EasyKeeper Extension

Troubleshooting off-flavors in goat milk

Posted by EasyKeeper Staff on Mar 28, 2017 3:18:34 PM

Good quality milk should have a pleasantly sweet and clean flavor with no distinct aftertaste. If you raise dairy goats for milk consumption, it’s inevitable that you will have, or have had an off-flavored batch. Sometimes the flavor will pass, but other times it will persist, and drive you crazy trying to figure out what could have caused the problem. There are a many reasons why you might get an off-flavor in your milk, so the best thing to do is to troubleshoot.

Topics: Performance & evaluation, Dairy goat

Get the best from your bucks this breeding season

Posted by EasyKeeper Staff on Mar 9, 2017 5:31:14 PM

The stress on a buck during breeding season can lead to health issues and the reduction of reproductive performance.

The key to your buck’s successful breeding season is good health management, starting with a pre-season breeding readiness assessment to identify and respond to any issues early enough that he’ll be ready for his job during breeding season. Then, to ensure he remains in top condition, performing ongoing monitoring and maintenance throughout the the breeding season.

Topics: Management, Reproduction

Ensure safe travels with your goats

Posted by EasyKeeper Staff on Mar 9, 2017 4:26:08 PM

Transporting your goats can be stressful–for you and your animals. There is a lot to think about when you're moving animals from one place to another. That's why we put together this infographic with tips and advice ranging from preparation to care on the road. 

Topics: Management

How the miniature dairy goat breeds are being developed

Posted by EasyKeeper Staff on Jan 3, 2017 5:00:52 PM

Breeding for specific qualities is a long process that takes a high level of dedication. Breeders the world over spend years trying to breed stronger, better producing animals and often the judge of a good producer is the strength of their animals' genetics.

Topics: Industry

Pearson's Square rations balancer

Posted by EasyKeeper Staff on Dec 5, 2016 5:06:43 PM

Pearson's Square (also called the Pearson Square, the box method, the rectangle method) is a great tool to help you determine the proper mixture of two different feedstuffs to reach a particular nutritional percentage.

Normally you would have to do the math manually. We wanted to give you an easier way to get your mixed ration calculations done quickly, so we built a Pearson's Square calculator for you to use.

Topics: Herd management tools, Nutrition

A guide for evaluating, measuring and cutting meat goat carcasses

Posted by EasyKeeper Staff on Dec 5, 2016 3:25:00 PM

This manual has been developed as a guide to the meat goat industry in evaluating live meat goats, measuring important carcass traits and standardizing cutting procedures for goat carcasses. The terminology in this manual has been adapted from USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Institutional Meat Purchase Specifications (IMPS) selection criteria for live goats and goat carcasses in Series 11 Fresh Goat.


Topics: Performance & evaluation, Meat goat

Fundamentals of goat nutrition

Posted by Guest Author on Nov 18, 2016 5:01:04 PM

We thought a practical explanation of the basics of goat nutrition could be useful for producers to make informed decisions about economical feeding practices and make more astute feedstuff purchases. This information should enable you to reduce—perhaps even avoid—costly errors in feeding and management of your goats.  

Topics: Nutrition

Goat herd improvement through on-farm testing

Posted by EasyKeeper Staff on Nov 18, 2016 4:35:26 PM

Standardized performance testing and on-farm testing programs have been in existence for over 40 years. They have been highly successful in increasing performance of economically important traits in cattle and sheep. They have evolved and changed over time but started with simple data collection and evaluations. These types of programs will work for goat producers as well as they have for beef and sheep producers, goat producers simply need to get started collecting data. 

The principle behind performance testing is that economically important traits are heritable. The heritability of the different traits varies but selection can result in improvements in these traits. It is also well established that we can adjust performance data for known environmental effects resulting in a more accurate measurement of performance traits. This makes the use of standardized performance data more valuable than individual weights when selecting for improvement in these traits.

Topics: Performance & evaluation

Meat goat production in cold climates

Posted by Guest Author on Nov 18, 2016 4:34:35 PM

Meat goat production in the cold climates of the northern U.S. and Canada requires careful management if one is to attain maximum profitability. Under these challenging conditions, meeting the dietary requirements for all stages of goat production (growth, gestation, lactation, dry) is the key to success. 

Meat goat dietary requirements are fairly well known to researchers and extension specialists, but much less so to producers of goats.  This article will educate the reader of certain basic principles of nutritional physiology as a prelude to making practical feeding recommendations, as well as herd management tactics that may give the producer an edge when raising meat goats in cold climates.

Topics: Meat goat, Nutrition, Management

Certified healthy: Animal Welfare Approved

Posted by EasyKeeper Staff on Jan 5, 2016 8:21:49 PM

There is one way that goat producers can make their products stand out. It’s a square green, blue and white label that has a picture of the sun peaking over the horizon, and it says: Animal Welfare Approved.

The Animal Welfare Approved seal is a hard earned badge of difference and demonstrates the farmer’s commitment to the care of their animals, the land and the local community. Farmers in this program are distinguished by a humane and conscientious attitude towards the animals in their care as evidenced by a physical audit and detailed plans and records of farm practices.

AWA’s core philosophy – and that of it’s certified farmers – is that the way we raise our animals, the nutritional quality of the meat, milk and eggs they produce, and the impact of the farming system on the environment are all intrinsically linked.

Topics: Industry