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Dairy Farmer Made The Switch To Goats
After decades working as a dairyman following the tradition his grandfather started in 1919, Wendell Crow is now an enthusiastic owner of a herd of dairy goats. He and his wife, Rhonda, with their five employees care for 350 Nubian goats, and make fresh cheese every day to sell to distributors that sell to high-end restaurants in the Phoenix and Scottsdale area. Crow’s Dairy, Inc., also offers self-service sales from its Buckeye, Arizona farm.
Modifications to the barn and corrals were fairly easy and inexpensive - pulling out the herringbone stalls and replacing them with parallel stalls for goats in the milking parlor and adding cattle panels to the barbed wire fences.
But there were also adaptations with goats to “handle the milk right” to keep it sweet tasting for good milk and cheese.
“You can’t send it through high speed pumps and foam it up. We use delicate liquid pumps,” Crow says.
The Crows keep the bucks separate from the females until breeding time to avoid the males’ strong odor from getting into the milk. A big challenge of raising goats in Arizona comes in the winter when pregnant goats dry up, during the peak time for sales to restaurants. Then sales drop during the hottest months of summer when restaurants have less demand.
The kids stay with their mothers for the first 2 mos. The nanny goats are milked twice a day and still have enough to fatten their babies faster than bottle-fed goats.
The Nubians produce about a gallon of milk a day with 5 to 9 percent butterfat; 200 gal. of milk makes 400 lbs. of cheese. Profits are higher (up to $10/gal. of milk and cheese netting $200 to $400/hundredweight of milk) and inputs are about 10 percent compared to the cost of cows’ feed and other expenses.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Crow’s Dairy Inc, 11300 S Dean Rd., Buckeye, Arizona 85326 (ph 623 936-3355; www.crowsdairy.com; wendell@crowsdairy.com).

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #3