A Few Pointers for New
Some new entrants to the industry may lack experience with milking
operations and/or managing goats. If you know someone who is getting
into the dairy goat business, here are a few pointers to help them
Visit OMAFRA's Dairy
Food Safety Program website for information on requirements
and steps to getting started.
- Contact an OMAFRA Raw Milk Specialist (see
When to Contact
your OMAFRA Raw Milk Specialist) to discuss plans and approvals
in advance of any building construction or renovations.
- Contact a milk broker or licensed dairy processing
plant regarding milk marketing. Goat milk producers are responsible
for securing their own market.
- Contact Ontario Goat for many other helpful
- Plan and Prepare. The process for getting a
dairy goat farm up and running usually takes many months and may
require building permits, nutrient management strategies, farm
lane upgrades, construction and equipment installation. All of
these steps require coordination and time.
- Facilities should be ready when goats are at
the farm and ready to be milked. Bringing lactating goats into
a farm without functioning milking facilities could be a recipe
for disaster. Facilities need to be Grade A approved before goat
milk can be marketed.
- Buyer Beware! Producers should always consider
the health status of the animals they are purchasing. For existing
producers, animals should be purchased from herds with an equal
or higher health status than their own herd. It is important to
develop a biosecurity plan with your herd veterinarian and identify
diseases of concern for your operation. Producers should insist
on seeing the milk test results of the herd for the last three
months and any animal health records (i.e. diseases, treatments,
vaccinations, test results). Existing producers are advised to
be cautious when bringing goats onto their farm, even if you arejust
temporarily housing goats owned by others. Diseases such as Caprine
Arthritis Encephalitis (CAE) and Johnes can quickly infect a herd
with devastating consequences. Get all test results before agreeing
to accept any new goats on the farm. For more information check
out at the Biosecurity
Planning Guide for Canadian Goat Producers.
For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300