Alpine goats are renowned the world over for their high level of milk production.
They are thus mainly kept for dairy purposes. It originated from the French Alps region in Switzerland; thus the name.
They are a hardy breed that can survive in a wide range of climatic conditions.
They are relatively easy to maintain and keep.
There are two types of alpine goats, namely French and British alpine goats.
How To Care For Your Alpine Goats
Alpine goats enjoy grazing; they can do this for the whole day if allowed. You need to choose for them a pasture that has a lot of natural vegetation.
Shrubs and grass are a good option if available.
The pasture needs to be well fenced.
You need to have some barn or shed that will protect the alpine goats from the vagaries of nature.
Because they produce a lot of milk it is important you provide the alpine goats with large amounts of fresh and clean water.
You must avail a feed pan or water trough with clean water every morning and at appropriate intervals as you may deem necessary.
It thus follows that the more hydrated the goats are the higher the dairy milk yield you will receive from your herd.
The alpine goats need to be fed at least twice every day;
Ffill the feed pan with some dairy goat pellets and accompany this with some flakes of clean grass hay.
The pellets are especially important as they are usually made from chopped grains such as corn and wheat and some fats and proteins;
These greatly improve the quantity and quality of milk produced.
Alpine Does do breed during autumn.
Does are usually quite receptive to mate for a period of between 21 and 30 days, they will show their readiness to mate by standing in front of a buck with their tail on the side.
You should leave the buck with the herd for about four weeks to ensure it covers the whole herd.
Alpine goats have a gestation period of 150 days.
At the end of the gestation period you should leave the kids with the Does for three days to enable them receive antibodies from the colostrum in the milk.
You should embark on hand rearing the kids with goat milk replacer so as not to disrupt milk production.
Schedule your alpine goats for routine checkups and vaccinations with your veterinarian.
Although they are generally healthy animals they do get infected once in a while.
How To Milk Your Alpine Goats
Alpine goats should be milked at least twice every day; in the morning and in the evening.
Each teat should be washed with udder wash to ensure there is no infection.
Bacteria can grow on the teat surface and pass on to the milk if the teat is not well cleaned.
Make sure you place the alpine goats in milking stocks that are clean and well maintained.
Put a bucket directly under the clean udder, place your hands at the top of the closest teat and close your hand;
Apply some relatively steady pressure as you pull the teat downwards slowly.
This process should be repeated for all the teats until the udder softens and no more milk is produced.
Well kept alpine goat will produce between 3 and 5 quarts of milk on a daily basis.