The Dairy Goat Handbook: For Backyard, Homestead, and Small Farm

Ann Starbard. Quarto/Voyageur, $19.99 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-0-7603-4731-7
Readers who have been sucked in by the viral videos of goats balancing on a steel ribbon or screaming like humans may think raising goats would be fun and easy. Starbard, a goat farmer with 15 years’ experience raising dairy goats and making and selling goat cheese, doesn’t lead the reader on with such cuteness. She gives a comprehensive breakdown on goat raising, from selecting them to marketing their products, but also doesn’t ignore all the adorable by-products of goat farming (the climbing, the hopping, the affection, the playful butting). It’s not all fun; goats must be milked twice a day, ten months a year. They need other goats around for socializing, eat through fences, catch cold easily, and must be sheltered. Some kids are spoiled rotten and don’t respect authority. The last books with this much detail may have been the husbandry journals published in the 1950s and ’60s. Those who want to raise “one of the most adaptable and productive domesticated animals on our planet” will find Starbard’s advice invaluable. Color photos provide a trip (a collective noun for goats) of adorable animals. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/04/2015
Release date: 06/01/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
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