Nigerian Dwarf Goats for Value-added Dairy Products to Provide Sustainable Off-season Farm Income

Project Overview

FS03-177
Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2003: $7,317.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Region: Southern
State: Virginia
Principal Investigator:
Liane Young
Kush-Hara Organic Farm

Commodities

  • Animals: goats
  • Animal Products: dairy

Practices

  • Animal Production: herbal medicines, winter forage
  • Education and Training: display, extension, on-farm/ranch research
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, new enterprise development, budgets/cost and returns, marketing management, feasibility study, market study, value added
  • Pest Management: weather monitoring
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, sustainability measures

    Summary:

    Many growers do not have farm income during the winter months when they are not selling produce or flowers. A dairy operation with a milking cycle during the winter months would bring winter income and work load during a slow time for most growers.

    Unlike other dairy animals, Nigerian Dwarf goats average 21 inches high and 75 pounds. They are polyestrous which allows them to be bred in the late spring for freshening and milking in the fall and winter. This brings the opportunity of income from milk, cheese and other value-added dairy products during a slow time for many growers. These small easy-to-handle animals also offer a higher butterfat and protein percentage than do most dairy animals.

    This grower will use her producer grant to conduct trials of does bred in April/May for freshening in September/October and compare the results of milk yields with does bred in the fall for freshening in March/April. She will record the costs of production as well as those of value-added processing of cheese and butter.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.