Management Challenges for Dairy Goat Sustainability

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional + Producer
Funds awarded in 2007: $15,360.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2009
Region: Western
State: California
Principal Investigator:
Deborah Giraud
University of California

Annual Reports


  • Animals: goats


  • Animal Production: housing, parasite control, animal protection and health, manure management
  • Education and Training: extension, farmer to farmer, networking, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research

    Proposal abstract:

    As cow dairy numbers shrink and goat dairies grow in Humboldt County, goat producers need help addressing problems like lameness in animals and deciding which animals to retain for maximum production. This Professional + Producer project will tackle both concerns.

    Lameness, often caused by foot rot, inhibits animal well-being and production and results in premature culling. The project will assess and isolate foot rot and its causes and provide management techniques to reduce its incidence. It will also use several herds for gathering goat milk samples, which will be used for measuring volume, butterfat content and other constituents and testing for mastitis.

    These results will be tabulated to provide industry benchmarks, which will help individual farmers assess which animals are performing up to par and which could be culled. Results will be shared through a goat dairy conference at Davis in 2008 and through various communications venues.

    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.