Dairy Goats


Dairy goat numbers in the UK have remained constant at around 33,000 over the past two years. Sixty per cent are kept in small herds for house milk production.

The main breeds are British Saanen, British Toggenburg, British Alpine and Anglo Nubian. British Saanen goats produce higher milk yields and are most commonly used commercially. Anglo Nubians produce a higher fat content. Average lactation length is 280 days with average yields of 500 - 1,200 litres (depending on intensity of inputs). At peak this represents 4 litres/day. Main outputs are fresh, UHT & frozen milk, ice cream, yoghurt, cheese, goat meat and breeding stock. Average commercial herd size for milk production is 200 goats or, for cheese production, 100 goats. The largest herd is around 3,000 goats and there is an element of polarisation in the industry because many smaller producers got out of the industry when the Dairy Products (Hygiene) Regulations came into force in 1995. 

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