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San Clemente Island

Dairy Goats

Bare Bar(TM) soap courtesy of Jenny Couch

Although San Clemente Island goats have not been "bred up" to today's dairy goat standard, there is no reason why they should not have the potential to be good milkers. We're seeking breeders who are interested in milking their San Clemente Island goats to help us survey the breed from a dairy standpoint.

If you're interested in sending in some San Clemente Island goat milk to be tested do the following:

  • Milk your goat when the kids have been off of her for a few hours.
  • The first two squirts usually go "in the gutter" but you may want to include them for butterfat testing
  • Make sure you get a full milking, not just a few squirts. The milk containing the highest butterfat will be at the end of the milking.
  • Don't worry if you can't get a lot of milk. Get all you can from your goat, and even if it turns out to be less than 1/4 cup, that should still be enough to send in to the lab.
  • Pack a sample of milk and mail it to your local lab (not to us!) including any fee. If your dairy friends start talking about preservers and test tubes, don't let it throw you. Every lab listed on your state's page will also accept samples that are packed in double ziploc bags, or a sterile bottle if you have one (pill bottles can be used if sterilized.) Use one of those little blue ice packs to keep it cold in transit, and try to mail it so it arrives earlier in the week, not on a weekend.
  • Have the milk tested for fat and solids—Saanens and Alpines run at about 3.5% butterfat, Nigerian Dwarves test at about 6%. The higher the fat, the creamier the milk, the better the cheese (if you like it creamy). Fresh forage will increase butterfat levels more than grain will.
  • And while you're at it, you may want to test the milk for bacteria (coliform from the pipes can be in their drinking water, and will pass through into the milk) and have a somatic cell count done (will be early indicator of mastitis).

THEN, please contact us with the results. It will help us all get a better profile of San Clemente Island goats. We're posting milk test/state lab contacts on your state's page as we go.

Can you milk goats that have supernumerary teats? Sure! One of our breeders milks hers twice daily, and gets about 2½ lbs. per day. You use the same action with your hand, there's just a little more there, and most of it goes where it should.

Another breeder found that two teats on one side of the udder were functional, whereas only one extra teat on the opposite side was functional. Not only that, but she suspects that the side with two functional teats also included two cisterns.

Milk Test Results

Let's see what these goats can do!

Heamour Farm Vindaloo tested at 5.42% butterfat in September 2007.

SVF 45 (Charlotte) tested at 6.97% butterfat.

Snowflake tested at 6.0% butterfat.

Tom's doe Lily tested 4.05% butterfat in August 2014.

One California breeder reports that her goats give a high yeild of "extremely creamy" milk, results forthcoming.

Another California breeder reports well-formed udders and 1 litre per day milk yield, butterfat content to be tested soon.

A Canadian breeder reports their goats as testing high in butterfat, no figures received yet.

We really need everyone to try milk testing their San Clemente Island goats. So far, they're looking pretty good! Your local testing site should be available by selecting your state from the Breeder Map page. It will be interesting to see whether these goats will be bred for meat, dairy, cashmere, or all of it.

Does your goat have extra teats? Whether it does or not, please read about supernumerary teats on San Clemente Island goats on our Superteats page.

San Clemente Island Doe photo by Dianne Nelson Little River doe

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San Clemente Island Goat Association
3037 Halfway Road
The Plains, VA 20198