Goat Dairy Foods

Dairy Goat Milk Composition

Goat husbandry has been part of agriculture since almost the first use of domestic animals and presently its popularity is increasing throughout the world, this increase is reflected to a greater degree by the rise in the number of small herds maintained by individuals either as a source of income or as an avocation. Goats are particularly suited to this role because they have minimal land use and attention requirements yet still allow an individual to become actively involved in dairying.

General Characteristics of Goat Cheese

Making cheese from goat's milk is nothing new. The news is in the expanded selection of goat cheeses in well-stocked supermarkets as well as cheese shops and health food stores. But with this increased availability comes a problem: how to choose the kind of cheese with the characteristics you want. To add to the confusion, the industry has no set rules for labeling so the name of a cheese may or may not be helpful.

Goat Cheeses

Cheese is perhaps the first food to be manufactured that is currently consumed by humans. The oldest written records have references to cheese as a food. Today, cheese is available in an almost innumerable variety of kinds, flavors and consistencies. Agriculture Handbook No. 54, Cheese Varieties and Descriptions, published by USDA (out-of-print) describes over 400 varieties and indexes over 800 names. Why? The answer is that it is made by many different races of people under widely varying conditions all over the face of the earth.

Manufacture of Goat Milk Products

Goat's Milk Hard Cheese Heat sweet, whole goat's milk in a pan to 86 -88 F. Add one percent starter or good quality buttermilk and stir for two to three minutes. Then add rennet at the rate of twenty-five drops to each gallon of milk. The rennet must be diluted in one-half cupful of clean tap water. Stir the rennet into the milk and allow the milk to set at 86 - 88 F, until a firm curd forms, usually about thirty minutes.

Butter from Goat Milk Utensils

Separate milk to get cream. Cool cream immediately to below 45 F by placing immediately in ice water, refrigerate at 45 F or less. Do not mix separatings of cream until they are chilled. Allow cream to "age" for one day in refrigerator.

Making Goat Milk Butter at Home

Good butter can be made from goat's milk, but ordinarily very little is produced because the fat globules are so small that they are difficult to separate from the milk. Unless artificially colored, the butter is very white and resembles lard in appearance. If colored, it resembles cow's butter although it does not have the same texture. It can be used for the table or for cooking.

PROCEDURE Pasteurization

Pasteurize the milk by holding at 145 F for 30 minutes, and cool rapidly to 40-45 F.

Cottage Cheese made from Goat Milk

Use 2 quarts of evening's milk and 2 quarts of morning's milk. This will give a better cheese than if you use all one milking's milk. However, milk must taste sweet.

Warm the milk to 86 F in a pail. It is easiest to use a dairy thermometer to keep it at a constant temperature, and an easy way to maintain temperature is to immerse your pail in a sink of water which you know is slightly above 86 degrees.

Yogurt from Goat Milk

Supplies Needed Culture or starter

Use either starter made from a package of dry culture or start from a carton of fresh, plain yogurt from a good dairy.


Add milk according the amount of yogurt you wish to make.


Use pans for heating and pasteurizing milk, large pan for water-bath during incubation.