BulltinNo.37 ew eris Ag.,194
STATE OF FLORIDA
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
NATHAN MAYO, Commissioner,
Bulletin No. 37
Introduction .............................. 5
Breeds of Milk Goats ...................... 6
Toggenburg ........................... 6
Saanen ........ ....................... 7
A nglo-N ubian ......................... 8
French A lpine ................... . .... 9
Getting Started ............................ 10
Breeding and Management ............. ... .11
Pastures, Feeds and Feeding ............ . .13
R raising K ids .............................. 15
Milking ................................ 16
Shelter ....................... ......... 17
F ences ............... ........ .......... 18
Uses of Goat M ilk ........................ 19
Characteristics of Goat Milk ............ ... 21
Profits from Goat Farming ............ ... .22
Angora Goats .............. ......... .... 25
Common Goats .............. .............. .26
Acknowledgements and Bibliography ........ 27
1941 M ilk G oats ..................... ........ 28
Free Books About Goats ........... ... .. .30
FLORIDA PRESS. ORLANDO
Goats In Florida
By Ralph Stoutamire
T HE raising of goats in Florida is a minor livestock
enterprise, though the interest in it is and has long
been considerable. Little experimental study of the
industry has been done in this state. This is the first Flor-
ida publication on the subject, as far as known. Because
of the lack of experimental information on goat raising as
it applies to Florida, much of the material contained herein
is drawn from outside sources. However, it has been adapt-
ed to conditions as they exist in this state. The discussion
includes the keeping of goats for both milk and meat pur-
poses, but mainly for the former.
Many countries of the old world have used large numbers
of goats since the earliest days of recorded history, utilizing
them in many ways-for meat, milk, beasts of burden, hair
for clothes and beds, etc. In America the greatest develop-
ment of the milk goat has taken place in California and the
southwestern states. Another goat-raising center is in Ten-
nessee and the eastern states bordering on the Appalachian
Mountains. A few herds are found, however, in nearly every
state, especially near large cities where there is usually a
special demand for goat milk.
The slowness with which the milk goat business has de-
veloped in this country is due mainly to three reasons: First
and most important, in contrast to the situation in Europe
milk is not produced on every homestead in America, but the
bulk of it is produced in large quantities on special farms,
collected and distributed by wholesalers and retailers. This
requires high-producing animals, which excludes the goat.
Second, quarantine laws against importing European goats,
for fear of foot and mouth disease and malta fever, have
made it discouraging to secure improved blood as a means
of developing American goat herds. Third, the prejudice-
deeply founded-against the goat and the low value unfair-
ly placed upon its milk have kept interest in the animal at
a low ebb.
The best natural conditions for goats are found in hilly or
mountainous regions where the climate is reasonably dry
and cool. They do not thrive so well on low, wet soils, gen-
erally. However, some goats are sufficiently hardy and will
adapt themselves with more or less success to any sort of
6 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
climate and feed condition in the United States. On the
open ranges of Florida, and on sandy soils with fair drain-
age, many farmers keep considerable numbers of goats with
success and profit.
BREEDS OF MILK GOATS
There are many breeds and types of milk goats, especially
in Switzerland and other European countries, but only three
breeds are numerous in the United States, other than the
native common goat. These are Toggenburg, Saanen and
Anglo-Nubian. The French Alpine breed is also making a
Fig. 1. Toggenburg buck. This is one of the leading breeds of Switzerland,
where it originated. Note the white and the absence of horns. The more
recent breed standards insist on solid color. Occasionally horns appear. (Reproduction
from publication of American Milk Goat Record Association.)
fair start. (Much of the information herein on breeds is
from Circular No. 111 of the Iowa Agricultural Experiment
Station, written by C. A. Matthews and Earl Weaver.)
Toggenburg: This breed originated in Switzerland and is
the most popular and numerous milk goat in the United
States. The prevailing color is a light brown or tan with
considerable white on the legs and underline. (The latest
standard insists on solid color all over.) It is generally a
hornless breed, but some individuals are found with horns.
Both long and short hair is common, and usually there is
a beard. The breed standard requires adult bucks to weigh
from 150 to 175 pounds and does from 100 to 135 pounds.
The Toggenburg is favorably known as a milk-producing
breed, with butterfat tests ranging from 3.5 to 5 percent.
The highest milk record for the breed was made by Althea
May in 1928 with 16 pounds and 2 ounces of milk in 24 hours.
At the University of California a Toggenburg doe, Polly
Mae, produced 4,350 pounds of milk and 139 pounds of
fat in a year.
Fig. 2. Toggenburg doe. This breed is more numerous in America than any of the
milk goats. It holds a record of 4,350 pounds of milk and 138.56 pounds of butterfat
in 12 months. The same doe gave 5,008 pounds of milk and 161.31 pounds of butterfat
in 15 months. (Reproduction from publication of American Milk Goat Record
Saanen: This is another popular breed from Switzerland
quite similar in conformation to the Toggenburg. Saanens
are white and cream in color and usually have short hair.
Although generally considered a hornless breed, horns are
often present. It is the largest of the Swiss breeds, the
standard calling for bucks to weigh 180 pounds or more
GOATS IN FLORIDA
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
and does 135 pounds or more. Saanens rank with Toggen-
burgs in milk-producing ability and percentage of butterfat.
The doe Panama Louise holds the record in 1928 for all
breeds under the rules of the American Milk Goat Record
Association. She produced 20 pounds and 11 ounces of
milk in 24 hours.
