book review: Raising Goats Naturally


I know that many of you who stop in (whenever I finally get around to writing, as of late) are interested in raising your own food, maybe even homesteading, and when I found out Deborah Niemann  was releasing another book I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and then share it here with you.

I was first introduced to Deborah’s writing, back when we were preparing to move to the farm, through her book Homegrown and Handmade. It was just what I needed at the time; it boosted my confidence in the idea that yes, we could take on so many new challenges…and succeed. The book felt like a comforting and reassuring friend every time I curled up on the couch with it while dreaming of our someday homestead.

Shortly after acquiring our goats I found out that her new book Raising Goats Naturally: The Complete Guide to Milk. Meat and More was about to hit the shelves. It felt serendipitous to say the least. Being that we choose to raise all of our livestock organically, and as close to naturally as possible, this book was just what we needed. Rather than spending hours scanning the internet for information, and making one too many phone calls to our very patient and kind vet, the majority of answers to our (sadly frequent) questions can be found in this lovely resource.

The book is well laid out, covering a wealth of information in its over 250 pages. I love that it is filled cover to cover with scientific based information and that it also contains firsthand (often humorous) accounts of Deborah and her family’s experiences during their ten plus years of keeping goats on their homestead. (A little commiserating always goes a long way. Don’t you think?) She covers everything from breeding, kidding and pasture rotation- to milking, soap-making and butchering, along with recipes that she has created or tweaked using both milk and meat. The book also delves into feeding, parasite control, herd protection and fencing all while emphasizing natural practices. Helpful and informative pictures are also included throughout, especially in the birthing chapter, which is beneficial when you are in the midst of a birth wondering if what you are seeing is, well, what you should be seeing!

While the text is dedicated mostly to dairy goats, which is what Deborah’s herd is, I still found the book helpful in regards to our meat goat herd. The health, parasite and feed chapters are ones I will go back to, over and over, in the coming years. If you are interested in transitioning your current herd to more natural practices, are already keeping goats or are looking to establish a herd of your own this would be an indispensable resource to have in you bookcase. Once again, Ms. Niemann has provided me with reassurance and a boost in confidence…this time that we can give our goats what they need, and what will make them happy, while they reside here with us.

If you are interested in purchasing Raising Goats Naturally (or one of her other two books for that matter) you can do so here, straight from Deborah’s website. If you want to read more about all aspects of her and her family’s homesteading experience check out her blogs here and here.

**I am not receiving compensation from any sales that result from this post. I simply think it is a fantastic resource and wanted to share it with all of you! Now what are you waiting for? Go get a copy! 🙂

4 thoughts on “book review: Raising Goats Naturally

  1. I made a big life change to be able to save for the next year to buy a farmhouse where I live. It’s exciting to make a big leap like this and I cannot wait to live a sustainable life and work with my hands. My guy and I already agreed on free range chickens and beekeeping, but were lost on other animals to join us. I’ve been toying with the idea of goats, but felt too frightened because of my lack of knowledge. This book seems perfect! Can’t wait to order it. Thanks for the great share 🙂

    • Caitlin,

      That’s fantastic! I am beyond excited for you both. It will be the hardest but most rewarding experience of your lives and being able to do it together will make it even sweeter- at least most days. 😉

      I think a couple of small breed dairy goats is a great way to start out with livestock. Not only are they a big bang for your buck (milk, cheese and soap coming out your ears) they are unbelievably entertaining…Farm-O-Vison at its finest!

      If you ever have questions about anything while starting out on your new journey, just ask. I always love to talk homesteading, obviously! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s