This website aims to explain how I go about raising dairy goats in the city. I keep chickens, bees, and a big vegetable garden too, but there are lots of websites on how to do those things, so here I will focus on how to raise urban dairy goats in a way that is humane, fun, and sustainable. And, since goats aren’t legal in many places, I’ve included some tips on how to go about legalizing goats.
I keep two does, Snowflake and her daughter Eloise, in a well fenced 20 foot by 20 foot area of my back yard. They have a six foot by eight foot shed that keeps them dry when it rains (which it does A LOT) here in Seattle. They also have a set of stairs that they like to climb and a hay feeder that they like to hop up onto and sleep on.
Every morning I go to my goat area, change water, sweep poop from the stairs, collect eggs from my chickens and sit down to milk Snowflake. Milking is a difficult skill to learn. It’s not complicated, but it takes lots of practice to get fast at it and you do need to be fast. If you are not, the goat gets impatient and tends to kick over the milking pail and cause trouble.
Lots of people have told me that they would like to keep a goat, but that they don’t care for goats milk. What they almost always mean is that they don’t like the goats milk they have tried from a carton from the super market. Fresh goats milk is very similar to cows milk, but perhaps richer and sweeter. I always thought I hated goats milk, but when I first tried fresh goats milk, I was delighted. I felt I had discovered a sort of mini-cow, and I had to have one. (turns out I needed two, since goats are always unhappy without another goat or hooved animal around).
This website is still under construction. I am a full time mom, have just finished writing a book about goats, am back in school to become a nurse, and have a farm to tend. So, bear with me as I flesh out this site.
My book is due out in October of 2012 and it has much more information than this website on caring for goats in smallish spaces, legalizing goats, and life with goats. So, if you are really serious about keeping urban goats, buy my book!