Backyard Dairy Goats is a book focusing on raising dairy goats in a way that respects their nature, on any amount of land.
Backyard dairying is achievable for anyone. It doesn't have to be a dream that may happen one day in the distant future, it could happen now, and this book will show you how.
Topics covered include:
-Everything you need to know about goats - their behaviour, how to feed them, handle them, what they need to thrive, and so on.
-Natural goat health, how to prevent and fix most issues without a vet.
-Learning from observation, and goat behaviour in the wild to provide the right foods for goats to thrive.
-A permaculture approach, looking at the whole backyard ecosystem and the many interactions between goats, animals, garden, people, and trees.
-Goat dairy as a homemade staple food, for health, survival and self reliance. Recipes included!
-Small batch natural cheesemaking.
Backyard Dairy Goats is a practical book to be looked at whenever there is a question about goats, and also a guide that will take the complete beginner from knowing nothing about goats, to finding their first goats, through to being a confident dairy goat owner that can deal with (and prevent) common goat medical issues.
Not just for backyards
This book is relevant for larger bits of land as well, especially in the early years while you're waiting for perennials to grow or waiting to build more fences. Goat milk provides an instant harvest, with a minimal amount of brought-in feed, using smaller amounts of land and food than cows, while providing manure for the garden.
I give this book 9 out of 10 acorns.
This is a book for the small scale homesteader who has only a few goats, and wants to raise them naturally, as opposed to most of the goat books I have seen that are for people keeping huge herds of goats and medicating them and feeding them the minimal amount of food they need to stay alive. This is EXACTLY what I have wanted in a goat book!
Topics covered include the basics:
But also include things I find more useful:
Dealing with neighbors and landlords
Identifying good goats to buy
Borrowing a buck
Teaching a goat to get on the milking stand
What they are not allowed to eat
And how to make cheese!
Definitely an excellent book for the small scale goat keeper, and really worth the read. :D
I also give this book 9 out of 10 acorns! I loved the information in it, and actually shared some of it with my goat-keeping neighbors, and it was stuff they didn't know. I loved learning how to be the head, and the different colored goats need slightly different amounts of different nutrients, and the cheese recipes look really helpful (I'm not at a place right now to start making cheese, but I'm glad I've got a handy reference!).
I do wish that there was a bit more in the book. More about the whys of certain natural treatments, and a list of references (I always loved having those references when doing research--it lead to many more great books to read!).
But, still, this little book is packed with information from about goats from baby to nursing mama and even how to whether a goat, and ailments and how to check for them and prevent them and treat them. I love the holistic look on goat and how they fit into different sized homestead and how to incorporate them into your permaculture system, rather than just keep them isolated.
This is a book to have, to reread, to use as a reference, and to lend to your goat keeping friends and neighbors. I know I'll be lending mine to my neighbors so they, too, can benefit from the knowledge in it. Even if you don't have goats or plan to have goats (I hope to have have sheep--and would LOVE a permaculture sheep book!), this book is a great reference to have, and a great wealth of knowledge to help you when working with other people's goats!