Welfare is a Top Priority
Delamere Dairy operates a strict, independently monitored, Farm Assurance and Welfare Code which means our goats' milk comes from the healthy, happy goats. Most of the goats producing our milk are white British Saanens, a really good milking breed. They're also very good natured, inquisitive and playful which makes them fun to work with (it's tempting to say they like to kid around!!).
The milk is not classified as 'organic' but we adopt as many standards as possible. All our farms operate low input systems in terms of fertilisers and all the goats' manure is spread back on the land. We treat sick animals with antibiotics, but only if absolutely necessary. We're still a relatively young industry so we're perfectly placed to learn from mistakes made in other areas of livestock farming, then make sure we don't repeat them! For example, we don't push the goats for every last drop of milk or place them in stressful environments, keeping veterinary problems to a minimum.
Our goats enjoy all of life's home comforts in airy, draft-free, barns with a deep bedding of straw and plenty of space for 'getting away' from the group
Home Sweet Home
Our goats enjoy all of life's home comforts in airy, draft-free, barns with a deep bedding of straw and plenty of space for 'getting away' from the group - standards closely monitored by the Welfare Code. These groups are decided according to when the goats are going to kid. We don't mix the groups, simply because goats develop a strong social hierarchy.
Every goat is individually identified and a good herdsman knows them all, often by looking at their udder rather than their face! If you're wondering why they're not commonly kept outdoors, it's because they don't have the oil in their coats that sheep do to protect them from the wind and rain. The big softies like it indoors, although some farmers allow them to 'summer' outdoors, and leave the barns open for them to wander in and out!
Food Glorious Food
It's a goat's life! Waited on hand and foot, with 'room service' delivering the perfect menu of food for them to browse and eat as they choose. Forget the idea of goats eating everything from the washing to a prickly hedge. Given the right feed, they meticulously pick out all their favourite bits. They're also browsers, not grazers, so could survive on rough scrub. In these pampered conditions, a typical diet consists of silage, hay and straw with a blend of cereals to balance their nutrient intake. Perfect for delivering the fresh milk that tastes so good on your cereal.
Forget the idea of goats eating everything from the washing to a prickly hedge. Given the right feed, they meticulously pick out all their favourite bits!