A week ago, I receive in the mail a copy of
"Raising Goats Naturally, the Complete Guide to
Milk, Meat, and More"
authored by Deborah Niemann. Ms. Niemann has also written several other books, one of which I gave away here recently:
"Homegrown and Handmade".
I was not compensated monetarily for this review, but did get my copy, as stated above, totally gratis.
It has a very attractive cover.
The book is basically divided into three parts:
Planning, Purchasing and Protecting
Raising, Remedies and Reproduction
Milk, Meat and More
I would recommend this book as the starter for your library as a new goat owner. I also have
Storey's Guide to Raising Dairy Goats, but this was over and above my head, though full of good information. Ms. Niemann's book will be very useful to those just starting out with goats.
One thing that I really appreciated in it was her own anecdotal stories, and those of other herd owners she included, with very practical knowledge and advice about common goat problems, such as fencing, worming, etc..
The section on Milk, Meat and More included a lot of dairying information and cheese making recipes and advice. The Niemanns do eat their own goats... and I know that brings shivers down the spine of some of you... but you will understand when you read why.
Ms. Niemann has owned Nigerian Dwarf goats, and La Manchas and has milked for some ten years. I know from reading her blog that they have recently sold their cattle herd, and she makes a good argument in the book for the goat being ideal for small farms and homesteads.
I wish I had read this book six months ago. She does have a long paragraph or two on Urinary Calculi, with the admonition NOT to feed any commercial grain to your wethers. If I had just SEEN that, Kody and Kaycee may still have been with us.
The author also makes a good case for the non-registered goat. I am going to have to throw something in here. Keith and I bought registered mini horses from a herd about nine years ago, and it was impressed upon us that we needed to get the registrations switched over into our names. It was a nightmare. I'm not kidding. We could not seem to satisfy the American Miniature Horse Association, and finally, I was ready to throw my hands up. We were not showing these horses and certainly not breeding them. I feel the same way about goats... if the animal is for your pleasure, as a pet or even as a milker... I don't think a registered animal is required... though I agree with her caveat about buying at the sale barn.
All of you owners of registered animals reading this, I am not "dissing" you... I just think for the regular owner who does not want to show or breed, an unregistered animal works just as well. I do agree though, that keeping records for your goats is beneficial to everyone.
I have to say one thing, though, I am still pretty confused about parasite control, though some questions were answered. The author does cover this thoroughly.
Would I recommend this book?
It might be too basic for some long time owners, but yes, I heartily recommend it to those who are just starting out with goats (as we are), who want to add producing goats to the homestead, or even a pair of goats as pets.
Gratuitous goat cuteness, Calamity Acres Style.
PS... a regular post will follow this review.