If you are a beginner when it comes to raising goats, there are a few things you need to know. Goats are great animals and can make a great addition to your homestead or household.
However, you do want to make sure that you choose your breeds wisely. The following are the best dairy goat breeds for beginners, based on important characteristics such as temperament and milk producing abilities.
Please read: This information is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions in partnership with a qualified health care professional.
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Whichever goat you choose, make sure you learn as much as you can about the breed so that you get along well with your new animals so that they stay healthy and happy and produce great milk for you.
The Best Dairy Goat Breeds For Beginners
1. Alpine Goats
An Alpine goats milk can be used for a wide range of purposes from making soap to being used in ice cream, butter, cheese and more.
Milk from this breed is higher in protein and sugar and lower in fat compare to many other dairy goats. They produce an average of about one gallon of milk daily.
They are a medium to large breed of goat, with the doe weighing around 135 pounds on average.
Alpine goats are very friendly and highly curious, making them a great goat for beginners.
2. Saanen Goats
Saanens can tolerate most climates, but due to their light skin and hair cannot tolerate long periods of sun exposure. They do need to be provided with shade.
This is a fairly large breed of dairy goat that weighs an average of 135 pounds and produces an average of 1 gallon of milk per day.
The saanen goat is very friendly, which makes it very easy for children and beginners to milk.
3. Lamancha Goats
This is another very productive milking breed of goat. Their milk does have a higher butterfat content.
They have very short to nearly non-existent ears, which gives them a very distinct appearance. They are a fairly hardy breed that is able to tolerate most climates well.
This breed is a medium size goat that on average weighs around 130 pounds and produces just under one gallon of milk per day.
Lamancha goats are very well behaved and generally calm, which makes them a great goat for beginning dairy farmers and also as pets.
4. Nubian Goats
They are great milkers and produce milk with a high butterfat content of around 5%. That makes their milk more flavorful compared to many other breeds.
Nubians are a fairly large breed weighing an average of 135 pounds. They produce an average of 1/2 gallon to 2/4 gallon of milk a day.
This breed is very outgoing and vocal.
5. Toggenburg Goats
This is one of the oldest known breeds of dairy goats. They produce high amounts of milk with a lower butterfat content of around 3.7%.
They are hardy and do well in a majority of climates, but do prefer cooler weather.
This breed is a medium-sized dairy goat that averages about 120 pounds and produces approximately 1/2 gallon of milk a day.
This breed tends to be inquisitive, curious friendly and calm, making them a great goat for the beginner dairy farmer.
6. Oberhasli Goats
This breed of goat has black facial patterns that make it quite distinct. Its forehead is almost all black and has black stripes running from each of its ears and running down the back of its neck down to the tail.
The Oberhasli is a steady milk producer with milk that has a buttermilk content ranging from 3.5 to 4%.
This is a medium size breed of goat that weighs 120p pounds on average and produces 1/2 gallon to 1 gallon of milk a day.
This is a very docile and quiet breed of goat that is ideal for beginners.
7. Sable Goats
The Sable is actually a descendant of the Sanaan breed of goat. They look quite similar.
These dairy goats are heavy milk producers and average 3-4% butterfat.
They are a hardy breed that can tolerate many different climates. The Sable is a large breed that on average weighs 140-145 pounds and produce an average of one gallon of milk a day.
Sable goats are very docile and friendly.
8. Nigerian Dwarf Goats
They have a very playful personality, which means they need a lot of space and things to keep them occupied.
Many people prefer their milk because of its higher butterfat of around 6-10%.
These are small goats that weigh 60-75 pounds on average and produce an average of around 1/2 gallon of milk a day.
The Nigerian Dwarf goat is a very playful and gentle goat that makes it very entertaining and an excellent family pet in addition to being a very good choice for the beginner dairy farmer.
9. Russian White Goats
This breed of dairy goat is an excellent milk producer with a 3-4% average butterfat content.
They are a hardy breed that is capable of tolerating most climates.
This is a fairly large dairy goat breed that weighs an average of 130 pounds and produces an average of 1 gallon of milk a day.
Russian White goats are docile and quiet, which makes it easy for the beginner to handle them.
9. Majorera Goats
This is a fairly hardy breed of dairy goat that does best in tropical climates.
They produce very high amounts of milk with an average of 4% butterfat. Majorera cheese gets its name from the breed of goat.
This is a strong and large goat that weighs an average of 135 pounds and produces around 1 gallon of milk a day.