Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Best Goat Breeds for Milk

Goats make great pets, and they can be a valuable animal to have on your homestead since they can provide milk and meat for your family.  Here are the best milk goat breeds to add to your homestead.

The Best Goat Breeds for Milk

My kids were so excited to get goats when we moved to the farm.  My cousin was breeding goats, we we bought a few Boar goats to have as pets.

My kids really enjoy having goats, and I enjoy watching them.  Our rotten rottweiler loves to play with the goats, but they don't like him nearly as much as he likes them.

My son uses his oldest goat, Amelia, as his profile picture for college.  After they got back from online classes, everyone knew him as the one with the goat.  Even professors stop to ask him how his goat is doing.  

For more information about goats, check out these posts:


Which Goat Is Best For Milk?

With so many milk-producing breeds of goats, there are a lot to choose from. However, there are a few different types of milk goat breeds that are often commended as being the best breeds for milk.


The Saanen, Oberhasli, Alpine, and Toggenburg breeds of goats are some of the best goat breeds for milk.

If it's your first time getting goats, check out my recommendations for the best goats for beginners or the best goat breeds for pets.


Which Breed Of Goat Has The Richest Milk?

When trying to determine what is the best dairy goat breed, one of the most important factors is the quality of milk. 


Of all the breeds of goat, typically the most recommended breed for a rich flavor is the nubian breed of goat and Nigerian dwarf breed.


The reason for this is that these breeds produce milk that is high in butterfat and is sweet and mild, which help to produce that rich flavor.


Which Goat Breeds Are Used For Milk Production?

There are seven primary types of goats that are used for dairy production in the US. Following is a quick list of breeds:


  • Saanen
  • Nubian
  • LaMancha
  • Oberhasli
  • Alpine
  • Toggenburg
  • Nigerian Dwarf


Is Goat’s Milk Good For You?

Goats milk has a higher nutritional value than does cow’s milk, and is typically viewed as being healthier than cow's milk is. It is a good source of protein, calcium, and certain fats. 

However, it is still milk, so while it is healthier it is not good to drink all the time. 


How Long Do Goats Stay In Milk?

Typically, goats will stay in milk for around 280 days, with the average period being 284 days. Peak production for milk occurs around four to six weeks after the goat is finished kidding.


What Benefit Does Goat Milk Have Over Cow's Milk?

As compared to cow's milk, goats milk is higher in nutritional value. It has a higher amount of protein and calcium than does cow's milk. 


Further, if you are harvesting it fresh then you skip a lot of the industrial processes that lessen the nutritional value of store bought cows milk. This is why so many homesteaders are searching for the best goat breed for milk!


Do All Goats Need To Be Milked?

No, only milk goat breeds need to be milked.This is one of the most important questions when asking what is the best dairy goat breed as a big part is how often the breed needs to be milked.


Meat goats will only produce enough milk for their offspring, whereas dairy goats will produce extra milk. As a result, dairy goats will need to be milked to eliminate the extra milk for their system. 


Some goats milk for a lot longer than others, though, which is something that will be touched upon in the following guide. 


Is Goat’s Milk Healthier Than Cow's Milk?

Typically, goat's milk is viewed as being healthier than cow's milk. This is because of its higher nutritional value and higher level of nutrients such as calcium and protein. 


Best Goat Breeds For Milk

With this information in mind, now it is time to delve into each of the milk goat breeds and explore their pros and cons. Knowing the pros and cons is always best when searching for the best dairy goat breed for milk that will work for you.


Following is a simple guide as to the best goat breeds for milk.



Saanen goats are among the most popular goat breeds for milk due to their sheer size and output. They are often championed as the best goat breed for milk for their size alone.

Adult saanen goats are known to grow up to be 135 pounds and can produce up to 2,500 pounds of milk annually. 

Saanen goats are often revered for their milk-producing capabilities, in that they can produce one and a half to three gallons of milk every day for around 150 to 300 days, typically speaking.

This means that the saanen goat is by far the most productive dairy breed, especially in the US. However, its milk is lower in fat than are other breeds of dairy goat. 

As far as temperament goes, despite their size they are often quite friendly and easygoing. You will need more space for them to live, but they are pretty quiet when comfortable. Plus, due to their size they make for excellent meat goats as well.



Nubian goats are known for their long, floppy ears that extend past down their chins. At the same time, they are known for being quite noisy and, as such, are not typically recommended for those with lots of neighbors or an aversion to noise.


With respect to their milk production, however, they do quite well and are a popular breed. That in tandem with their energetic demeanors is why many like to keep nubians as pets as well as dairy goats. 



The LaMancha are well-known milk goat breeds due to both its quality milk production and tiny ears. There are both lamancha and mini lamancha goats, but both are similar in their friendly temperaments. 


The mini lamancha requires less space to live in and provides enough milk for a small family, while the full size requires a bit more space but also produces more milk.



Oberhasli goats are lighter and typically fairly uniform in color, but some have black hides, which is uncommon for most milk goat breeds. They weigh around 120 to 250 pounds on average. 

Their milk typically has a higher content of fat than do both the saanen and alpine goats, and their milk is often used for dairy products such as ricotta cheese and yogurt. 



The alpine goat is the second most productive breed of dairy goat, and a common answer to the question of what is the best dairy goat breed. They are also hardy goats with respect to cold temperatures, as they come from Switzerland originally. 


They are known to be resilient and curious, but they also calm and easy-going. Their milk contains a higher amount of butterfat and protein which are good for making products such as goat cheese and ice cream. 


Plus, with a yield of about a gallon a day you will have plenty of milk to make use of. Alpine goats are great for herd animals and to be raised as meat goats. 



Toggenburgs are known for being good in nature, gentle, and smart. They grow long winter coats and are hardy against cold weather. 


By growing their coats, they are able to extend their production of milk into the cooler months. In fact, the average toggenburg doe is known to produce one to two gallons of milk a day.


Nigerian Dwarf

The Nigerian dwarf is one of the best goat breeds for milk for a few reasons. Primarily, they are beloved because they are small and do not take up a lot of room. At the same time, however, they have high milk productions and are super fun to have around.


Further, with respect to breeding, they are known to birth up to six babies at a time, though they commonly produce three to four kids at a time.

They can be noisy and are known for escaping enclosures due to their immense curiosity. However, they are beloved as pets due to their interesting and energetic personalities.

Plus, their milk is high in butterfat and creamy, and works well in nearly any kind of dairy product. This includes cheese, desserts, and even household or beauty products such as soap and skin balms.

Dairy Goat Resources

 If you raise dairy goats, I highly recommend keeping a log.  You can find printable goat record logs on Etsy to make your own binder or buy a premade goat record log to keep track.


 I highly recommend Storey's Guide to Raising Dairy Goats as a resource for milk goats.  Their books are my tos for reference.

Like this post?  Pin it!


No comments:

Post a Comment