Utah Goat and Cow Share Bill


Take a Look at the Utah Goat and Cow Share Program

HB104   was passed into law in 2015, thanks to some hard working people who care about Utahans being able to obtain raw milk and raw milk products, without the producer having to put in an expensive licensed dairy.   My State Representative Marc Roberts and State Senate Representative Mark Madsen were instrumental, with the help of many people helping and supporting HB104, to get it passed.  I regret to say that I was not a part of this process, as I didn’t even find out about it until Feb 2016!  However, Northern Dawn is so happy about this new Bill.

Northern Dawn is participating in HB104 program

We at Northern Dawn have raised quality dairy goats since 2009.  Our goal is to provide for the consumer:

  • Quality miniature dairy goats with conformation and udder conformation that will stand by you through thick and thin
  • Provide long term milkers for milk consumers or people purchasing goats from us
  • Easy to milk and easy kidders
  • Dairy Herd Improvement Milk records to substantiate what our does do year after year, generation after generation
  • Work to get a program together where we at Northern Dawn can provide raw milk consumers access to our nutritious high quality raw milk and raw milk products

For around the past four years, we at Northern Dawn have been working with the Utah State Department of Agriculture, off and on, to find out what the current milk safety requirements are.  We have also been working with them to find out how to legalize a Raw to Retail Dairy in Utah.  The Utah Department of Agriculture has been most helpful.  Still, that system that is in place for a Raw to Retail Dairy didn’t hold exactly what we were looking for.  Also we didn’t have the money to put in the facility that was require.   Thus, we were stumped and stalled. 

The current Utah Dairy Act does not allow for people to sell raw milk off the farm and no transportation of milk by the producer or producer’s agent, unless the dairy owns at least 51% of an off-farm retail store.  Of course, that wouldn’t happen in our case.  We at Northern Dawn believe in the nutrition of raw milk.  The current Raw to Retail Dairy act doesn’t allow for sale of soft cheese or yogurt from raw milk.  So, again, we were stumped.

Northern Dawn just discovered HB104; the Utah Goat (Cow and Sheep) Share program that was passed in 2015.  We love this Bill and are in the process of implementing it as we blog this post.  Our system is planned to include in-house bacteria and plate count testing, and we have done Somatic Cell Count testing for years.  Those are important factors in producing quality raw milk. We are going to be finishing up our new mini-dairy and mini-milk product facility this spring.  We also hold and plan to continue to hold a valid Utah Food Handler’s Permit.  This is something required if we had decided to become a licensed Raw to Retail Utah Dairy.  We will implement a simple milk cooling system to cool the milk to Raw to Retail Dairy standards or higher.  Quick cooling is necessary for long term  good tasting milk.  We look forward to working with a local outside lab, as well.  Through the Goat Share Bill (HB104), we will be able to provide quality raw milk and raw milk products to a small number of consumers. We are currently working closely with the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund to create this system for us.

Through the Utah Goat Share program, we at Northern Dawn look forward to sharing with you, the consumer our quality raw milk and milk products. Then when HB144 (or similar) Bill for Utah Food Freedom is passed, we will go full force to share more products with you; the consumer.

A special thank you to those who made this all possible.

Secure Your Goat Share

We have six Shares that will be left available.  Email us at    trunkbranches(at)yahoo(dot)com    to secure your share.  This will allow you to obtain quality raw milk and soon some raw milk cheeses, yogurt and kefir. Put      Secure Goat Share       in the subject line of the email you send us at Northern Dawn. We are in the process of setting up our legal Goat Share program, currently.

So What is HB104 Bill Anyway?

