March 13, 2012.
By Rod Kirkpatrick
This is the first year Britons will drink more than two million litres of goats’ milk and the farmer who has Britain’s largest grazing goat herd thanks the dry weather for helping to keep his goats happy and smiling.
“Goats really don’t like rain – we need someone here to let them in if it rains,” said Nick Brandon, 60, who farms a huge, three thousand strong herd on his farm in Staffordshire. “Unlike sheep, goats don’t have lanolin in their coats – they can’t cope with the wet. They get miserable and could easily get pneumonia if we left them out in the rain.
“Goats are far more labour and capital expensive than cows. We have to let them in straight away when it rains. They like desert or very dry conditions – not the damp we are used to here. Obviously I’d be worried about the grass they graze on if the drought continues but in the meantime the goats love being outside when it’s warm and dry.
“We started our first small milking goat herd 16 years ago. In 2002 we were miking 600 – that’s now risen to 1,800 animals and we have another 2000 kids expected this spring, explained Nick.
Inside the milking parlour at Upper Enson Farm near Stafford there is huge walk-on-walk-off rotary milking machine – the largest of its kind – that takes up to eighty animals at a time. Each goat produces about three litres of milk per day.
“We’ve seen an eleven percent increase on last year’s production. We expanded the herd and increased efficiency, otherwise we’d be struggling against the tide of the supermarkets controlling prices.
Liz Sutton, from Delamere Dairy said: “Twenty five years ago it was almost impossible to buy goats’ milk in Britain, but it’s now become widely available as people discover the health benefits.
“It all started in the late 80s when a few farmers took a punt and began farming goats commercially. This coincided with the growth in supermarkets and their desire to offer more choice to the consumer. They began to offer a whole range of dairy produce – both milk and cheese. Now you can get it in all supermarkets. We’re also set to eat more than 2000 tons of goats’ cheese this year.”
Goats milk has become a popular alternative to cows milk for children, eczema and asthma sufferers, the elderly and others who have allergies to cows milk.
Ten Benefits of Goat Milk
Goat’s milk offers a wide variety of health benefits, with very few of the negative side effects of drinking regular cow milk.
1. Natural Anti-Inflammatory
Some research suggests that one of the main benefits of goat milk is that it may hold anti-inflammatory capacities. Another reason why it is easier for people with bowel inflammation to drink goat’s milk, instead of cow’s milk.
2. Environmentally Friendly
Goats requires far less space and food than cows. Typically, you can comfortably raise six goats on the same acreage as two cows.
3. Metabolic agent
Studies done at the USDA and Prairie View A&M University, link goat’s milk to an increased ability to metabolize iron and copper, especially amongst individuals with digestion and absorption limitations. Besides drinking goat’s milk, you can also take adigestive enzymes supplement to help with this also.
Another main health benefit of goat milk, is that it is closer to human mother’s milk than cow’s milk is. Because it has a chemical make up that is much closer to human milk, it is easier to digest and assimilate in the human body
5. Lower in Fat
Goat’s milk is a great option for people who want to lose weight. It has less fat, but still maintains the high levels of proteins and essential amino acids found in cow’s milk.
6. High in Fatty Acids
While cow’s milk has about seventeen percent fatty acids, goat’s milk averages thirty five percent fatty acids, making it more nutritionally wholesome. In fact, up to 50% of people with lactose intolerance to cow’s milk find that they can easily digest goat’s milk, especially if it is raw.
Many people worry that they need to drink cow’s milk for calcium intake and the prevention of bone loss. Goat’s milk also offers high amounts of calcium, the amino acid tryptophan, and much less side effects of drinking cow’s milk. It’s just one of the many foods high in calcium.
While drinking cow’s milk is a common reason for allergies and excess mucous, goat’s milk is not. Cow’s milk is high in fat, which may increase mucous build-up. Moreover, the fat globules in goat’s milk are one ninth the size of those found in cow’s milk, another possible reason why it does not produce irritation in the gut.
In Naturopathic medicine, goat’s are referred to as bioorganic sodium animals. They are also associated with vigour, flexibility and vitality. Cows are calcium animals known for stability and heaviness. Bioorganic sodium is an important element in keeping joints mobile and limber. Goat milk has traditionally been used in medicinal cultures to nourish and regenerate an over-taxed nervous system. Goat’s milk is also extremely nutrient dense. It has almost 35% of your daily needs for calcium in one cup. Extremely high in riboflavin, just one cup of goat’s milk offers 20.0% of our daily needs. Add to that high amounts of phosphorous, Vitamin B12, protein and potassium. In fact, Ghandi himself restored his own health after extremely long periods of fasting through drinking raw goat’s milk.
10. Less toxic than Cow’s Milk
Whereas most cow’s milk is pumped full of bovine growth hormones as well as a substance known as bovine somatotropin, a hormone specific for increasing milk production in an unnatural way, goat’s are rarely treated with these substances. Because of its use on the fringes of big agriculture, goat’s milk is not only more nutritious for you, but also less toxic.