We will have herd shares available beginning in April of 2017.
Please get in touch with us if your interested in one of our herd shares.
2017 Herd Share Pricing:
Herd Share Purchase price: $40
Option A -$45 a month, Full Share, 1 gallon of milk weekly
Option B - $24 a month, Half Share, half gallon of milk weekly
Option C - $25 a month, Cheese Share, Chevre Cheese
I am excited to announce that we are now on DHIA Milk Test. Dairy Herd Improvement Association.
What this means is we are now testing our freshened does once a month. During this monthly test we weigh each does milk volume for both milkings. We will also take milk samples from each doe/milking and send it off to a lab to be tested.
There are a few tests run on the individual milk samples. Protein & Butterfat percentages and also Somatic Cell (cleanliness/udder health).
We are excited to be participating in Milk Testing and look forward to seeing the results from all of our does.
It is illegal (yes, illegal) to sell raw milk for human consumption in the state of Tennessee. However, it is perfectly legal to sell a share or shares of a dairy animal, and it is legal to drink the milk produced by an animal that you own, or partially own. While we could more easily sell milk for cosmetic/craft/pet purposes, we want to be in honest compliance with the law, knowing that whatever milk that leaves our farm will more than likely be consumed by humans.
You may purchase a share of the Russell?s Ridge Nubians herd of Dairy Goats for a one time fee of $40. This fee acts to reserve your milk on a weekly basis. From then on, you would pay a monthly fee of $45 for a full herd share, $24 for a half herd share or $25 for a cheese share for Russell?s Ridge Nubians to board, feed, milk, and care for your goat, or share of a goat. One full share entitles you to one gallon of milk per week. One half share entitles you to one half gallon of milk per week. A cheese share offers you Chevre cheese in a variety of flavors.
Russell?s Ridge Nubians retains all rights to board and care for your goat, kids birthed by your goat, and to make decisions regarding the goat's care and management. We also reserve the right to buy back your goat share at any time, less the cost of any unreturned milk containers.
Should you decide that you want dairy goats of your own on your own property, please see the "For Sale" page. Kids for sale will be listed as they are available.
While there are many benefits to drinking raw milk, you should be aware that there are also risks. Please take the time to educate yourself about these matters. We feel comfortable drinking, and allowing our children to drink the raw milk produced on our farm. You are more than welcome to come visit, look around, ask questions, etc.
What will my goat be fed?
The dairy girls here at Russell?s Ridge Nubians are fed alfalfa hay daily. Alfalfa is high in the protein and calcium they require to produce milk. Additionally, they are given a non-medicated grain ration while on the milk stand. They have access to baking soda (to keep the pH balance in their rumen just right) and minerals (because goats are not native to Middle TN, and our soil is deficient in certain minerals they require) at all times. Their water buckets are cleaned, and they are given fresh water daily. They have access to their pasture at all times. You are welcome to come look at their feed, hay, minerals, etc. at any time.
How will my milk be collected?
We milk morning and evening, doing our best to keep the interval as close to 12 hours as possible. We prepare the goat by first cleaning her teats and udder, and then milk each one by hand. The milk goes directly into a sanitized, stainless steel milk pail. As each goat is milked, once done, I transfer their milk into jars and top with lids. The purpose for this is to know exactly how much each goat is producing at each milking. From there, we take it in the house and filter it through dairy filters into glass jars. Plastic lids are placed on the jars and the milk is placed in an ice bath to rapidly cool the milk. Once cooled it is then placed in the refrigerator where it is kept until you pick it up. After milking, the goat's teats are coated with a protective spray or dip to help insure that no pathogens are able to get inside the udder through an open teat orifice. You are welcome to come watch or participate in an evening milking whenever you like!
What should I do when I receive my milk?
Care should be taken to keep your milk at or below refrigerator temperature. This will insure that it stays fresh and good tasting. Please bring a cooler to transport your milk until you can put it in your refrigerator. A frozen bottle of water in the cooler is a good way to keep the milk cold until you get it home.
How long will my milk stay fresh?
It is not unheard of for raw milk to still be good after two weeks or more. A safe rule of thumb, however, is one week. If you have more milk than you can use in a week, you may freeze it, make cheese, kefir, yogurt, or soap. We will write the day and time of milking (example: Wednesday, pm) on the lid of each jar, so that you can take care to use the milk before that time the following week.
What should I do with my milk containers?
Please wash them. While I will re-wash them, it is not fun to receive returned jars with caked on and moldy milk! Please return your clean, empty containers when you receive your next week's supply of milk. A $3 fee will be charged for each unreturned container.
What about medication?
We do not routinely medicate our girls. From time to time, a goat (like a human) may become ill and require medication. All milk from medicated does will be dumped for an appropriate withdrawal time. We will do our very best to insure you are still able to get your share of milk in these circumstances.
Are the goats tested for diseases?
Tennessee is a certified TB and Brucellosis free state, meaning that there have been no incidents of these diseases since the state's certification, and any new animals brought into the state have to have negative test results or come from another certified free state prior to entering the state. Additionally, all our goats come from herds that are also free of Johne's, CAE, and CL. We have seen no evidence that would suggest we need to continue to test for Johne's or CL. CAE, which does not affect humans but only goats, is a retrovirus, and as such, we test for CAE annually. All our goats are tested CAE negative as of November 2014. We are excited to announce that we have begun regular milk testing. This will give us additional information regarding our milk, such as percentages for butterfat and protein, as well as somatic cell counts (udder health) and coli form bacteria counts (milk handling cleanliness).
Will milk be available year round?
Goats, like all mammals, produce milk after giving birth. Does require being kept dry for a minimum of two months prior to kidding so they can put their energy into growing their babies in the final stage of gestation. We also let babies solely nurse for a minimum of 6 weeks before we start milking our does. We feel this is necessary to give the babies an excellent start to their new life. Nubian goats can generally be bred between September and February, and they have a five month gestation. There will be times of plenty at peak lactation, and times through the year that are leaner. There are a variety of ways to handle this in a herd share situation, either by taking more milk during the peak times and less at lean or by simply selling back a share. Communication is key here. We want you to be in the know about how your herd is producing, and we want to be accommodating to your needs as a shareholder.
What if I don't need my milk for a week or so?
You cannot legally sell your milk to someone else. In order to insure that we are in compliance with the law, we also ask that you not sell your share(s) to a third party. If prior arrangements are made, we can freeze your milk for you for the week you aren't able to pick it up, and you may have your frozen milk with the following week's delivery. Goats do not go on vacation as people do, and must be milked every day. We only have so much refrigerator and freezer space, so please keep that in mind. We will do our best to be accommodating, and ask that you do the same.
Thank you to Billie Sue Hallman @ Stoney Heights Farm for contributing information on raw milk and herd shares.