Can You Milk Pygmy Goats Or Must You Have Dairy Goats For Milking?
With the popularity of pygmy goats as pets, many people are wondering can you milk pygmy goats. You may be surprised to know that pygmy goats have long been used for purposes other than as pest. Many people use them as Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4H projects, and they are also good for milking.
Pygmy goats can breed at any time of year, so they can give milk year round. This is different than dairy breeds, which breed seasonally. You can expect a doe who is producing mild to give around a pint of milk two times daily. Pygmy goat milk has a butter fat content of between four and ten percent, so it is very tasty. In fact, it is very much like the milk of Nubian goats, which are known as excellent milkers. Two milking pygmy goat does would provide ample milk for a two person family.
The amount of milk given may vary from time to time. At the peak of lactation a doe may give as much as two thirds of a gallon of milk per milking. Two gallons of milk a week is a significant amount of milk. Another very good thing about pygmy goat milk is that the high butter fat content prevents it from taking on unusual flavors from the doe’s diet. It also stays fresh for a long time. In fact, it has been known to stay fresh when refrigerated for as long as two weeks. Along with the high butter fat content, pygmy goat milk also has more iron, potassium, phosphorus and calcium than the milk of other types of goats. So it’s easy to see that while some people would say you have to have a dairy goat to get milk, the answer to the question “Can you milk pygmy goats?” is definitely “Yes!”
Even though they are primarily used as pets today, they are actually a tri-purpose breed. This means that it is possible to keep them as companions, dairy and meat animals. In fact, originally they were considered meat animals because the small size of pygmy goats can make milking challenging. Many people like to use a hand pump style milker to milk pygmy goats.
The hand pump style milker is equipped with small teat cups that make it easy to milk miniature stock of all sorts including alpacas, llamas, sheep and of course, pygmy goats. You can also buy larger teat cups if you have other types of milk animals.
Of course, there is some question regarding can you milk pygmy goats with any kind of hand pump milker. It is important to select a high quality brand. Additionally, it is best if your goat does not have any abnormalities of the teat. For the milker to work correctly, the cup must fit securely around the upper part of the teat. If the teat is misshapen, you may be able to adjust by using a larger sized teat cup.
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