are stinky and can be aggressive! So I’ll just have her bred and that will be that! Probably a few months after I have the mini’s bred.
She will join the garden tilling crew starting tomorrow! Big John is outside as I type putting my electric net up so the chickens, goats, and pigs we should be getting shortly can get to work on the garden space. It should take them a couple of week to till up about 1500 sq.ft. of garden space, and then they’ll move to the next plot because our garden is 10,000 sq. ft! It will be ready in stages which will work nicely since I’ll be planting in stages according to the season.
We just get to enjoy Sofia’s curtness, milk her every morning, let her kid nurse the rest of the day, and have one more helper for clearing! As I get more practiced at milking and dairy handling I’ll be posting lots about what I plan on using her milk for! Spoiler alert, one thing is coffee creamer. And if you are wondering if I always saw myself at this point in life – blogging about a Nubian goat and making coffee creamer from her milk. Idk. A little bit? I’ve always been down with the weirdness. As we speak, there’s a cookie sheet full of compost in my oven and the house smells like planet earth itself. I dig it.
Happy homesteading or homestead dreamin’!! Come back soon and visit us 🙂