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Welcome to S-J Farms

ADGA Registered Nubian Dairy Goats and Goat Milk Soap & Lotion in Ohio
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Herd Care
 
Here are some of the frequent questions that we get asked about the care of our goats.


A:Our goats are feed a small amount grain mix on the milking stand.  Along with this they are feed high quality alfalfa hay to meet their protein, calcium and long fiber needs.  When the weather permits, they spend their days browsing in the pasture.  They are also given baking soda and good quality loose minerals free choice .  They also get copper bolused at least twice a year and receive BO-SE (vitamin E & selinium) as needed.


A: No, at this time we raise our goats as naturally as possible due to the fact that we have found it to be next to impossible to find a steady supply of local organically raised grains and hay.  We utilize vitamins and minerals in order to keep our herd healthy.  If a goat does become ill, we treat it with vitamins, herbs and minerals, resorting to antibiotics only if the natural methods don't work.  Any goat that is being treated with antibiotics is not used for the milk pool.  The milk is dumped during the treatment, and for a prescibed number of days after the treatment is completed. 

We also worm our goats with chemical wormers, as we have found that the herbal goat wormers that are available are not effective.  We have also found that the main benefit that is touted for herbal wormers is that there is no milk discard required.  However, some of the ingredients in herbal wormers can cause problems such as abortions in pregnant women, as well as neurological
problems in very young children.   Therefore, we fecal test our goats to determine if they need worming, then chose the appropriate chemical wormer to use if necessary.  We then discard any milk from a doe that is being wormed both during treatment and for a prescribed number of days afterward. 


A: The goats that we purchase, come from farms that test negative for CAE and are CL free.  We test all goats in the herd for CAE, once they reach the appropriate age.  They are then tested annually for this disease.  CL presents itself in the form of an abcess, usually in the area of a lymph node.  Any goat who is suspect for CL is isolated, the abcess is removed by a vet at the vet's office and the contents of the abcess are tested.  Any goat who tests positive for CL is immediately culled, as CL is highly contagious to other goats and is a zoonotic disease.   Thankfully, we have never had a CL abcess in our herd.  We also vaccinate all goats for CD&T, pasteurella (pnuenomia).  Does are vaccinated for staph mastitis prior to beginning lactation each year.

All adult goats tested CAE Negative on 3/26/2011 and 3/18/2011 thru BioTracking.


Q:  What kind of testing do you do on the milk?

A:We test our milk each week for somatic cell counts, using the California Mastitis Test (CMT).   Any goat who tests suspect using the CMT is removed from the milk pool, and her milk is sent to a lab for analysis.


A:  No, goat milk should taste very similar to cow's milk, perhaps a bit sweeter.  How the milk is handled makes a big difference in the quality and taste of the milk.  Our does are brought to the milk stand, then their udders and bellies are brushed to remove any loose hay or debris.  Their udders are then washed and dried.  The first couple of squirts of milk from each teat is milked into a test cup.  This ensures that only clean milk will go into the milk pail.  We use a stainless steel pail for milking, which is thoroughly washed after each milking.  Once milking is complete, the milk is brought into the house and strained through a stainless steel milk strainer with a new filter, into a glass jar.  After straining, the jar is placed in an ice water bath, so that it is chilled to 40 degrees F within 1 hour.


A:  Goat meat is quite good, if it is butchered properly, and the goat is not too old.  It has a flavor similar to beef, but it is a much milder tasting meat.  It is also very lean, with virtually no marbling (fat) in the meat.