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  • There are eight major dairy goat breeds in the United States.  Alpine, LaMancha, Nubian, and Saanen, Toggenburg, Oberhasli, Sable, and Nigerian Dwarf.

  • For centuries, the young of a goat have been called kids. It wasn't until the 1800's that the word kid was extended to children.

  • Kids most commonly arrive as twins. Sometimes just a single, but often triplets are born. Quadruplets and Quintuplets are common as well.

  • Goat kids learn to stand within minutes of being born.

  • Kids begin climbing and jumping off tree stumps and bales of hay when they're just a week old. At two weeks old, kids are fearlessly agile, running and leaping for fun.

  • Like human kids, goat kids like to snuggle. The "kid pile" is a common sight in the barn nursery, as they curl up with with each other for companionship and warmth.

  • When bottle-raised, kids will bond with their caregivers. However need to be with other goats so they learn to be goats.

  • The vocal sound a goat makes is called a bleat. Mother and kid goats recognize each other's calls soon after the mothers give birth. Goat kids also bleat when they're excited to see their caregivers at feeding time.  All goats have a unique "voice" and are easy to recognize when they are "calling" to you.

  • Some goat kids are born with "wattles", the fleshy, dangly things on their neck. Wattles are sometimes called “bells” or “skin tags”. They serve no purpose and are believed to be a genetic trait left over from evolution.

  • Kids use their lips to learn about the world around them. Intelligent and curious, they love nibbling (not eating!) just about anything around them.

  • Siblings know each other. At a farm a twin who returned to the farm after being gone for nearly two years, quickly found her twin sister, and the two are best friends in the barn—browsing and resting together every day. 

  • If you’ve ever seen eye-to-eye with a goat, you may have noticed something different. Some people may even find their gaze outright unsettling. That’s because the goats’ pupils are horizontal—not circular like ours, or vertical like a cat’s.  

  • Goats evolved this peculiar trait according to scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, the shape of goats’ pupils can be traced back to their place in the food chain. Goats are herbivores, and need to be able to protect themselves when a predator comes along. A broad line of sight, aided by wide, rectangular-shaped pupils, allows them to see danger approaching from their peripheral vision. 

  • Their eyes also have a remarkable ability to “rotate in the head to maintain parallelism with the ground," says Martin Banks, the lead researcher on the University of California study. This means that when goats bend their head down to graze, their eyes stay level with the horizon, allowing them an even better view of encroaching danger.

  • Horizontal pupils are one of the many things that make goats unique, and in our opinion, reason to love and protect them all the more!

  • So, what makes a winning dairy goat? When judging, the ADGA licensed judge is required to evaluate the dairy goat based on four major categories: General Appearance, Dairy Strength, Body Capacity, and Mammary System. This is not a beauty contest; the scorecard, which consists of 100 points total, is based on traits that will ensure a long and productive life.

  • General Appearance is the structure of the dairy goat: including head, back, shoulders, feet and legs. Overall, the judge looks for an attractive framework. 

  • Dairy Strength covers attributes that indicate good milk production, such as angularity and openness of the rib and flatness of bone. 

  • Body Capacity correlates the width and depth of the body, ensuring ample capacity, strength and vigor. 

  • The Mammary System category evaluates areas of the udder that will be important for a long, productive life. Although capacity in the mammary is significant, teat size, teat placement, udder shape and attachment are also very important.

  • Of course, good breeding is just the beginning. When goats are happy, healthy and well-bred, you can really taste the difference; the best dairy always comes from the freshest, cleanest milk.

  • Humans and goats have enjoyed a close relationship for thousands of years. While goat milk dairy is just starting to enjoy widespread popularity in the U.S., the rest of the world is already in on the secret. There are about 1 billion goats worldwide and more people in the world drink goat milk than milk of any other species.1 Impress your friends with these little-known facts about dairy goats and their impact around the globe.

  • Among the first domesticated animals, goats are a common character in western mythology. Like many mortals, the Greek gods were nourished on goat milk. One famous goat allegedly provided suckle in a cave to baby Zeus. Hippocrates, the early Greek physician, routinely prescribed that his patients should “Go to the mountains and drink goat milk!”

  • European settlers who came over on the Mayflower brought goats with them. Goats are recorded in a 1630 Jamestowncensus among the colony’s most prized possessions.

  • Each goat has talents, tastes, and habits all their own. Like dogs, goats are known for their intelligence and sociability. Goats are also quite gentle; they love to nuzzle together in the barn and explore their surroundings with their mouths. Contrary to popular belief, goats can also be quite picky about what they eat. Rather than eating grass, they prefer brush, hay, and leafy branches. They especially love rose bushes!

  • Many people prefer goat milk over cow milk – not only because they love the taste, but because it’s gentler on their stomachs. There are key nutritional differences between the two that lead many people to choose goat milk. The average size of fat globules in goat milk is smaller than in cow milk and forms a smaller, softer curd in the stomach. Small, soft curds are more rapidly broken down by stomach enzymes, which makes goat milk more easily digestible. Approximately 7% of children in the U.S. have symptoms of cow milk allergy, which can be attributed to reactions to alpha S1 casein or whey proteins in milk. Depending on the breed, goat milk contains negligible levels of alpha S1 casein. Research studies suggest that 40% or more of patients allergic to cow milk tolerate goat milk well. Goat milk contains significantly higher levels of short and medium-chain fatty acids than cow milk. Research suggests that these fatty acids are more rapidly digested, provide quick energy for the body, and are associated with a variety of other health benefits. Goat milk contains 18% more calcium, 43% more potassium, 40% more magnesium, and 104% more Vitamin A than whole cow milk. Our goat milk yogurt and kefir are fermented with live and active cultures, resulting in hundreds of billions of probiotics per serving. Eating probiotic-rich foods like yogurt and kefir is an important strategy for overall health, according to Tamara Duker Freuman, MS, RD, CDN. Bacteria in our guts play a significant role in immune function, helping to protect us against disease and infection. (Park, Young W. “Goat Milk—Chemistry and Nutrition.” Handbook of Non-Bovine Mammals, edited by Young W. Park and George F.W. Haenlein, Blackwell Publishing, 2006. 2 Nutrient content of milk varieties per 100g compiled from the USDA Nutrient Database 3 F. Purchiaroni, et al. “The role of intestinal microbiota and the immune system.” European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, Verduci Editore, 2013.)

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