Anglo-Nubian: This breed originated along the shores
of northern Africa. It is thought to be the result of a
cross between English does and Nubian bucks in the Medi-
terranean region. There is no definite color for the breed,
Fig. 3. Saanen buck. This is the largest of the Swiss breeds. It is well suited to all
climates and ranges well or may be kept in a small area. It results from centuries
of the best thought, care and mating by the Swiss people backed by governmental
rules. (Reproduction from publication of American Milk Goat Record Association).
but dark colors prevail, including black, tan, brown, red and
any combination of these with some white spots. The hair
of both does and bucks should be short and glossy. Most
individuals are hornless. The head of the Anglo-Nubian is
rather large and blunt, with Roman nose and long, drooping
ears. The size of the breed is large and rangy, the standard
requiring 165 pounds or more for bucks and 125 pounds or
more for does. As a rule this breed does not produce as
GOATS IN FLORIDA
much milk as Swiss breeds, but it has a higher percentage
of fat, usually testing more than 5 percent. The highest
official record was made by Spring Beauty Anderson with
10 pounds and 31.2 ounces of milk in 24 hours. The Anglo-
Nubian breed is more sensitive to cold weather than the
two Swiss breeds. Due to the fact that it was developed
in a rather warm climate, it ought to succeed in Florida
and the coastal states.
French Alpine: This breed is making a fair start in the
United States, but it is not numerous yet. Individuals are
Fig. 4. Saanen doe. To this breed goes the world's 24-hour record of 20 pounds and
11 ounces, as well as the record of 4,005.4 pounds in ten months and two days.
(Reproduction from publication of American Milk Goat Record Association.)
medium in size with a color combination of white with black
or fawn. The lighter color predominates in the fore quarters
and under parts of the body, and the dark predominates on
the back and rear quarters. French Alpines are similar in
conformation to the Swiss breeds, are hardy and are persist-
ent producers of milk with a good fat content.
10 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
In starting in the goat business much depends upon the
amount of capital that can be invested. If one could begin
by buying a registered buck and several registered does, he
could sell breeding stock in a very short time and thus work
himself into an income quickly. But this is an expensive
way to begin. Another method would be to buy a good reg-
istered buck and breed to a herd of common American does.
In a few years one might have a herd of high-grade milkers.
A buck should be selected from high-producing and persis-
Fig. 5. Anglo-Nubian buck. This breed has been built up from crossing Nubian
bucks from Africa on Native English does. Individuals usually are tall, with droop-
ing ears, without horns and of one or more different colors. (Reproduction from
publication of American Milk Goat Record Association.)
tent-milking ancestors, especially on his mother's side. The
ability to produce good offspring should be an unquestioned
point in his sire's record. The buck himself should also be
a good individual size and conformation. He should have
every indication and appearance .of health and vigor and
should possess the color and other characteristics of his
GOATS IN FLORIDA
In selecting does care must be exercised that they have
desirable body conformation, somewhat similar to that of
the dairy cow. The 'correct body has well-sprung ribs and
a deep barrel which indicates large capacity for feed. Neck
should be thin, head smooth and neat. Top line should be
long and straight with long rump and wide-apart hip bones.
The udder itself should be well-developed, free from flesh-
iness, strongly attached to the abdominal walls and rather
globular in shape. The teats should be symmetrical in shape
and large enough to be handled easily. The body conform-
ation and the udder described here go together; one indi-
cates the other.
Fig 6. Anglo-Nubian doe. Her milk is usually very rich, which makes up partly
at least, for the larger volume given by other breeds. It is often spoken of as the
"Jersey" of the goats. This breed is well adapted to either range or stall feeding.
(Reproduction from publication of American Milk Goat Record Association.)
BREEDING AND MANAGEMENT
Although does will breed when from six to eight months
of age, it is recommended that they be first bred at from 15
to 18 months. Early breeding leads to small individuals and
mediocre milkers. If it is particularly desirable to have a
12 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
milk supply throughout winter, some females may be bred
at from 12 to 15 months of age.
The doe usually comes in heat every 18 to 21 days. Al-
though some does may come in heat at all periods of the
year, there is a tendency toward a distinct breeding season,
between August and February. The gestation period for
goats is about 150 days; thus the greatest number of kids
are born in spring and early summer. A doe should have
from six to eight weeks of rest between lactation periods.
Keep pregnant does apart from the rest of the herd for
two or three weeks before kidding in order to prevent in-
juries which may cause premature birth. Goats are subject
to infection by the germ which causes abortion, or prema-
ture birth, and as a precautionary measure any doe that does
abort, as well as all does at the time of kidding, should be
separated from the rest of the herd for a period. It is de-
sirable to wash the doe and to disinfect her quarters at
time of kidding. A little grain should be fed to pregnant
does, and warm mashes are desirable at kidding time. Gar-
get, or caked udder, is most likely to occur immediately
after kidding. Difficulties in this direction may be reduced
by feeding less grain and more bran mash and other laxative
feeds for a few days before kidding. In a few days the
goat can be gradually brought up to a regular ration.
Does usually produce twins, although frequently three
and sometimes four kids are born at the same time. Twins
are more desirable because the young individuals are usually
more vigorous than those from larger litters.
Keep bucks separated from milking does, especially during
the breeding season when the former have such a strong,
disagreeable odor. If they are kept in or near the milking
quarters, the odors may be absorbed by and give an un-
pleasant goatyy" flavor to the milk. If the bucks and does
run together, the does are likely to carry some of this odor
on their coats and thereby impart an undesirable flavor to
the milk. Keeping bucks separated from does also prevents
the possibility of breeding does too young and makes it pos-
sible for the owner to know the approximate time each doe
Young bucks should be bred sparingly. A vigorous buck
from six to twelve months of age may be used to breed a
few does. Bucks from 12 to 18 months old can be used to
breed about 25 does, while a mature buck can breed 50 does
in a season.