Lets look at what HB104 (Utah Goat Share says for you the consumer and me the producer)

General Description:
9          This bill modifies the Utah Dairy Act by removing a prohibition on cow-sharing
10     programs.
11     Highlighted Provisions:
12          This bill:
13          ▸     modifies definitions;
14          ▸     removes the prohibition on owning, operating, organizing, or otherwise
15     participating in a cow-share program where the milk producing hoofed animal is
16     located in Utah;
17          ▸     states that the Utah Dairy Act does not apply to milk or milk products produced on
18     the farm if the milk or milk products are consumed by participants in a cow-share
19     program;
20          ▸     states that the Department of Agriculture and Food may not adopt rules restricting
21     an individual’s ability to transfer or obtain:
22               •     raw milk in accordance with the terms of a cow-share agreement; or
23               •     an interest in a cow-share program in accordance with the terms of the
24     cow-share program agreement;

  (2) “Cow-share program” means a program in which a person acquires an undivided
69     interest in a milk producing hoofed mammal through an agreement with a producer that
70     includes:
71          (a) a bill of sale for an interest in the mammal;
72          (b) a boarding arrangement under which the person boards the mammal with the
73     producer for the care and milking of the mammal and the boarding arrangement and bill of sale
74     documents remain with the program operator; [and]
75          (c) an arrangement under which the person receives raw milk for personal
76     [consumption.] use not to be sold or distributed in a retail environment or for profit; and
77          (d) no more than two cows, 10 goats, and 10 sheep per farm in the program.
78          (3) “Dairy product” means any product derived from raw or pasteurized milk.

Summarizing HB104 Information Above

  • We are not subject to the Utah Dairy Act.
  • We can provide not only raw milk to a share holder, but also raw milk products
  • Currently we are only allowed to have 10 of our goats on the share program
  • Basically you hold a limited share in the Northern Dawn herd .  This gives you the ability to obtain the milk and milk products and we at Northern Dawn still own the controlling interest and manage the herd.
  • You, the consumer, pay a small initial fee to secure your limited share.  Then you pay a fee for boarding the animal that is the same as the amount you would be paying per gallon of milk etc.  This allows you to obtain raw milk and milk products that you would not necessarily be able to obtain though the Raw to Retail Licensed Dairy program
  • If at anytime you choose to longer participate in the program with us, we would simply buy your share back.

Northern Dawn in the Goat Share Program

As mentioned above, we are in the process of setting up our legal Goat Share Program.  We plan to have our facility meet the Raw to Retail Standards, plus go above and beyond some of those standards in cooling to Grade A standards. 

At any time, you as the share holder are welcome to come out and visit and play with the goats.  Come view the records that we will hold soon on bacteria, etc.

We would like to become a teaching facility, too, where we can show people how to become more self-sufficient.

Secure Your Goat Share Position

We have six Shares left available.  Email us at    trunkbranches(at)yahoo(dot)com    to secure your share.  This will allow you to obtain quality raw milk and soon some raw milk cheeses, yogurt and kefir. Put      Secure Goat Share       in the subject line of the email you send us at Northern Dawn. We are in the process of setting our legal Goat Share program, currently.


Testing Safety of Raw Milk


I’ve been raising dairy goats for the production of raw milk for myself and family at Northern Dawn Nigerians, since 2009.  Growing up as a kid we always had milk cows for family use.  Over the years we have evolved from more primitive milking techniques and milking outside, to milking in a milk barn.  Always sanitation has been an important part of the procedure, as much sanitation as possible under our circumstances.

The last few years I’ve been searching for a way to test my milk, so that I would have a good way to know the quality of my milk. Also part of my reasoning for wanting to test my milk on a regular basis, is so that I can see where my program weak points are and what I can improve.  This is the year when I will implement the changes to my dairy program.

Since about 2010 we have done monthly milk testing on our does in milk through the Dairy Herd Improvement program.  In this program, our milk is tested for butterfat, protein and somatic cell count.  All these are very valuable.  Butterfat and protein have a lot to do with the taste and usability of the milk.  Somatic Cell Count is white blood cell count. A high SCC can mean the presence of infection or mastitis, or it might not.  But its a good place to start looking for problems if it is high test after test.  It can also be simply that the doe is in heat.  LOL

My mind is a scientific one, where I ask the whys, whats, wheres, hows, how come?  I want to know, and not to just blindly assume all is ok.  All too often I hear, “Oh, raw milk is safe.  People know how to produce it safely.”  Do we?  Some of us do and some of us don’t.  I’m working on a program to efficiently and cost effectively test my milk on a regular basis.

