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Guide To Starting A Goat Dairy

Pages from Starting_a_Goat_Dairy-2by Carol Delaney

Carol Delaney’s “Guide to Starting a Commercial Goat Dairy” is a great book, and a must read for anyone considering starting their own goat dairy, or who would like ideas for improving profitability.  While other books focus on the care and feeding of a dairy goat, this one focuses on making sure that the goat producer does what it takes to take care of him or herself as a business person.

Carol draws on over ten years of experience as the Vermont small ruminant diary specialist.  It’s obvious that she’s had plenty of experience with prospective goat owners when she reminds readers to “Start Slow and Dip Your Toe in the Sea of Goats.”  Most of us would rather buy the goat and learn along the way, but trust me, that way lies madness.  Instead follow the more deliberate path outlined by Carol.  Once you know the commitment working with dairy goats requires, check with everyone close to you who will be involved or affected by the business, and use the business planning resources she shares to make sure you’re headed down a path that works for you.

Do you know whether you want to sell milk or would you rather make cheese?  Do you want to work with lots of goats or just a small herd?  What kind of equipment and milking facilities will you need?  What’s a good nutrition program for your goats?  How will you keep records on your costs, and do your taxes on the profits?  And after you’ve had a good long run as a successful goat dairy person, how can you exit the business and move on?  This book answers all those questions and more in just 160 pages with lots of pictures and a large appendix with links to additional resources as well as 3 barn designs.

 


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