GOATS IN FLORIDA
PASTURES, FEEDS AND FEEDING
The Florida goat raiser should take advantage of the
goat's natural grazing instinct by providing plenty of pas-
ture. Let this constitute the main source of feed. In sum-
mer permanent grass pastures may provide the bulk 6f the
summer feed and in some cases actually all of it. In winter
rely on rye, oat and leguminous grazing crops, supplement-
ing with peavine and beggarweed hay for the main flock.
Only milkers, as a rule, will need anything additional.
Fig. 7. French Alpine doe. This breed came originally from Switzerland, but has
been bred many years in France. It has no regular color. Does are persistent
milkers but the breed has only a fair start in this country. (Reproduction from
publication of American Milk Goat Record Association.)
Do not lose sight of the fact that the goat is a natural
forager. Many farmers depend on their goats to keep down
briars and shrubs by browsing. However, especially in the
case of the pure breeds, leave this to the bucks. Vacant
town lots might supply an appreciable volume of grazing
for a few goats, if seeded to grasses and properly managed.
Like dairy cows, milking does, on official test and making
high records, should receive all they want to eat of a legumi-
nous hay-such as alfalfa, peavine or beggarweed-and a
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
succulent roughage, such as silage or roots. Non-leguminous
roughage may be fed with the expectation of poorer returns.
Of course, it is necessary at times for the keeper of goats
to supply some grain or concentrate feed. The same funda-
mental principles of feeding milk cows apply to feeding milk
goats. Also feeds suitable for the one are suitable for the
other. It is estimated that six or eight goats can be kept on
the amount of feed required for one cow.
When it comes to grain or other concentrate, feed accord-
ing to milk production. That is, if you are getting lots of
milk, feed lots of concentrate. When milk production is low,
Fig. 8. Kids make affectionate playmates, able to offer stiff competition in this
respect to lambs and puppies.
cut down on the concentrate. A grain mixture (which, re-
member, is to supplement pastfrage and other roughage)
might consist, by weight, of 4 parts of ground corn, 2 parts
of ground oats, 2 parts of bran and 1 part of a high protein
concentrate, such as linseed meal, gluten meal or cottonseed
meal. To feed along with mixed hay, usea concentrate mix-
ture of 4 parts of ground corn, 2 parts of ground oats, 2
parts of bran and 3 parts of high protein concentrate. Where
no leguminous roughage is fed, the mixture should consist
of equal parts of ground corn, bran, ground oats and a high
Numerous substitutions may be made in these mixtures.
A part or all of the ground corn may be replaced by an equal
GOATS IN FLORIDA
weight of corn-and-cob meal or rolled or ground barley. Bran
may be substituted for a part or all of the ground oats or
for one-third of the corn and one-third of the oats. The
goat raiser must take into consideration what various feed
ingredients cost on his particular markets, though cost is
not the sole factor to consider. As far as practicable utilize
A mineral supplement, such as equal parts of steamed
bone meal and finely ground limestone, mixed with 2 parts
of salt, is advisable to feed with the grain for milking does,
particularly for those receiving no alfalfa or peavine hay.
This ought to be accessible to the does at all times. Milk
goats need access also to plenty of clean, fresh water.
Grain is usually fed twice daily and at the time of milking.
As said before, this should be in proportion to the milk giv-
en. A doe that is producing heavily might well be fed grain
at the rate of 1 pound for every 3 to 7 pounds of milk, the
available pasturage or roughage influencing the amount of
grain. Remember, the does should have all the pasture, hay
and succulent roughage they will readily consume.
Feed hay in a rack or in a large feed box with slats over
the top to prevent waste, or in stanchions similar, to those
for calves. Milk goats frequently are fastened for feeding
hay. Feed silage and such roots as turnips after milking in
order to prevent bad flavors in the milk.
During the breeding season it may be advisable to give
the buck some grain each day in addition to a generous al-
lowance of hay and silage or roots and pasturage.
Remember that with goats pasturage constitutes the main
source of feed. It is just about the whole thing except in
the case of milkers of the pure breeds, and with them it
should be the major element, at least in this state.
It is a frequent practice to allow kids to nurse their dams.
They are put with the dam and allowed to nurse three or
four times daily. Kids raised in such a manner require
little attention and make good growth.
Many kids are raised by hand. Kids to be raised by hand
should be allowed to nurse their dams from two to five
days in order to obtain the benefits of the colostrum milk.
Young kids may be taught to drink from a bottle or from
a tank equipped with nipples, or they may be taught to
drink from pans or troughs. Some can be taught to drink
16 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
at the start while others have to be bottle-fed for a month
or two. It is essential for the health of the kids that all
utensils used be kept clean and well sterlized. Scalding
is an effective and practical manner of sterlizing.
Kids less than a month old are very delicate. Precautions
should be taken that they, or even older kids, be kept in dry,
comfortable quarters and not allowed to be out in rainy
weather. Pneumonia in young kids is often caused by such
Feed hand-fed kids three times daily for about two weeks
and twice a day thereafter. The kids require at first from
1 /2 to 2 pounds of milk per day. Cow milk is sometimes used
Kids also can be raised
successfully on skim milk.
