For the Love of Goats-logo

For the Love of Goats

Kids & Family Podcasts

We are talking about everything goats! Whether you're an owner, a breeder, or just a fan of these wonderful creatures, we've got you covered. Join host and author Deborah Niemann as she interviews experts and goat lovers so we can all learn more about how to improve the health and production of our goats, improve our relationships, and possibly even start a goat business.

We are talking about everything goats! Whether you're an owner, a breeder, or just a fan of these wonderful creatures, we've got you covered. Join host and author Deborah Niemann as she interviews experts and goat lovers so we can all learn more about how to improve the health and production of our goats, improve our relationships, and possibly even start a goat business.


United States


We are talking about everything goats! Whether you're an owner, a breeder, or just a fan of these wonderful creatures, we've got you covered. Join host and author Deborah Niemann as she interviews experts and goat lovers so we can all learn more about how to improve the health and production of our goats, improve our relationships, and possibly even start a goat business.






Can Goats be Raised Naturally?

It's not uncommon for someone to contact me about a goat problem that they have, and to resist doing anything "unnatural," such as providing a commercial mineral for their goats. What most people don't realize is that they aren't raising their goats naturally to begin with. In this episode, I'm talking about why my book is called Raising Goats Naturally, what that means, and what it does not mean. I also talk about the five reasons it is impossible for most of us to raise goats naturally in...


Experimental Goats

If a herd has more than one breed of goat, odds are good that they also have some experimental goats, which are crosses of other purebred standard-sized goats. Bucks are determined creatures, and unplanned breedings happen in most herds. However, there is a huge difference between accidental crosses and crosses that are planned to create the best goats to meet your goals. For Erika McKenzie, head cheesemaker and dairy herd manager at Pennyroyal Farm, that means creating crosses of her three...


Toggenburg Goats

If you are interested in a medium-sized goat for milking, you should consider the Toggenburg, which is always a shade of brown, somewhere between tan and dark chocolate. The Toggenburg goat's butterfat average is the lowest of the dairy breeds, but it still makes great cheese. Today we are talking to Leslie Cardoza owner of Bar XX Dairy Goats, who has been breeding Toggenburgs for milk and show in California since 2003. She has had goats on the ADGA Top Ten list for milk production every...


Sable Goats

If you are looking for a larger dairy goat that produces a lot of milk and has fairly low butterfat, then the Sable goat might be the one for you, especially if you like the idea of having a breed that is not very common. In this episode, I'm talking to Klisse Foster who has been raising Sable goats since the 1980s. Her goats are often on the American Dairy Goat Association's Top Ten list for milk production. She shows her goats too and can usually be found at the ADGA national show, even...


Nubian Goats and Cheesemaking

Today's episode started as a discussion of Nubian goats with Joanne Danielson who has been raising them for 40 years. However, because of Jo's experience as a professional cheesemaker, it quickly turned into a deep dive into the science of cheesemaking and how starting with the right goats can make all the difference. At 5%, Nubian goats have the highest butterfat of any of the standard breeds. But because Jo is serious about making the best cheese, she has incorporated genetic testing into...


Choosing a Goat Breed for Your Farm

It can be so challenging to choose a breed of goat to raise. But you should not choose your goats like you choose pets, which is often based on appearance, color, or size. If you want your goats to serve a purpose, such as dairy or meat, you really should choose the breed that is going to help you meet your goals. Since we don't drink milk, our goat milk is almost all used exclusively for making cheese, which is why we have Nigerian dwarf. Since they have the highest butterfat of any breed,...


Iodine Deficiency in Goats

As I've received more messages from people with kids born hairless or with goiters, I've become more interested in the topic of iodine and goats because those symptoms occur in kids that are iodine deficient. You don't usually hear anyone talking about iodine and goats unless the topic of kelp comes up, and then the conversation can swing wildly between people worried about deficiency or toxicity. In today's episode, I am joined again by Dr. Robert VanSaun, Professor of Veterinary Science...


Q-Fever and Coxiellosis

Coxiella burnetii is the bacteria that causes coxiellosis in goats and Q-fever in humans, and although it is not super common, all goat owners need to be aware of it so that they can prevent their goats and themselves from being infected. Coxiellosis in goats is highly infectious and can cause abortion storms in herds. Humans can be infected via aerosols (like COVID), birth secretions, feces, and raw milk. This disease can be especially bad in pregnant women. In this episode, I am talking...


Goats in a Hand-Harvested Food Year

Have you ever wanted to produce 100% of your food? Well, that's exactly what Alexia Allen and her husband Daniel Kirchhof did in 2017. In this episode, she talks about how goats played a central role in their year of hand-harvested food. They ate nothing — not even salt — that was not harvested by them or their friends. How did they get the idea to go a whole year without purchased food? What did they do to prepare? How did goats fit into the picture? Alexia talks about her experience...


