Author(s): Katie Normet
The ideal reliable guide to goat-keeping for the new commercial enterprise or the small hobby farm.
A city kid, Katie Normet discovered a fascination for large animals early in her life, one that led her to study animal sciences at one of Canada's most distinguished agricultural colleges. While there, Normet rubbed shoulders with fellow classmates from farming backgrounds and caught another bug: the urge to make a living raising animals.
Today, she and her family run River's Edge Dairy in Central Ontario, where Katie oversees a herd of some 75 goats which produce more than 50,000 liters of milk a year. Much of this milk is transformed into delicious yogurt, cheeses and unique goat-butter tarts, as well as soaps and moisturizing creams, which Normet sells directly from the farm and at local markets.
Raising and Keeping Dairy Goats is Normet's account of the daily challenges and rewards of life as a goat farmer, from her experience rehabilitating a farm from the ground up to learning firsthand the ins and outs of acquiring and caring for goats.
Normet's central piece of advice runs through her book like a commandment: Know your goat. Keeping eyes on each goat and noting even subtle changes in behavior and demeanor are key to managing a problem quickly and keeping your goat healthy.
Normet explores all the big-picture issues in goat husbandry, including:
There are also chapters on cheese making and soap making with tips and recipes.
While the author doesn't gloss over the responsibilities of early-morning milkings and late-night kidding dramas, she deftly communicates the innate appeal of one of nature's most charming and charismatic domesticated animals. For Normet, every inconvenience is a blessing in disguise, and whether readers are preparing to launch their own commercial enterprise or simply interested in providing goat milk for their family, her story will serve as a reliable guide.
Katie Normet is an owner and partner of River's Edge Goat Dairy, a small dairy goat farm in Ontario. Much of Katie's time is spent with the goats, making cheese or soap, selling at Farmers' Markets, speaking at events, teaching or with her husband and five human kids.