The change from whole
milk to skim milk should be
S- made gradually. After the
change 2 or 3 pounds are
'' fed daily. The kids may be
S \ weaned at three or four
months of age, but many
S' .'' - breeders prefer not to wean
them until they are five
months old. They can then
be maintained on pasture,
peavine hay and grain.
'-* --- Doe and buck kids should
be separated at an early
age, as young does may
Fig. 9. A self-feeder like this will come in heat at four or five
go a long way toward solving the months of age. It is not ad-
kid-feeding problem. Cow milk, which visible to let them breed
is not as expensive as goat milk, may visable to let them breed
be used satisfactorily. SO early.
Because of the small size of milk goats, they are usually
milked upon milking stands from 1/ to 21/ feet high. These
are equipped with a stanchion at one end and with some sort
of a manger for feeding grain. (See figure 10.) With the
exception of a few high producers, most does are milked
GOATS IN FLORIDA
twice a day. The does may be milked from the side, as cows
are, or they may be milked from the rear. Thorough, regular
milking helps to keep production up to the end of the lacta-
Milk in a pen or yard separated from the regular herd, if
best quality milk is expected. This may be another build-
ing or out of doors or in a special partioned-off place in the
stable. Brush off the doe and wash her udder with a damp
cloth before milking, so as to collect and remove dust and
dry foreign matter that might otherwise fall into the milk.
If milk produced under such conditions is promptly cooled to
below 50' Fahrenheit and kept in clean containers, it will
not have disagreeable flavors and will keep as well as cow
milk under ordinary conditions.
Fig. 10. The last word in a milking stand. Note cracks in floor. Also note the
comfortable (to the person who does the milking) height of the stand.
(Courtesy Vitality Milk Goat Dairy, Memphis, Tenn.)
Quarters for many milk goats frequently are adaptations
of buildings already on hand. There are many varied and
ingenious arrangements. It is important, however, that
quarters be clean, dry, well-ventilated and not dark, so ar-
ranged that they can be easily cleaned and disinfected. Does
may be tied in stalls by means of chains snapped into the
collars, which are frequently worn, or they may be kept in
small box stalls. In many localities goats are kept tied up
very little and are allowed freedom in sheds, other sheltered
inclosures or in pastures. Except for the purpose of keeping
the stalls dry, little bedding is needed. Goats do not care
to rest upon soft litter.
Much of the above applies to Florida conditions only in
the case of imported individuals that have not become ac-
18 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
climate. Here shelter and housing are small problems, be-
cause of the infrequency of weather requiring such protec-
tion. However, provision for shelter should be made, because
we do have some rainy weather in winter. And do not forget
that the young kids are very delicate and that it does not
take much exposure to cold rains to injure them, perhaps
fatally.. In this part of the country a shed or roof to keep
off rain-particularly in winter-and to provide some shade
in midsummer is sufficient. A bench or old floor upon which
they may sleep or rest is appreciated by goats. They want
no bedding; just the bare wooden floor.
Of course, the Florida man, as well as anyone else, who
would produce goat milk for the purpose of selling on any
appreciable scale must provide milking shelter and stands,
milk houses and certain other essential dairy equipment. A
milking stand serves not only to enable the milker to work
with greater comfort but also to help keep the milk clean.
Some kind of house or room is necessary to keep milking
utensils and to store and cool the milk.
Below are suggestions by a practical milk goat man:
"Nail a steel wire brush on the wall of the goat house at
the height of the goat's side. This is for scratching. Nail
another on a two-by-four that extends out from the wall at
the height of a goat's back. This the animal walks under to
scratch its back. Ours wear out four sets of brushes a year
and they surely do enjoy the scratching.
"Make a salt shrine on the wall with just one hole in it
so the goat will think it is stealing something.
"Use the key-hole style hay manger. Build the bench all
the way around the walls of the house, 4 feet wide and 2
feet high in sections. Floor it with slats,. leaving small
cracks so dust and dirt will fall through. Leave the center
of the floor, which should be of concrete, slightly lower than
Inclosures for goats are usually fenced with ordinary four-
or five-foot stock woven wire fence. Do not use barbed
wire. Common chicken wire would soon be cut to pieces by
goat hoofs. Goats have a habit of climbing up on fences,
especially if confined in small inclosures or near a gate. For
such a place five-foot vertical wooden palings would be ad-
vantageous over woven wire fencing.
GOATS IN FLORIDA
Because of the goat's ability to get over the fences and
into fields and pastures he has won much of his present un-
popularity. It will hop upon a stump close beside a 'fence
and from there jump over the fence into whatever may be
on the other side. This may be prevented by simply driv-
ing three or four pegs about a foot in length into the top
of the stump and this point of trouble is at an end.
USES OF GOAT MILK
Milk, we are told, is the natural food, the most nearly bal-
anced and the most digestible. From many sources we are
Fig. 11.-The goat is as versatile as he is humble. You see him here being put to a
common and practical use, providing wholesale sport for young people. These children
are having a royally good time, and at a cost of but a few dollars.
advised that goat milk is even better than cow milk as a
food, particularly for delicate systems. This is mainly due,
it is thought, to the fact that fat globules in goat milk are
smaller than in cow milk. This smaller fat globule enables
the digestive fluids to more nearly surround and more quick-
ly and easily dissolve the fat. Also the casein forms a finer,
more flocculent curd in the stomach which makes it more
easily digested. These are particular advantages, it is said,
in the cases of infants and invalids.