Finding a Series Article that May Well Be the Answers I have Saught

A friend of mine who owns a licensed cheese dairy in Oregon has and continues to write articles that are both stimulating and packed with knowledge.  Here are a few of her articles that I just found:






Testing Basic Quality of Milk

There are two tests that Gianaclis and the California Herd Share Association suggest as tests for the quality of our milk. They are basic tests.  One can get the tests done at a lab which tests, or do it at your home.  I am planning on setting up a mini lab at my little diary to test, and then also use a certified lab or professional microbologist at time to further test.  The two basic tests that Gianalis and the California Herd Share Association list are:

  1. Standard Plate Count (SPC or APC).  So what is that, exactly? What is it going to show me?  That was my first question.  SPC is a count of all gram-positive colony forming bacteria.  It shows the number of bacteria that grow in the presence of oxygen (aerobically) and at medium range (mesophilic) tempertaures.   So who cares?  It can pinpoint that there is maybe a sanitation problem and where the problem exist.  It could suggest that specific bacteria tests should be done.  Note the tests that Gianaclis did on several dairies, who used different procedures to handle their milk.
  2. Coliform. A test for coliform suggests the number of Coliform present in the milk.  One of the family of coliform is e-coli.
  3. I would suggest that another good test is Somatic Cell Count.  One can get your milk tested for this through labs, Dairy Herd Improvement Milk testing labs currently seem to be charging $1.15 per sample.  In the article What is Somatic Cell Count, it talks about reasons for high somatic cell count that could be: ”
    • Age – Older cows tend to have more cells present in their milk, while younger have less

    • Stage of lactation – Cows producing less milk and are later in their lactation have less cells present

    • Stress – A cow that is more stressed will show higher SCC

    • Season – SCC levels usually are lowest in a clean, dry, comfortable environment. Wet or humid weather will elevate cell counts. Generally SCC is higher in the winter

    • Udder injury – an injury, cut, etc. would temporarily elevate the number of cells until the cow heals.

    • Indirect causes – poor milking procedures, or poor udder hygiene are examples of indirect factors that can contribute to higher SCC”

    I’ve found higher somatic cell count to also be present when a doe is in heat or also if on Once a Day Milking (OAD).

So how can we test for these things?

  • certified labs
  • Home lab tests like the ones that Gianaclis mentions for SPC, Coliform, e-coli, etc
  • Somatic Cell Count can also be tested at Dairy Herd Improvement labs

Self Testing

Gianaclis lists the company she uses for obtaining the the easy to use test plates and incubator.    Some of the products she lists in her above articles are:




One could also use some of the other tests like e-coli and listeria, as well.

Lactic Acid Producing Bacteria in Raw Milk

Raw milk has lactic acid producing bacteria which fight against the ‘bad bugs’ or bad bacteria.  However, if the proper sanitization and fast cooling of fluid milk for good taste and to keep the bad bugs out, this can be a problem.  Proper handling of milk produces a wonderful ‘real whole food’ for our bodies that does amazingly good things for our bodies.



Back to the Grassroots of Yester Year


Mary Jane, a northern Utah housewife grew up on a cattle ranch.  She recalls how those years on the ranch were ones of family togetherness.  There were always three square wholesome home cooked meals where her dear mother prepared meals of ranch grown foods.  Often we would come into the house after a long day in the hay field, to the smell of fresh baked scratch bread and cinnamon rolls.  Part of the ingredients used were eggs and cream fresh off our ranch.  We’d polish off several loaves of that awesome bread, slathered in home made butter.  Of course we had to go through a gallon of the milk which was hand milked from our family cow.  We milked Boss and Pet sitting on a one-legged milk stool.  Our head was leaned against the cow and our feet made up the other two legs of the milk stool.  All our foods from the ranch were fresh and healthy, with such an awesome taste that cannot be matched with modern produce.

