The Nubian goat is typically thought of as an African breed. In reality, it traces back to late 1800s England. As the British Empire expanded to new regions, ships brought back native bucks from many environments. Many of these bucks were large, hardy animals that promised to improve British dairy goats. In particular, bucks from…… Continue reading Nubian

Nigerian Dwarf

Goats of dwarfish proportions were once widespread across much of Africa, their historic home being a large swath stretching from the Atlantic coast inland as far as modern Sudan and almost spanning from 20°N to 20°S latitude. These miniature goats varied by region, some being stocky, cobby little animals and others proportioned like true dairy…… Continue reading Nigerian Dwarf


As its name suggests, the LaMancha does have ancestors from Spain, but it was developed entirely in the United States. Its story begins with the arrival of the conquistadors. The conquistadors and the missionaries who accompanied them always brought along livestock for food. Goats were usually among the herds and flocks, thanks to their versatility;…… Continue reading LaMancha

What Are Milk Components?

Milk components are a common topic related to dairy cattle. For example, when researching dairy breeds, one fact you will notice is that Jersey cows have more components in their milk than Holsteins do. So what are the components of milk? There are three main categories: Fat.Protein.Other solids. Fat When a cow’s rumen digests fiber,…… Continue reading What Are Milk Components?

How a Milking Machine Works

While many small farmers still love to hand-milk their cows, commercial dairying usually employs the milking machine. The modern milking machine looks complex, but the principle on which it operates is actually quite simple. The machine pulls a vacuum on the teats of the cow, causing the milk to flow. Here’s how it works: The…… Continue reading How a Milking Machine Works

Brix: How Do We Use It?

Now that we know what brix is and how to measure it, we’re ready to find ways to apply this knowledge. So what is an ideal brix level? Most plants show markedly improved vitality and pest resistance when their brix levels hit 12 degrees on a refractometer, although with care many can go far higher…… Continue reading Brix: How Do We Use It?