In old, countries the goat has always provided the chief
source of milk. It was domesticated long before the cow and
20 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
has been kept for its milk by Europeans as far back as
written history goes. It is still popular in most countries of
Europe and provides the chief source of milk for most fami-
lies in some countries. It is said that in one country, where
the people use goat milk almost exclusively, not a case of
tuberculosis has been known in a hundred years, due, it is
thought, to the fact that the goat is seldom ever attacked
by this disease.
Most goat milk in this country is produced for direct con-
sumption by families who do not have room for or who can-
not afford a cow. Some of our physicians often recommend
it for infants and invalids. As the goat is rarely troubled
with infectious diseases, its milk is thus unusually safe for
babies and weakened older persons, provided of course it is
properly cared for and fed.
Interesting food for thought on this subject is furnished
by Harry J. Smith of Vitality Goat Dairy, Memphis, Tenn.,
who writes in answer to inquiry: "We are having wonderful
results with tuberculosis and ulcered stomach cases as well
as with babies. There is no telling how many we are feed-
ing now, as we have the best retail dairy here to deliver for
us. We get our biggest kick out of driving around on Sundays
and seeing our patients. We are now feeding seven cases
free and one of them uses two and a half quarts a day. But
the more we give away-that is, for people who really need
it-the more we sell."
Much has been said about the natural advantages of Flor-
ida from a health standpoint. These advantages are so well
recognized throughout the nation that many people come to
the state to regain their health. As a consequence, it is not
unreasonable to predict the establishment here in the future
of special sanitariums or health institutions. Because of
the supposed superior digestive quality of goat milk, it is
not any more unreasonable to predict the fairly extensive
raising of milk goats near the hospitals or sanitariums as
a means of supplying the demands of impaired or weakened
digestive systems: Here is encouragement for the man
who would raise milk goats in this state. However, it is
not likely that immediate demands-or the demands of the
next few years-will justify any special excitement on the
part of the goat men.
Much goat milk is used in Europe in the manufacture of
cheese. For such it may be used alone or mixed with cow
GOATS IN FLORIDA 21
milk. 'It makes a fine quality of cheese, owing to the way in
which the casein coagulates, to the small fat globules and
to its peculiar flavor. Cheese from goat milk bears a large
variety of names, but in this country Neufchatel and Roque-
fort are the principal names applied to it.
A limited amount of condensed goat milk is produced and
put on the market. It is largely for use in infant feeding.
Goat milk also may be used in the manufacture of ice cream
and sherbet. This is a home use for the milk.
Goat milk is not adapted for the making of butter. It
makes butter of a different texture than that from cow milk.
It is more difficult to churn. The fat is very white. As goat
milk usually sells for more than cow milk, the butter would
CHARACTERISTICS OF GOAT MILK
Goat milk, like cow milk, varies with the breed, stage of
lactation and individuality of the animal producing it. Varia.-
tions either way are to be expected from the averages given
below for its composition. Goat milk more closely resembles
cow milk than it does sheep milk. In the following table the
average analysis of goat milk reported by Voorhies is com-
pared to the average analysis of cow milk as reported by
AVERAGE COMPOSITION OF MILK
Water ................ 87.17% 86.09%
Protein ............... 3.55% 3.55%
Fat .................. 3.69% 4.'9%
Sugar ................ 4.88% 4.85%
Ash .......... ....... .71% .72%
Because the fat globules of goat milk are small, the cream
rises very slowly. In fact, gravity systems of separation are
out of the question. It has been noticed that in digestion in
the human stomach the casein in goat milk forms a finer,
more flocculent curd than that in cow milk. This is why,
it is thought, that infants and invalids are sometimes better
able to digest goat milk than cow milk, as said above.
Goat milk produced under clean conditions does not have
an unpleasant goatyy" flavor and odor, although it does
have a flavor different from that of cow milk. The buck
22 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
may be a source of bad flavor or odor in the milk, if he is
not kept separated from the doe and milking quarters.
There is no difference in the keeping qualities of goat milk
and cow milk.
PROFITS FROM GOAT FARMING
It is not likely that the goat will ever compete seriously
with the dairy cow as a milk producer in America. On a
basis of proportionate live weight the best quality does are
as efficient producers of milk as dairy cows. A good doe
should produce from eight to fifteen times her own weight
in milk during the lactation period. The producing ability
of the doe is usually measured by her number of quarts per
day, and the record is usually for the largest amount of
milk she produces when fresh. Two quarts or more per day
is necessary to make any profit. Especially good does have
produced six quarts a day. One that produces only three
pints a day is not likely to be profitable. A good doe is a
persistent milker, and she continues to produce with a fair
yield from six to nine months a year.
In most cases milk can be produced on a commercial scale
much cheaper from dairy cows, taking all the costs into con-
sideration. The hope for profit in the sale of goat milk must
be found under conditions where it will sell at a considerable
advance in price over the standard for cow milk. In general,
it is likely that it would be necessary to sell goat milk at
from 50 to 100 percent more than cow milk in order to make
any profit. Most milk goats are in small herds. Sometimes
only one is kept to produce milk for family use. A few goats
maybe kept economically on rough land and on feeds which
might otherwise be wasted. Goats, being good foragers, will
do fairly well on rough range land where dairy cows probably
Many herds of milk goats have been established in Florida
from time to time in the past. Some have done well while
others have failed. Some have had to be disposed of for vari-
ous reasons before they had a fair chance to succeed. Dr.
