Dairy Goats

We love Oberhasli Dairy goats. Oberhaslis are a wonderful breed – quiet, friendly, not too large, very nice ears, and the color combination is very attractive; and the milk from our goats is delicious.

When the goats are in milk, we produce more than we can use; it’s quite difficult to keep up with the girls! Unfortunately, health regulations are so strict that we do not sell goat milk or goat milk products.

Milking

Our milking proceedure:
1. wash hands carefully with soap
2. fill a container with warm water with a little dish detergent
3. collect a clean stainless steel saucepan with lid and two clean washcloths/rags/hand towels per goat to be milked
4.put goat on stanchion with the appropriate amount of sweet feed.
5.thoroughly wet one towel, wash udder, wiping belly and inside of legs
6. dry hands and udder with other towel
7. milk a few squirts onto the stanchion (or cat dish), examine for lumps from mastitis
8. uncover saucepan, milk the goat, cover saucepan and set aside.
9. squirt teat dip thoroughly onto teats (unless there are kids waiting)
10. return goat to pasture
11. bring milk to house
12. filter milk into clean quart glass jars
13. label jars and put into bottom (coldest part) of fridge

Our goats milk has no goaty flavor when it’s fresh, and early in the season it can last for weeks with the same delicious flavor. Later in the year it does sometimes get goaty. I believe that low minerals in the goat’s diet is the cause.

Cream and Butter Goats milk is naturally homogenized, so we get little cream – after a couple of days, I can scoop off a few spoonfuls from each jar. We have a cream separator, but it’s not worth it to use unless there’s a lot of milk to separate. Butter made from goat’s milk is white and bland; although cultured with a little chevre starter, it’s delicious.

Cheesemaking

Making cheese is one of the more challenging crafts I’ve attempted. Sometimes it comes out great, other times, well, the chickens always are happy with anything.

I make a lot of yogurt with goats milk; it’s not as thick as commercial yogurt, but I use it on oatmeal and it’s the perfect consistency.

The most reliable cheeses have been:
• Cherve
• Mozzarella
• Feta
• Whole-milk ricotta (ricotta from whey has a taste or texture that I don’t like)

Slightly aged soft cheese has often been good. More aged cheese (approaching a month) always either dries out or get moldy. Sometimes when they dry out, they are still acceptable as a grating cheese. These may be issues of aging cheese in a refrigerator…

I get starter cultures and cheese supplies from Hoeggers

Best place to learn to make cheese is: Fankhauser Cheese Page

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