16 tips for aspiring suburban goat owners
I thought that I would put together some thoughts about owning a goat (to share the wisdom that I have acquired in the months I have had since I have gotten goats.)
- If your goat gets something blocking it's teat (in our case that caused either the milk to not come out or the milk to spray in all sorts of directions) then you can place the teat in warm water for a minute or two before milking and that will probably clear the blockage.
- Pour your milk into mason jars and put them directly into the freezer for ~40 minutes to chill them really fast (it makes the milk milder in flavor)
- Instead of using a big stainless steel pail to milk into, you can milk directly into the mason jars that you are planning on chilling the milk in. Just milk directly into the filter, using a metal ring to hold the filter in place
- Use coffee filters instead of the expensive filters. They drip slower, but they are 20 times cheaper (if you buy the basket shaped ones they even fit a mason jar almost perfectly)
- Buy a plastic trash can with a lid and cut a hole (or holes) in the side of it for a quick and easy manger. You will probably have to tie it up to keep them from knocking it down, though.
- If you are taking care of goats, you might as well get chickens. They are practically no work compared to goats, and they can eat some of the pests that would attack your goats.
- Tie up your goat when milking it. There is no way that you can hold it in place and milk it at the same time (or at least I can't).
- If you buy cheap wire fencing, you will want to find some wood to make a few slats for the fence. This will prevent the goats from scratching themselves on the fence and bowing it out.
- If you accidentally freeze a quart of goat milk in the freezer because you forgot to take it out, let it thaw a bit in the fridge and then attach the entire jar to your blender (many blenders have the same size threading as a small mouthed mason jar) and make a milk shake.
- Get udder cream if you don't want your goat's udder to be shedding flakes of skin into your milk.
- Use antibacterial wipes for your goats udder before you milk. You can buy them at any grocery store, and they will keep your goat from getting sick.
- Make sure you are legally zoned for goats, and print out multiple copies of the ordinance to show to animal control guys who knock on your door.
- Tell your neighbors that you are getting goats so they don't freak out and call said animal control guys.
- Get two goats at least. They are pack animals and will act really annoying if they are alone.
- Consider getting an alpine instead of a Nubian. Nubians are loud.
- Find someone who is willing to milk your goats before you plan a large trip.