Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dairy goats in China

There are more dairy goats in Fuping County than any county in the world: 320,000 compared to only 310,000 in the entire United States. Fuping County is in North Central China.

The average dairy goat farmer in China has fewer than 10 does. The government is encouraging larger dairy goat farms, based on several organizational models. Almost all of the dairy goats are Saanen.

Saanen goats in ChinaSmall farmers keep their goats near the homestead. On large farms, the goats are kept in confinement: brick buildings with concrete or brick floors. The goats are fed in fence line feeders and have an outside loafing area. On the large farms, corn silage or green chop is fed, along with some hay and grain. Small farmers feed mostly the corn plant; grain, if they can afford it.

Most of the goats, regardless of farm size, are milked by hand. The milk is collected into a bucket, strained into another container, then cooled in a vat of cold water. It is transported to the processing plant in containers. Most of the milk is made into powdered milk.

Within five years, most of the goats will probably be machine milked at milking stations, set up in the villages. The authorities believe that machine milking will improve the quality and safety of the milk.

Read full article: "Dairy Goat Production in China"