butter_churn   bread-white-loaf_internet     eggs_internet     milking

We had many past times as we were growing up.  For several generations, Mary Jane’s family loved country music. They were often found singing and playing together.  Mary Jane misses those days.     The family also loved to canoe.  Her father was a canoe instructor.  How did the family have the stamina to do these type of activities?  It was that wholesome healthy fresh farm food!  It was void of all those chemicals, pesticides and artificial colorings of modern food. Riding horses was a big part of our enjoyment.  Mary Jane laughs as she recalls that she loved being one with her horses.

music       Riding  canoeing

As us kids grew up, we never forgot our grass roots on the ranch.  We all crave that life and strive to hold onto it with iron grip.


Life on the ranch was not easy.  It was worth it.

Although life was hard and packed with long days of hot sweaty work, it was a hands on school that Mary Jane will never forgets. She will always treasure it.  She longs for for the days of grass roots of yester year, to return.  The food was 100% healthy, and we enjoyed producing it together as a family.  It was a food that was void of all the chemicals, pesticides, artificial colorings, pasteurization and homogenization.  It was just good straight up raw from the earth; wholesome food that would put meat on your bones and sustain a healthy lifestyle.

We were often up before dawn, doing chores, and getting ready for the day’s work.  As we didn’t grow up with power or running water, we heated our home with wood heat.  These chores were done together as a family.  We kids learned so much that we hold dear to our hearts, even today as we currently live in the hustle and bustle of modern life.  Often Mary Jane and her mom would be chopping ice on the dugout; ice from the waste down, in an effort to provide water for the cow herd during the winter.  Hard work?  Oh yeah. But it was fun and wholesome work.

The family would often cut up and wrap home grown beef, chicken, pork on the kitchen table. Mom would render pig fat into a lard that unbeatable for pies.  Other times we would eat a black bear or dear.  Our area where we did this was very sanitary.  That was meat that was free of growth hormones and GMO livestock feeds.  It was a loaded with good flavor and nutrients, and fresh fresh fresh….

haying   Wood cows

Those were the days….

… when neighbor helped neighbor
… family ate meals together
… families and friends worked and played together
… people respected each other
… food was naturally nutritious, without need of added artificial nutrients
… foods need not be pasteurized, homogenized and all those other ‘izeds’, nor did they need artificial colorings and flavorings or preservatives
… those were the days when people were not afraid to share or sell their home grown produce.  They could share it with anyone who needed a little help.

Life of Today

Mary Jane has a good life in her modern life, but it is so busy with running here and running there just to make a few dollars to hopefully pay the bills, if her and her husband are lucky.  Both she and her husband work full-time jobs and only get about an hour a day together.   In her modern employment, she has learned many skills of modern food safety. Some is good and some is bad. As she types in ingredients into the datagase of many of the modern foods, she inwardly fears with the knowledge that the artificial colorings, preservatives etc are very unhealthy.

Life is very different today.  One has to search for heritage seeds to grow in their gardens and for safe non-GMO livestock feed.  Its just not the same as yester year on the ranch.  Foods are not as wholesome and nutritious as they once were.  Flavor is just not there in many of the foods, as many of them are artificial.  Many of us of today are afraid to share our home made and home grown wholesome raw foods with others.  Time and time again we are asked by potential customers for our wholesome milk and other home produced foods.  That is the only thing that many youngsters can eat, yet with tears in our eyes, we have to refuse them.  Refuse because we are afraid to share, with modern laws or finances to create a facility to use the modern laws.  So with tears in our eyes, we have to turn them away.  This is the life when one is so busy that we lose ourselves and forget who we are.  We forget the real us and people don’t even know who we are.

Glimmer of Hope of Returning Grass Roots of Yester Year

Not too long ago, Mary Jane was introduced to a proposed new law intended to return the home produced nutritious foods. This is a proposed law that is consumer driven and will allow Utahans to freely obtain that wholesome nutritious food of yester year.  There is that hope that the life on the ranch could return and Mary Jane and many like her could once again produce and share to the many people needing and desiring this wholesome food.