W. P. Link, Tampa veterinarian, kept a fairly large herd of
both Swiss and Nubian breeds for a number of years. He
made excellent exhibits of his stock for several years at the
South Florida Fair. He is now out of the business, however,
due to the difficulty of keeping goats under city land con-
GOATS IN FLORIDA
Dr. Edith N. Parsons, living at DeLand, has worked for
a few years with a small herd of Swiss goats. She has striv-
en to aid her community by making available a specially
high quality milk. Dr. Parsons has an excellent small group
of animals, and she has the buildings and facilities for prop-
erly handling an enterprise of this kind. She has no ani-
mals for sale, but is always glad to have interested persons
visit and inspect her place.
Bennett Land in Orange County has a family-size flock of
Swiss goats on his farm. His family consumes most of the
milk, but a surplus is sold to good advantage to a sanitarium
in the vicinity.
Fig. 12. The farmer who owns this herd of common goats keeps them solely for
browsing off briars. Owned by Dixie Jones, Alachua County.
The physicians of the state probably need a keener appre-
ciation of the true quality and value of goat milk in the diet
of infants and invalids. Now perhaps is as good a time as
any to bring this to their attention. Many local medical
practitioners seem to pay no thought to goat milk, or they at
least labor under the impression that no milk of this kind
is available in Florida. Here is work for the goat owners-
a chance for a little personal work and advertising. In those
24 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
counties of Florida where there has been established a medi-
cal milk commission for the certifying of milk supplies, it
would be an easy matter to secure co-operation in producing
and marketing approved goat milk. In localities where no
milk commissions exist or where no such city ordinances
apply, the State Board of Health has authority to control
such matters and to issue statements as to the purity of
the milk supply.
From the experiences of pioneer breeders in Florida who
have tried to introduce milk goats, anyone desiring to enter
the goat dairy business should carefully count the cost be-
fore making any heavy investment. And be sure at the out-
set of a good market. Infants and invalids, as said already,
and certain hospitals make most of the demands for goat
milk and always will in America.
Fig. 13. These Angoras, ranging with native goats, are among the very few ever
seen in Florida by the author. Owned by Jonah Britt, Leon County.
Prices for milk goats range all the way from $10 for does
of unknown breeding and milking capacity up to $100 or
even $200 for registered animals of known ability. Of course
just ordinary goats can be bought for less even than $10.
But anyone who hopes to do better than ordinary must buy
better than ordinary blood.
Registration of milk goats is handled
Milk Goat Record Association with
Vincennes, Indiana. Will L. TeWalt is
by the American
secretary of this
GOATS IN FLORIDA
Two magazines are published in the interest of milk goats
-the "Goat World" at Vincennes, Indiana, and the "Dairy
Goat Journal" at Fairbury, Nebraska.
The Angora goat originated in Asia Minor and has been
distributed to nearly all parts of the world. They were first
brought to America in 1849 and were distributed first in the
Carolinas, Georgia and Tennessee. From there they spread
to all states.
The Angora also seems to succeed best on hilly and moun-
tainous land. At present large numbers of them are found
Fig. 14. There are few Angoras in Florida. They apparently do not thrive under local
conditions, though it is doubtful if anyone has ever given them a real chance.
in Texas, New Mexico, California and other southwestern
states. The fleece of the Angora is known as mohair, and
it is longer and stronger than the wool of sheep. The amount
of fleece secured is somewhat less than from sheep, but it
brings a much higher price, occasionally three times that
26 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
The Angora is medium or small in size, weighing from 60
to 100 pounds. Both sexes have horns and are able to pro-
tect themselves from enemies better than sheep and most
other breeds of goats. One great use of the Angora is for
clearing off brush land, as it is naturally a browsing animal
and will destroy young trees and brush very effectively.
The adaptation of the Angora to Florida conditions does
not seem especially good from past efforts. It does best in a
dry climate; rainy, warm weather seems against its nature.
Considerable numbers have been brought to this state from
Texas and Tennessee, but they do not seem to thrive as well
as in cooler regions. Trouble with both external and internal
parasites is more likely to occur, and foot-rot is more com-
mon on wet soils.
Prices for a registered Angora buck, or doe, are rather
high, ranging from $40 to $100 each for fair individuals.
Some breeders have attempted to cross the Angora with the
common- goat, but without much success. If you contem-
plate investing in Angoras, be careful as to the exact pur-
pose you have in mind. Limit the amount of money you
spend in securing breeding stock until you gain experience
or knowledge along this line.
Registration of Angora goats is handled by the American
Angora Goat Breeders' Association, of which G. E. De Groff,
Sabinal, Texas, is secretary.
There are more common, native goats in the woods and on
the ranges of Florida, as well as most other southern states,
than there are of all other types combined. They are small
in size, are hardy and thrive well under adverse conditions.
In most cases they get nothing to eat beyond what they find
on the open ranges, and ordinarily their shelter consists of
the gifts of Providence. A few owners provide a little care
during bad weather.
Some claim that the common goat is a degenerate descen-
dant of some of the breeds of milk goats brought to this
country during colonial days and allowed to run wild. Many
flocks in Florida show the same color markings as the brown
and tan Toggenburgs. Some of the does among these herds
have fairly large udders and would undoubtedly produce a
quart or more of milk a day, if properly fed and handled.
