What A Goat’s Ears Can Tell You
We’re buzzing with excitement that The Goatery’s Creamery is now open. So, we thought we’d throw a little goat knowledge your way to keep in mind the next time you visit. Missy Farkouh, owner of The Goatery, shared some fun facts about goats and how the lengths of their ears can be an indicator of what kind of milk they provide.
Different breeds of goats produce different levels of butterfat in their milk. Butterfat is the fatty portion of milk and the higher the butterfat, the richer the milk. While cow’s milk typically contains about 5% butterfat, goat milk can range up to 10%. At the Kiawah River Farm, we have several different goat breeds who give us a variety of milks.
How can you tell the difference between goat breeds? An easy way is to check out the length of their ears. It’s true! Read on for Missy’s insights on the goats that are lucky enough to call The Goatery home.
Do you remember Don Quixote? It’s one of Missy’s favorite books, about the Man of La Mancha, the region of Spain these goats are originally from. The Lamanchas were the first goats in America and were brought here by the Spanish Conquistadors. They are the little, short-eared cuties running the field. These goats can produce 1 to 2 gallons of milk a day, which contains a wonderful level of butterfat between 3 – 8%. That milk to butterfat ratio adds to a delicious creamy chevre. Their milk is also known for being a great substitute for sheep’s milk in Manchego cheese.
These beauties are the airplane ears of the farm. These amazing creatures’ milk has about the same butterfat to milk ratio of the Lamachas but is sweeter. When you think of sweet goat cheese, it’s more than likely from Alpines. They are superior milk producers – often the highest producers on the farm thanks to their larger size. The milk pairs perfectly with the sweetest southern peach or a juicy South Carolina strawberry.
Third, but not least, are the Nubians – Italian beauties known for producing the higher fat consistency to the quality of overall milk. The higher fat content helps bind other breeds of goat’s milk to make a midlevel farm chevre. The creamiest, yet spreadable, cheese around comes courtesy of our Nubians. Their chevre makes every charcuterie board a masterpiece.
While breed is an important contributor to the quality and type of our goats’ milk, it’s not the only factor. The constant variation of their diet and the humane treatment of the animal also impact the goats’ milk from the day they are born. The Goatery takes the care of their goats very seriously—animals deserve respect and value, and at the end of the day the farmer works for the animal. Every time a doe (female goat) walks off the line, she is thanked for her donation to a healthier human existence. But we cannot thank them enough for what they do to make us successful. To show our appreciation, we provide them with the most beautiful existence possible at Kiawah River. We live strongly by our motto: When an animal is at peace, it produces enough milk to support its livelihood, and to share with us.