Mary Jane clings to the hope with all her heart that this will come to pass.  With her knowledge of modern techniques of food safety, she also knows even more how to produce safe food.  However, she also recalls how her parents taught her about the importance of grass feed livestock, we are what we eat, and the importance of composted manure (dirtized) to be used on the gardens.  When passed into law Mary Jane and others will be able to bring all their knowledge, skills and enjoyment back to produce wholesome raw foods for the many many consumers who don’t have the ability to produce it for themselves.

Learn about this new proposed Utah Food Freedom Act HB #144, sign the petition and contact your reps.  If you want that wholesome fresh raw food for your family, come join us in reclaiming ‘Our Yester Year’.






What is the Proposed Food Freedom Bill?


Purpose of Utah Food Freedom Act

Quoted from: Representative Marc Roberts, Utah House District 67

The purpose of the Utah Food Freedom Act is to allow consumers
greater access and ability to purchase fresh local homemade foods,
and to encourage the expansion of agricultural sales by farmers
markets, ranches, farms and home based producers.
The legislation applies to food sales that take place directly between a
producer and consumer, for home consumption, and does not apply
to meat except for poultry.

What the Proposed Utah Food Freedom Act HB #144 Reads

Read the Utah Food Freedom Act HB 144 and know what it says for yourself.  There are actually two different Bill’s involved in it.  The second part of the Bill is talks about a constitution.

If you agree with the proposed Utah Food Freedom Act HB #144, please sign the petition and share your desire for him or her to support this proposed Bill .  We all need your support.  It can help both the producer and the consumer to obtain food directly from the source for their families.

My Summary of Proposed Utah Food Freedom Act HB #144

  • Producer or producer’s Agent could sell their products directly to the ‘End Consumer’
  • Food items sold under this proposed Bill are NOT for resale
  • Products sold by the producer can be sold at any appointed place, set between himself and the end consumer
  • Products purchased under this Bill are for Home Usage only
  • End Consumer (purchaser) must be informed by the producer that

(c) has been informed that the product is not certified, licensed, regulated, or inspected
61     by the state.

  •  The producer of food products under this proposed Utah Farm Freedom Act would be

exempt from state, county, or city licensing, permitting, certification,
66     inspection, packaging, and labeling requirements related to the preparation, serving, use,
67     consumption, or storage of food and food products if the food or food product

  • If there is a suspected Food Borne Illness, the State can still get involved, as they do now
  • Product sold is

a substance that can be used, or prepared for use, as food.

  • Products under this proposed Bill don’t include most meat products
  • A producer may ask the State to assist them, if they so choose

So What Does This All Mean to Me?

  • As a producer, I can more freely legally sell my wholesome hand made food items directly to the end user
  • Less cost to get set up to create and sell my products
  • As a producer, I can still ask the State’s advice or even ask them to inspect my facilities, etc. if I so choose
  • The producer (or producer’s agent) and end consumer could agree upon a location for pickup, that is more suitable for both. This can allow more easy access.  ie/ more sales that will further stimulate the economy
  • More producers will come out of the shadows with their skills, talents and resources to create wholesome food for us consumers.  Again, this will stimulate the economy with more sales and more jobs and great accessible food.
  • As a consumer, I can easily go out to other producers and purchase products that I myself don’t have

Some Examples Food Products

  • parkerhouse1  Those nice fresh baked goods just like Grandma made, without all those preservatives
  • Wedding_Cake1acrop  Have fun creating those cakes.
  • Jar_Milk_sm Did you ever try fresh milk straight from the goat or cow?  There is no comparison on the flavor.  I know I crave it.
  • Kefir_Drained1  Maybe that kefir, cheeses, yogurt and other products made from the fresh milk
  • eggs_internet  Eggs… Remember the taste of the free range chickens and the nice color to the yoke?  Those fresh farm eggs
  • vegetables_sm  What about those ‘fresh out of the garden’, vine ripened fruits and veggies?
  • jams, jellies, juices etc.
  • If you can dream it up, you can create it

Support the proposed Bill

If you support this Utah Food Freedom Act HB #144, please sign the Petition



Utah Food Freedom Introduction

Please support this proposed Bill, if you agree with it. It will go to State level on 25th Jan 2016.


