To ensure we retain high-yield components in the milk, all breeding age animals are DNA typed, and tested, to determine which alpha S1-casein alleles each animal is carrying. Although high casein alleles (A, and B, or some combination thereof) predominate in the breed, some weak casein alleles (E and F) have been identified in a few individuals in the breed, and as more animals are tested, more weak alleles may be uncovered in the future. Although we are at the point of rarely bringing in new outside genetics, all new animals are casein typed before being brought into our breeding program. We test to avoid inadvertent introduction of those weak alleles into the herd.
All milking does, including first fresheners, are milked twice daily throughout the length of their lactation. Priority for milk, however, goes to the kids born on the farm each season. All kids are bottle-raised, for a number of reasons, including farm efficiency, herd health, and to ensure kids are friendly, and well-socialized, before going to their new homes.
Once kids are weaned, surplus milk is used both in the farm kitchen, and to produce our handcrafted, small-batch, luxuriant goat milk soap.