Starting in 4H, Deborah has been raising purebred French Alpine dairy goats since the 1970's. Later on, her children, Serena and Seth had Alpines in 4-H, and even though no one is in 4-H any longer, the French Alpines endure.
These days, with all our technology and "time saving" gadgets we find ourselves busier than ever. Many people desiring a superior raw milk supply would like to have their own milk goat but are discouraged by the time requirements for twice daily milking. Well folks, I'm right there with you. Having to milk goats twice a day isn't going to happen, and hasn't for quite some time. I don't like to waste food so for me and many others, a doe which gives 1/2 to 1 gallon a day is plenty. If you happen to miss a day on occasion, she will forgive you and be real glad for the next milking. In addition, I don't like to be chained to the milk stand for ten minutes while I milk two gallons of milk (that's 16 lbs) out of a huge doe. And remember, this milk comes daily so it needs to have a use or it's a lot of work for absolutely nothing. By the same token, I don't want to milk a miniature goat with tiny teats for a tiny amount of milk.
So through the years, we have bred for a correctly built, moderately sized doe with an exceptionally well attached udder which is easy and fast to milk out. Moderate sized goats are more feed efficient and easier to handle than a huge doe.
At kidding time we have a "happy medium" management system. The does are with their kids for the first few weeks, then they go out to graze during the day while the kids stay in the kid pen, returning to be with them all night. This way, the does will "build an udder" and can be milked if a supply is needed for a cheese batch before returning to their kids, or they can be nursed out by their kids over the night. Generally the kids will keep up with draining the doe, but if she only has a single kid and/or is a higher producer, it is easy enough to milk her once a day.
AND, French Alpines are NOT to be confused with American Alpines! French Alpines are purebred and all descend from the original importations from France early in the last century. They are not mixed with other breeds as are American Alpines and should not be confused with them. The French Alpines are typically slightly smaller in stature, with their distinctive erect, tipped-up-at-the-tip ears. They are productive, hardy, quiet and extremely elegant. Their milk is delicious and well suited for all uses. They are the ideal family goat.
Goats are also a benefit to gardeners and anyone wishing sustainability; their composted manure feeds all plants and goats are excellent weeders and consumers of extra garden produce and brush and will even "recycle" eat your old Christmas tree as well (leaving the trunk for firewood). If your milkers graze poison oak or poison ivy, after consuming their milk for several months you will be bullet -proof to any skin irritation of those plants. I know; when my does grazed poison oak after a while I could sleep in the stuff with no reaction what so ever. So read on and discover a new way to wholesome food and independence.......