Hey all! I’m excited to be sharing a series of article detailing my endeavors into the dairy goat business starting today! Let’s get with it, shall we?
Just shy of a year ago, I had a few hundred dollars I wanted to invest into our farm business.
There I was, pregnant, and not feeling like I was adding a whole lot of value to the family economy, so after some research, I decided that buying a dairy goat, and starting a small raw milk business might be a way to fix that.
We’ve had dairy goats off and on ever since we’ve been married, and I like them a lot. Their personalities are hilarious – and sometimes annoying – but I especially love the safety factor because I have small children.
Whereas, you couldn’t trust a cow to not step on somebody, or inadvertently knock them over, a goat is not only smaller, but much more aware of their personal space. I haven’t had one step on Garrett yet – and he’s always up in their faces or crawling under them.
I also felt like a dairy goat (or five) was a way that I as a mom could, as I mentioned, add a little bit to the family economy because, again, they’re small, so I’m not afraid to have my children around them, and because much of the work – the handling of the milk and such – is done right in my kitchen.
Now, I feel I should point out, just in case anyone from the department of agriculture sees this, that it is NOT legal here in Tennessee to sell raw milk. It’s an unfortunate restriction which assumes that a buyer cannot take responsibility for what they purchase and consume – but that’s another article for another day.
What is legal here, are herd share programs. It’s a loophole, and what it means is that someone who wants the benefit of raw milk, but either can’t, or doesn’t want to own a dairy animal, buys a portion of the goat (or cow), which entitles them to a portion of the milk that animal produces. They then pay a weekly or monthly upkeep and handling fee.
For the purpose of these articles however, I’ll simplify things by just referring to herd share holders as customers, and call milk distribution milk sales, etc.
Anyway, once we decided that’s what we wanted to do, I started scouring Craigslist ads, and found several prospects (as well as lots of scraggly looking goats!) and began making calls and sending emails.
Nothing worked out. I mean, nothing.
Of the two dairy does we already had, one was a first time freshener, and wasn’t giving more than a quart a day, and the other had taken the year off from kidding (we now suspect that she’s gone sterile), and so it looked like my little dairy business was going to end before it even began…
Make sure to check back next Thursday for part two!
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