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The Country Enterprise Handbook
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........ Milk
...In the dairy
...Dealing with milk

When you want to sell goat's milk, your choice is not the same as with the cow.

There is no Milk Marketing Board to buy goat's milk in bulk although in a very few areas there are co-operatives. Usually you have to sell the milk yourself. In some areas the recent interest in goat's milk has meant that producers have swamped the market. To be economical it is generally reckoned that you must receive one and a half times the going rate for a pint of cow's milk. In our area at present you are fortunate to achieve the same as cow's milk. The answer here if you want a viable proposition is to process the milk into cheese or yoghurt.

There are various breeds of goat available in Britain.

The one from the story-books, large and white with a bell round its neck, is the Saanan. These are usually docile but extremely strong when they decide to pull. They also seem to us to be the most independent breed, at least all the Saanans we have had have been determined to lead life at their own pace. They are the breed that produces the most milk. To get the richest but generally smallest yield, you can go for a strange-looking creature called a Nubian; its splendid broken nose and long, lapping ears also mark it out as an individual. For some reason these seem the most aristocratic of goats and they tend to take a while to decide if you are friend or foe. The Toggenbergs and Alpine goats are delightful creatures to look at. The first are brown in colour, the second black. They have little tassels hanging from their necks and delicate features.

The most difficult goat we ever had was a cross between a Nubian and a Toggenberg. The cross was not our idea. We were asked to take the goat as we were goat-enthusiasts. We did not at the time realise it was an act of mercy to the original goat-owner. We called her Jubilee and expected her to settle down after a little while; she never did, she just got worse. If you tried to lead her on a rope she managed to turn in the minutest circles until you gave up entirely. She escaped from absolutely anywhere. Finally and most infuriatingly, whenever you did manage to milk this awkward creature she managed by extreme contortions to drink the milk you had painstakingly obtained! Presumably she is still annoying someone somewhere, unless of course someone gave up entirely and had her turned into kebabs. We passed her on, hopefully to a more patient home than ours.