Milk, butter and cheese
A goat being milked on an organic farm.Some goats are bred for milk, which can be drunk fresh, although pasteurization is recommended to reduce naturally occurring bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. If the strong-smelling buck is not separated from the does, his scent will affect the milk. Goat's milk is commonly processed into cheese, goat butter, ice cream, cajeta and other products.
Goat's milk can replace sheep milk or cow's milk in diets of those who are allergic. However, like cow's milk, goat's milk has lactose (sugar), and may cause gastrointestinal problems for individuals with lactose intolerance.
Goat's milk naturally has small fat globules, which means the cream remains suspended in the milk, instead of rising to the top, as in raw cow's milk; therefore, it does not need to be homogenized.
Many dairy goats, in their prime, average 6 to 8 pounds (2.7 to 3.6 kg) of milk daily (roughly 3 to 4 US quarts (2.7 to 3.6 liters)) during a ten-month lactation, producing more after freshening and gradually dropping in production toward the end of their lactation. The milk generally averages 3.5 percent butterfat. A doe may be expected to reach her heaviest production during her third or fourth lactation. It is also said that "formula derived from goat's milk is unsuitable for babies who are lactose intolerant as it contains levels of lactose similar to cow's-milk-based infant formulae."
Goat butter is white because goats produce milk with the yellow beta-carotene converted to a colorless form of vitamin A.
Goat cheese is known as chèvre in France, after the French word for "goat". Some varieties include Rocamadour and Montrachet.