Facts About Goat Milk

On a worldwide basis, more people drink the milk of goats than any other single animal.

Goat milk has a more easily digestible fat and protein content than cow milk. The increased digestibility of protein is of importance to infant diets (both human and animal), as well as to invalid and convalescent diets. Furthermore, glycerol ethers are much higher in goat than in cow milk which appears to be important for the nutrition of the nursing newborn.

Goat milk tends to have a better buffering quality, which is good for the treatment of ulcers.

Goat milk can successfully replace cow milk in diets of those who are allergic to cow milk.

The natural homogenization of goat milk is, from a human health standpoint, much better than the mechanically homogenized cow milk product. It appears that when fat globules are forcibly broken up by mechanical means, it allows an enzyme associated with milk fat, known as xanthine oxidase, to become free and penetrate the intestinal wall. Once xanthine oxidase gets through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream, it is capable of creating scar damage to the heart and arteries, which in turn may stimulate the body to release cholesterol into the blood in an attempt to lay a protective fatty material on the scarred areas. This can lead to arteriosclerosis.

Many dairy goats, in their prime, average 6 to 8 pounds of milk daily (roughly 3 to 4 quarts) during a ten-month lactation, giving more soon after freshening and gradually dropping in production toward the end of their lactation. The milk generally averages 3.5 percent butterfat. [NOTE: Pampatike does who freshened in April 2004 average 8-10 pounds of milk daily containing 4.2 percent (average) butterfat based on monthly tests conducted under the national Dairy Herd Improvement Program; does who freshened November 2003 are producing about 5 pounds per day containing 4.7 percent (average) butterfat.] A doe may be expected to reach her heaviest production during her third or fourth lactation.

Sources: American Dairy Goat Association [www.adga.org]

DHIR Herd Data for Herd No. 52-50-5001 (Pamptiake Nubian Dairy Goats), 5/28/04

Table 1. Comparison of (Average) Nutritional Value of Goat, Cow, and Human Milk

Properties Goat Milk Cow Milk Human Milk
Protein (%) 3.0 3.0 1.1
Butterfat (%) 3.8 3.6 4.0
Calories (per 100 ml) 70 69 68
Vitamin A (i.u. per gram of fat) 39 21 32
Vitamin B1/Thiamine (µg per 100 ml) 68 45 17
Riboflavin (µg per 100 ml) 210 159 26
Vitamin C (mg ascorbic acid per 100 ml) 2 2 3
Vitamin D (i.u. per gram fat) 0.7 0.7 0.3
Calcium (%) 0.19 0.18 0.04
Iron (%) 0.07 0.06 0.2
Phosphorus (%) 0.27 0.23 0.06
Cholesterol (mg per 100 ml) 12 15 20

Notes: µg = microgram. i.u. = international units. 100 ml = about 3.38 fluid ounces.

Sources: Dronen, Karyl. April 1990. "Nutritional Composition of Goat Milk Products in the U.S." Dairy Goat Journal.

Pennington, Jean A.T., and Helen Nichols Church. 1985. Bowen and Church Food Values of Portions Commonly Used. J.B. Lippincott, Philadelphia.

Renner, Edmund. 1983. Milk and Dairy Products in Human Nutrition. W.G. Mott. University of Glessen, Munich, Germany.

Table 2. Comparison of (Average) Nutritional Value of Goat and Cow Cheese

Properties (per ounce) Chevre (Soft Goat Cheese) Cow Cream Cheese
Calories 69.4 99.5
Protein (grams) 4 2.1
Fat (grams) 5.5 10.0
Cholesterol (mg) 17.6 30.5
Sodium (mg) 83.4 84.5
Calories from fat (%) 70.4 95.0

Source: American Dairy Goat Association [www.adga.org]