It has come to my attention…

I’ve just been informed that there is a new proposed bill called Food Freedom, that will hopefully come into effect.  It sounds like this bill would allow us produce, sell and consume our ranch and farm products more freely.

I’m all for this bill and hope it will pass.

Learn about this proposed Utah Food Freedom Bill

If you go to these two places, you can read about it and respond.

  1. http://libertasutah.org/?x=0&y=0&s=food+freedom
  2. https://www.facebook.com/Utah-Food-Freedom-1731601743737705/

You can get involved, share your ideas with your state representative

You can share your opinion by going by going to http://utahfoodfreedom.org/

Here is another facebook that you might want to visit and comment on is:
Farms Food and Freedom for Utah: https://www.facebook.com/groups/418828588319475/

My feelings

  • I think food should be sanitary, but there are many regulations meant for the large corporations that really don’t apply or even make sense for the consumer or small producer
  • I’m ok with guidelines for safe handling of food, but also want Utahans to be free to consume and produce their products
  • I’m a firm believer that the raw unprocessed foods are much more healthy for our bodies. Its the way Our Heavenly Father intended for us to use our foods.
  • I’m all for this new bill to be passed

Wyoming recently passed a similar Bill

Enjoy watching these videos.

Love to hear your comments

I’d love to read your comments and share ideas.  And if you are a supporter of this bill, please get involved.



How My Baking Career Began


My dear mother taught me much about baking, when I was a kid.  Thanks Mom for your love and patience and willingness to teach.

mom at piano

Mom’s Mom had been a restaurant cook and at one point owned her own restaurant.  She would have taught my mom in the art of cooking and baking.

I grew up on the farm, as did my dear mother.  On the family farm, people work very hard.  Because of this hard work, our bodies required much good wholesome food.

Mom made several batches of her famous white bread by the washtub full. per week.  It is some of the best bread I’ve ever eaten.  We’d often come in the house after a long day’s work, to the smell of hot bread and hot cinnamon rolls.  One or two loaves of hot bread with butter and the cinnamon rolls would be eaten by the family right away.  Mom taught me her scratch recipe for the bread and showed me how to make cinnamon rolls.

My parents gave me us a tradition for holidays.  Us girls and Mom would cook the feast. This was some of the times when Mom would teach us how to cook and bake.  The meal consisted of:

  • pie (apple, pumpkin and pecan with homemade pie crust) [Dad taught us that pecan is pronounced pucon, and no peecan]
  • rolls (crescent  and Parker House rolls) [not to confuse the crescent roll with the boughten croissant in the bakery where I work…                different type of dough altogether]
  • mashed potatoes and gravy, with veggies
  • turkey
  • Mom’s famous deviled eggs (NOTE:  Our deviled eggs were part of our main meal course.  They were not ‘finger food’.)


Parker House
CI-0103Classic Deviled Eggs
Deviled Eggs


Another part of the tradition for holiday meals was to invite one or two single people who had no place to go for the holidays.  After the meal, we would visit as a family (family togetherness) and friends.  We would often play and sing country music using piano, guitar and fiddle for the instruments.  This was a memory I will always remember.

You many have guessed it.  Mom was a professional musician and also wrote songs.  At one point Mom had the opportunity to play piano for the Queen of England, auditioning out of 300 groups.  That was quite an honor for her.  She had the opportunity to go out on the road as a professional musician, but turned down that opportunity. Why, because she wanted to devote her time to her beloved family.  Part of this devotion time was her love of baking and providing three wonderful meals per day for her family.

In another post, I’ll share some of the recipes and ways of making Mom’s rolls and bread.

