Reichert's Dairy Air: Our Herding Practices
Goat health is my first priority, and Reichert's Dairy Air goats are pretty spoiled. Happy, healthy goats reward me with lots of good milk for cheese-making.
I try to respect the goat's natural instincts and cycles. Goats are seasonal breeders and, in the wild, do not produce milk through deep winter as they finish gestating their new kids. I follow that cycle, so cheese is generally unavailable in January, February, and March. The girls have access to a large pasture for exercise and grazing, but we try to take daily walks in spring, summer and fall, so they can browse on fresh leaves like goats in the wild. The exercise and variety in their diet is good for them. Their primary diet is good quality alfalfa hay (certified organic or certified chemical free whenever possible). Milking does are supplemented with a high quality grain mix to ensure they get enough nutrition during lactation. High quality minerals are provided on a free choice basis, as well as plenty of fresh clean water (goats are very picky about their water!)
I vaccinate for common diseases. I am a bit obsessive about cleanliness, but this is the best prevention for almost all goat health problems. If health issues DO arise, natural treatment methods are tried first. If a goat needs to be given medication, their milk is withheld from human consumption for twice the recommended time. I use an herbal formula to control worms and other parasites, and find it to be very effective.
Kids are bottle fed pasteurized milk from birth until they are at least two months old. There are several advantages to raising kids this way. They are healthier, grow faster, and are much easier to manage since they attach to me (and Ben) as their "mom." I start them on hay after the first week so they develop a healthy and efficient digestive system.
We clean our barn at least weekly when the goats are in lactation. This helps maintain good general health of the goats, as well as good udder health. Goats are naturally clean animals and they just love a clean barn and fresh bedding! Milk quality is also markedly improved by providing clean living conditions. Good cheese starts in the barn.
You can be sure the goats at Reichert's Dairy Air are living the good life!
Contact us at info (at) reichertsdairyair (dot) com for more information about our goats, pedigrees, and goat sales.
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