Nutritional Wisdom of Goats

Although everyone pretty much agrees that goats do a good job of consuming just the right amount of loose minerals when they are available free choice, there are still a lot of people who don't think goats (or other animals) can selectively choose to consume plants that they need when they need them. The concept of "nutritional wisdom" is something that Dr. Fred Provenza wound up studying throughout his career at Utah State University. I've heard about Dr. Provenza's research for about as...


Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Nigerian Dwarf Goats

After writing about our experience when one of our does had squamous cell carcinoma, I've been contacted by quite a few other goat owners who have had a goat that also had that form of skin cancer. But Mary Brennan really got my attention when she emailed and told me she has had six goats with confirmed squamous cell carcinoma! She noticed that some of the goats were related, which caused her to dive deep into the history of the Nigerian dwarf breed, as well as skin cancer in other species....


Microchipping Goats

Someone emailed me after her first experience tattooing goats and said, "There has to be a better way to identify goats. What can you tell me about microchips?" Luckily I had already scheduled an interview with Allysse Sorenson, Chief Executive Herder of The Munch Bunch and webmaster at Allysse has microchipped all of her caprine "employees" to not only identify them but also to keep track of them. In this episode, we are talking about why she decided to microchip her goats,...


Zinc for Goats

Zinc deficiency is often suspected when a goat is losing hair, but there are other reasons for hair loss, and that is not the only symptom of zinc deficiency. In this episode, we are talking about zinc with Dr. Robert VanSaun from the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences at Pennsylvania State University. First, he talks about how zinc affects 200 different functions in the body, and it is unfortunately deficient in all forage in the U.S. Goats need at least 40 ppm zinc in their...


Sheep vs. Goats

Some people talk about sheep and goats as if they are practically the same species, but nothing could be further from the truth. I've been breeding and milking Nigerian dwarf goats since 2002 and LaMancha goats for about 10 years. It may come as a surprise that I also bred Shetland sheep for 12 years and have had Katahdin hair sheep for six years now. In this episode, I am talking about how the two species are similar and different and why you might prefer one species over the other. Full...


Showing Goats

When my daughters were teenagers, they loved showing our goats. It was a great way for us to learn about goat conformation and to see how our goats compared to others. It also provided an opportunity for us to meet other goat owners. In this episode, we are talking to Ellen Dorsey of Dill's-A Little Goat Farm in Oklahoma, who has been raising goats for two decades and showing for almost as many years. She talks about why she started showing goats and provides tips for anyone who wants to...


Common But Unimportant Worms in Goats

Because barber pole worm (haemonchus contortus) causes so many deaths among goats, we don't talk about other worms much. Barber pole is the worm that sucks blood and causes goats to become anemic, which can cause a goat to go downhill rapidly and even die. Goats can be walking around with a host of other worms in their body, however, and ironically most of those worms are unimportant and don't cause disease. So, why are we talking about them? Because most people think that all worms must be...


Genetic Resistance to Worms in Goats

If you have goats for very long, you may realize that some never need deworming while others need it frequently. There is definitely a genetic component involved in a goat's natural resistance or resilience to worms. In this episode I'm talking to Andrew Weaver, Ph.D., Small Ruminants Extension Specialist at North Carolina State University about genetic resistance to worms in goats and sheep. Although there has been a lot more research done on genetic resistance in sheep, goat owners can...


Healthy Weeds and Poisonous Plants

If you look online for a list of plants that are poisonous to goats, you might think you need to chop down trees and pull up dozens of weeds to keep your goats safe. Those lists can include things like oak and maple leaves, which my goats eat regularly because my farm is covered with them. The fact is that goats actually have a much higher tolerance for poisonous plants than horses and some other animals. So, what's a conscientious goat owner to do? In this episode, I'm talking to Kim...


Scrapie in Goats and Sheep

If you ever wanted to sell your goats or sheep to someone in another country, then you are already familiar with the US's problem with scrapie. It's not a huge problem, but having anything more than zero cases for seven years means that most countries will not allow our sheep and goats to be imported into their country. In this episode, I am talking to Charles Gaiser, DVM, MPH, DACVPM, who is a sheep and goat epidemiologist with the USDA, APHIS (Animal Plant Health Inspection Service), VS...


Agritourism on Ten Apple Farm

Margaret Hathaway and Karl Schatz first entered our lives in 2004 during their Year of the Goat when they traveled from coast to coast learning about all things goat. They were enamored with these amazing creatures, and they knew they wanted to do something with goats. But what? Instead of just reading a couple of books, they decided to literally write a book, as they visited goat dairies, the circus, pack goat operations, slaughterhouses, and even homesteads that had goats as an integral...