Dairy Goat Project

What is it All About?

The dairy industry is one of the foundations of United States agriculture. Most think of only dairy cattle when they think of animals that produce dairy products. Think again! Goat’s milk is a popular dairy commodity. Dairy goats produce products such as soaps, lotions, cheese and milk. The 4-H goat project can provide you with the opportunity to learn about selection, management, health, marketing and careers in the goat industry.

Grow in Your Project

Starting Out

  • Learn basic knowledge about dairy goats
  • Know your dairy goat breeds
  • Find out if owning and showing dairy goats is right for you
  • Learn to keep records
  • Research where to find answers to your dairy questions

Learning More

  • Set goals related to your dairy goat project
  • Ramp up your judging skills
  • Learn about goat reproducing and the kidding process
  • Learn about disbudding, deworming, trimming, and tattooing
  • Identify sick animals, treatments, and how to prevent disease

Going Further

  • Learn body condition scoring
  • Debate animal welfare issues
  • Use records to make herd management decisions
  • Balance a dairy ration
  • Learn about breeding and reproduction techniques


Resources

Take Your Project Further!

  • Tour a dairy goat operation
  • Educate your community about the dairy goat industry
  • Research dairy goat by-products
  • Make your own dairy goat by-products like cheese or soap
  • Compare the differences in dairy cattle and dairy goat milk and cheese production
  • Attend a local, state, or national dairy goat show and listen to the judge give oral reasons
  • Take a trip to your local feed store or feed mill to learn about goat nutrition
  • Take a trip to the zoo to learn about how they use and care for goats
  • Learn about goat fiber products

Applying Project Skills to Life

Enhance Your Communication Skills

  • Teach others about showmanship techniques
  • Give a speech on how goats are part of the dairy industry

Get Involved in Citizenship and Service

  • Use goats milk to make soap and donate it to a local shelter
  • Take your goats to a petting zoo, daycare, or elementary school to teach others about the goat industry
  • Be a part of a dairy promotion event

Learn about Leadership

  • Arrange for your club or project group to tour a dairy goat farm, or give a tour of your dairy goat facilities
  • Plan a workshop to inform the public about the value of goat’s milk

Showing What You’ve Learned

  • Assemble an emergency goat medical kit
  • Make a poster on how to properly tattoo your dairy goat
  • Design a poster on the many dairy breeds
  • Create a display on proper selection and how to judge dairy goats
  • A display on proper feed rations
  • Prepare a dairy goat show kit
  • Describe the proper terms when talking about dairy goats
  • How to properly register and keep records on your animals
  • Compare and contrast the dairy breeds and their positive traits
  • Make a scrapbook of your animal(s)
  • Exhibit your goat at your county fair and the Wisconsin State Fair
  • Exhibit a goat by-product you made
  • Make a display of plants that are poisonous to goats


Adapted with permission from Wyoming State 4-H, Project Information Sheet, Dairy Goats. Retrieved from: https://www.uwyo.edu/4-h/projects/animal-science/goats-dairy.html.

*Resources available at your local Extension office or shop4-H.org.


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