Many could be used to advantage for family milk purposes,
or by people who especially need goat" milk for their infants
GOATS IN FLORIDA
Prof. C. H. Willoughby, of the animal husbandry depart-
ment of the Florida College of Agriculture, relates the uni-
que practice of a south Georgia stock farmer in this con-
nection. It happened that this Georgian kept in close touch
with his neighboring physician. When the medical man
had an ailing patient and saw fit to prescribe goat milk, this
enterprising stockman, being quickly informed, lost no time
in seeing the family of the ailing and offering to rent a
fine milk goat for the duration of the need. He naturally
made the point, in his well-prepared sales or rental talk,
that nothing would be better for the health of the loved one
than the presence on the homestead of a nice, healthy milk
goat from which fresh quantities of superior milk might
be drawn at almost any hour of the day, or night. This
man's business, so the story goes, was lucrative.
Most common goats in Florida, however, are used for
meat production. The flesh of the young kid is very palatable
and can scarcely be distinguished from mutton. In
fact, it is quite likely-at least assumed-that much of the
meat we buy as "mutton" or many of the "lamb chops"
served us in restaurants are nothing more than the flesh
of goats. However, as long as the quality is fully equal to
that of mutton, what harm is done ? Many persons who are
exacting in their choice of meat actually demand goat meat
-sometimes spoken of on the market as "chevon"-in pref-
erence to mutton or beef. If the animal is in good condition,
if the butchering is done right and if the meat is properly
cared for, it is a very nice food product.
A number of farmers in various parts of the state have
paid considerable attention to goat herds and have built up
a good demand for the meat among the butchers and special
customers of their localities. This is probably the best op-
portunity for use of our hardy, native goats at present.
The main need of this industry is to secure a strain or
breed that will produce a larger carcass than the small ani-
mals now prevalent in the state. No breed of goat has been
found that is particularly and especially recommended for
large size and meat production. Perhaps the Anglo-Nubian
and the Saanen breeds could supply bucks that would per-
ceptibly increase the size of our ordinary native goats. The
milk-producing characteristic could be disregarded, if the
owner wished to produce meat only. There is much waste
land in this part of the country and perhaps here is an in-
viting field for the man who is interested in raising goats.
Skinner Brothers for a number of years owned large num-
bers of native goats on the range south of the St. Johns
28 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
River, across from Jacksonville, and marketed them at fair
prices in that city. Dempsey Brock of Vernon, Washington
County, has kept large flocks of both sheep and goats for
many years and usually finds a good market for all their
products. He reports that the use of thoroughbred Angora
bucks on native goats remarkably increases the size of the
first cross. The clip (or mohair) from high-grade Angora
offspring (as high as three-quarters Angora blood) has
been sold readily at wool prices.
A number of shipments of goats from northern and west-
ern Florida have been made in the last three years to the
markets of New York and Philadelphia, at certain seasons
of the year when the demand for this meat is strong. Re-
moving some of the decks in a poultry car and shipping the
native goats in multiple decks has been found a satisfactory
and economical method.
1941 MILK GOATS
Counties I No. I Value I Gals.
Alachua .. I . ..... I ......
B aker ..... ... ..... ......
Bay ...... .. .....I .. ... .
Bradford ..I ..... .
Brevard . . ..
Broward . I 81 3901 1,040
Calhoun ... ...... . ....
Charlotte .. . ......
Citrus .... I... ...... ......
C lay .... I .... .
C ollier ..... .... ... .. ......
Columbia I ....
Dade ..... 193 13,5751 19,300
D e Soto ... . .. . ......
Dixie ..... I I
Duval .. 481 3,6501 6,405
Escambia .I ... . .
Flagler ... I I.
Franklin . I 151 6251 2,050
Gadsden ... . .. . .....
Gilchrist .. .
Glades . I I .
Gulf . . .
Hardee .... 1 191 1,746 2,910
Hendry . .. | .
Hernando ,. I 6 1501 875
Highlands I I .. 1
Hillsborough 1,4291 71,4501152,765
Holmes ..... ... I ..
Indian River I 61 170' 850
Jackson ... . . I ...... .. .. ..
Jefferson . . .. . I ....
Lafayette . I . . I .
Counties I No. I Value I Gals.
Lake ...... 1 13 3851 1,950
L ee . .. .. I .. .. .. .1 .. .
Leon ...... 9 275 845
Levy ..... ..... ...... .
Liberty . . . .. .....
Madison .. 7 1331 850
M anatee ... ..... .. .
Marion .... 4 1,449 4,345
M martin . .. I .. .. .. ...
M onroe ... I .... .... . .....
Nassau .. ..... . . ...
Okaloosa .. ..... . I ..
Orange . . 64 3,2001 5,338
Osceola .. .. .. .
Palm Beach . . . ..
Pasco .... 54 7751 5,400
Pinellas . I 831 3,735 9,700
Polk ...... 3261 12,060 40,266
Putnam .. . .. ....
St. Johns .. . .... ......
St. Lucie .. . ... ....
Santa Rosa .....
Sarasota .. .. .. . ....
Seminole .. I . . I .
Sumter .... I ...... ......
Sewannee .... .....
T aylor .... . ...... I ......
U nion ... ..... .....
Volusia . ..
W akula .... I I ..
Walton . 381 8151 4,960
Washington ( I ....
GOATS IN FLORIDA
Official estimates for July 1, 1927, place the number of
goats in Florida on that date as 44,860 and gave them' a value
of slightly more than a dollar a head. Liberty County head-
ed the list in number of goats at that time. It had 7,869.
