Going to the Goats: Goat Farming in Connecticut
Jan 05, 2016 03:02AM
By Leslie McLean
Goat dairy farms are fairly new in Connecticut, but they are filling a seemingly insatiable consumer appetite for delicious goat cheeses, yogurts, and pasteurized and raw goat’s milk. In general, there are increasingly educated consumers seeking fresh, healthy and locally produced foods. The Connecticut Farmland Trust (CFT) and the Department of Agriculture’s Community Farms Preservation Program have protected many farms in Connecticut, which currently has five goat dairy farms that are actually creameries, producing various products on-site.
Goats have the most explosive personalities of all farm-raised animals. They are highly energetic, very intelligent, quite vocal and physically comedic. Farm goats can climb trees and will whip around from limb to limb without fear; these types of goats also have amusing dancing skills. All goats are quite strong; they adjust to the climate they are exposed to and are able to survive eating locally grown food. Most goats are also as trainable as many dogs.
Comparison to Cow Dairy
While cow’s milk remains one of America’s most common daily drinks, it is interesting to note that it may also be the reason why many Americans experience gas, bloating and other forms of indigestion. When the average cow is given growth hormones, antibiotics, GMO-infused feed and vaccinations—while also being exposed to toxic conditions—it may trigger negative effects on humans from consuming pasteurized cow milk.
Goat’s milk is widely considered a healthier alternative, especially when it is raw and organic. Goats produce about 2 percent of the global milk supply; those who consume goat milks reportedly cite a lower incidence of allergies and digestive complaints.
Benefits of Goat’s Milk
• Reaction to inflammation: Some research suggests that one of the main benefits of goat’s milk is that it may benefit inflammation. This is another reason it is often easier for people with bowel inflammation to drink goat’s milk rather than cow’s milk.
• Environmentally friendly: Goats requires far less space and food than cows. Typically, it is possible to comfortably raise six goats on the same acreage as two cows.
• Metabolic agent: Studies done at the USDA and Prairie View A&M University link goat’s milk to an increased ability to metabolize iron and copper, especially amongst individuals with digestion and absorption limitations. Besides drinking goat’s milk, you can also take a digestive enzyme supplement to help with this.
• Bio-availability: Another main health benefit of goat’s milk is that it is closer to a human mother’s milk than cow’s milk. Because it has a chemical makeup that is much closer to human milk, it is easier to digest and assimilate in the human body.
• “Smaller” fat: The size of the fat molecules in goat’s milk is much smaller than those found in cow’s milk, making it easier to digest.
• High in fatty acids: While cow’s milk has about 17 percent fatty acids, goat’s milk averages 35 percent fatty acids, making it more nutritionally wholesome. In fact, up to 50 percent of people with lactose intolerance to cow’s milk find that they can easily digest goat’s milk, especially if it is raw.
• Rich in calcium: Many people worry that they need to drink cow’s milk for calcium intake and the prevention of bone loss. Goat’s milk also offers high amounts of calcium and the amino acid tryptophan.
• Anti-mucosal: While drinking cow’s milk is a common reason for allergies and excess mucous, goat’s milk is not. Cow’s milk is high in fat, which may increase mucous build-up. Moreover, the fat globules in goat’s milk are one ninth the size of those found in cow’s milk, another possible reason why it does not produce irritation in the gut.
• Ultra-nourishing: In naturopathic medicine, goats are referred to as bio-organic sodium animals. They are also associated with vigor, flexibility and vitality. Bio-organic sodium is an important element in keeping joints mobile and limber. Goat’s milk has traditionally been used in medicinal cultures to nourish and regenerate an over-taxed nervous system. Goat’s milk is also extremely nutrient dense. It has almost 35 percent of our daily needs for calcium in one cup. Extremely high in riboflavin, just one cup of goat’s milk offers 20 percent of our daily needs. Add to the list of benefits the high amounts of phosphorous, vitamin B12, protein and potassium.
• Less toxic than cow’s milk: Whereas most cow’s milk is pumped full of bovine growth hormones as well as a substance known as bovine somatotropin—a hormone specific for increasing milk production in an unnatural way—goats are rarely treated with these substances.
• Immune system booster: Goat’s milk has the trace mineral, selenium, a key essential mineral in keeping the immune system strong and functioning normally.
Leslie McLean is a contributing writer for Natural Awakenings Fairfield County. Connect with her at 203-470-4435 or [email protected].
Visit Connecticut’s goat farms:
59 Taylor Bridge Rd, Lebanon
BeltaneFarm.com • 860-887-4709 • 860-208-2887
Tastings every Sunday 11am-3pm through Christmas or order online
30 Copper Hill Rd, East Granby
860-653-9064 • 860 716-3239 • GriffinFarmstead.com
Purchase at farm or online