However, persons in position to know think this was too
high. They are of the opinion that there are not more
than half this number of goats in that county at the pres-
ent time. Other counties with a thousand or more follow:
Escambia, 3,099; Santa Rosa, 2,799; Jackson, 2,746; Hills-
borough, 2,404; Washington, 1,288; Columbia, 1,674; Cal-
houn, 1,657; Marion, 1,570; Levy, 1,288; Holmes, 1,199;
Walton, 1,145; Union, 1,113; Suwannee, 1,076; Okaloosa,
The goat's chief enemy is the dog. It seems that in gome
parts of the country there are as many or more dogs as
goats or sheep. Many of them belong to people who do not
pay any particular attention to what they do or do not do,
people who give no consideration to their neighbors' welfare,
and farmers know that these dogs invariably get into "goat
killing" or "sheep killing." Such dogs should be killed the
same as the fox who preys on chickens. A heavy dog tax, if
enforced, would quickly and effectively eliminate the worth-
less dog and render a real service to the sheep and goat
With the control of the dog situation and a little encour-
agement, many Florida farmers who have plenty of range
or pasture should, with a few goats, develop quite an indus-
try in selling the carcasses for meat. Goat skins can often
be sold, fresh or tanned, to leather factories.
No particular part of Florida is suggested as being par-
ticularly adapted for goat production. If you care to pro-
duce milk or meat to sell, naturally you will desire to locate
near the best markets, which are the larger cities.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS AND BIBLIOGRAPHY
In preparing this bulletin much valuable help has been
received from Prof. C. H. Willoughby, of the Florida College
of Agriculture; from Harry J. Smith of Vitality Goat Dairy
Memphis, Tenn., and from Circular No. 111 of the Iowa
State Experiment Station. Dr. A. L. Shealy of the Florida
Agricultural Experiment Station and Prof. H. L. Brown of
the Florida Agricultural Extension Service have read the
manuscript and made many suggestions which have been
30 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
FREE BOOKS ABOUT GOATS
Goat Milk . The Health Food, Dixie Mills Co., 59 S. 10th St., E.
St. Louis, Illinois.
Feeding Dairy Goats, Dixie Mills (above).
40 Questions and Answers About Dairy Goats, Dixie Mills (above).
Buttermaking Chart, Chr. Hansen's Laboratory, Dept. 5410, Little
Falls, New York.
Cheesemaking Chart, Chr. Hansen's Laboratory (above).
How To Make Cheese, Chr. Hansen's Laboratory (above).
Goat Milk Cheese, Chr. Hansen's Laboratory (above).
Dairy Goats in America, The American Milk Goat Record Assoc.,
Goat Barn and Dairy Equipment Catalog, Hoegger Supply Company,
Dept. N., Milford, Pennsylvania.
Milk Goats and Goat Milk Production, Albers Milling Company,
Dept. B-37, 1060 Stuart Bldg., Seattle 11, Washington.
Raising Kids With Less Milk, AG 4, Albers (above).
How Successful Goat Breeders Feed Calf-Manna, Albers (above).
Feeding Chart (wall card), Albers (above).
Commonsense Feeding of Livestock, Albers (above).
Bulletin No. F-345, Feeding, Albers (above).
Minerals, Singer's Earth Crust Minerals, Dept. 181-1, Barrington,
1946 Dana Supply Catalog, C. H. Dana Co., Inc., 400 Main St., Hyde
Electric Fence, National Shok-Fence, Dept. 9-J, 2215 Main St., Van-
Corona Circular (udder care) and sample Corona, Box 89, Corona
Mfg. Co., Kenton, Ohio.
Barnyard Doctor, Dr. Hess & Clark, Ashland, Ohio.
Goat Herd Hints, Dr. Hess & Clark (above).
Anturat, Destroys Rats, Dr. Hess & Clark (above).
Black Leaf 40, Worm Treatment, Tobacco By-Products and Chemical
Corp., Louisville 2, Kentucky.
GOATS IN FLORIDA 31
Chloro-Iodine, for Better Animal Health, Schmutzler Laboratories,
Tropiodin, Treatment for Mastitis, Schmutzler Laboratories (above).
Stilbestrol, Reproductive Treatment, Schmutzler Laboratories
Sanidyne, Disinfectant, Schmutzler Laboratories (above).
The Purina Program for Dairy Goats, Purina Mills 1400 Checker-
board Square, St. Louis 2, Missouri.
Goat Milk for Health, Purina (above).
Backyard Goat Raising, Purina (above).
Lots of Milk from Dairy Goats, No. 4808C, Purina (above).
Milk Chart, Purina (above).
Milk & Feed Chart, Purina (above.)
Feeder Facts, Purina (above).
Dehorning Information, Tomellem Company, Dept. C, Calico Rock,
Security Udder Treatment, Security Remedies Company, Dept.
AGN-10, 114 West 27th Street, New York 1.
Sho-Kote Shampoo, New Animal Shampoo, Security Remedies Com-
pany, Dept. AD-10 (above).
Farm Sanitation, Parke, Davis & Co., Detroit, Michigan.
Worming, Parke, Davis. & Co. (above).
Care & Treatment of Goat Ailments, Dr. David Roberts, P. 0. Box
297-N, Waukesha, Wisconsin.
Dairy Goat Feeding and Management, Beacon Milling Company,
Cayuga, New York.
Nutritional Corrective: Cobalt Booklet, Harskaw Chemical Co., 1945
E. 97 St., Cleveland, Ohio.
"Modern Milk Goats", Richards ........................ .... .$3.50
"Feeds and Feeding", Morrison ...................... . .$6.00
"Market Milk Industry", Roadhouse and Henderson ............ $5.00
"Principles of Genetics", Sinnott and Dunn. ................. $4.00
"Developing a Profitable Dairy Herd", Moore.................. $2.00
Five excellent books available through the NEWS.
Goat Ne'ws, Richmond, Va.