Another thing that Mom taught me is a quick way of molding tight beautiful bread loaves.  Her way is so fast that its uncanny.  In another post, I’ll attempt to describe how Mom loafed up the loaves.  To show how fast Mom’s system of shaping a loaf is, I’ll relate a story from the commercial bakery where I worked.  My supervisor had been gone on holidays for a few days.  We had white and wheat scratch made bread on sale.  We were baking about 25 loaves of each at a time.

My boss: Why didn’t you save time and set up the sheeter to from the loaves?

My response: I could loaf up the loaves or at least half of them with Mom’s method, in time it takes to set up the machine.

The type of baking that my dear Mother taught me was purely scratch baking. We didn’t use bake-off foods or mixes.  It was right from the pure recipe, just like Grandma did the recipes.

While I was a kid, I had no idea that I would spend 14 years as a commercial baker at a grocery store in northern Utah, learning the art of commercial baking from one of the best commercial scratch bakers in this area.

Baking On My Own

After I got out on my own, moving away from my parents home, I used to take a day to bake.  Loved doing it. What did I make?

  • donuts in my teeny deep fat fryer
  • home made scratch cinnamon rolls
  • pies
  • jams and jellies
  • bread and rolls

Little did I know that this would further shape my enjoyment of baking.  Later in life when I moved back to the United States, I actually got a job in a commercial bakery.  The skills I had learned cooking and baking with my dear mother and on my own would give me the basis for this career.

Commercial Baking

The employment that I obtained when I moved to Utah was in the scratch bakery at Allens Super Save in Springville.  My supervisor, Kyle, was the next awesome baking trainer that I had.  He knows his stuff and was always willing to answer the hows, whens, whys and whats of baking.  So my fourteen years training in a commercial bakery began.

While working at the scratch bakery at Allens, I not only was the Assistant Baker, but also handled the updates etc for the bakery computer file.  That is no small task, to keep up with that.  Part of the reason why I loved doing the computer file and helping our girls with computer glitches, is due to my former experience and employment.  For many years, I was a certified bookkeeper and income tax preparer, Supervisor, as well as office manager and Office Administrative Support.  I love office work as much as I do baking.

Lets get on with a few basics of baking that I learned ….



Nothern Dawn Herd Begun


Introducing the Northern Dawn Nigerians Herd of dairy goats.

Our herd resides in Northern Utah, nestled in the foothills of the Wasatch Front.  The goats and our horses don’t have to worry about extremely harsh winters, but they do still get winter weather.  For instance, this morning we I woke up to around 4 inches of snow.  Its still snowing.

Our Herd

Our herd consists currently mainly of Nigerian Dwarf. Mini Nubian and one full-blood Nubian.  We chose these breeds primarily because Peggy grew up with Jersey and Guernsey milk cows.  I. Peggy, love the butterfat and creamy milk from those cows.

Ok, so why choose these three breeds for our herd?  All three breeds give that nice creamy milk taste that we love.

Herd Beginnings

Our herd began with two grade (unregistered) Nigerian Dwarf does and one Registered doe.  They are pictured below.

  • Northern Dawn Ethel, registered as a Recorded Grade Nigerian Dwarf with International Dairy Goat Registry was our first dairy goat.
Ethel is the matriarch of our Grade Nigerian Dwarf part of the herd. Love this old lady.
Look at the rear udder on this doe.  It is amazing.








About Ethel

This sweet little lady was one tremendous animal.  She kids so easy that if you blink, you miss the birth.  On her second freshening I thought I’d put on rubber gloves.  Well, I laughed at myself as I threw the gloves on the ground without putting them on.  Ethel’s first kid fell onto my feet before I could hardly blink.  I could see there was no time for gloves!  On her third kidding, she gave birth to five kids.  Between second and third kids, they came so close together that I was drying off number two when number three arrived.  I told her, “Ethel, my girl, now you just have to slow down to give me a chance to catch up!”  She and I loved to joke about this.

The udder attachments on this gal were tremendous.  Very high and tightly attached, with long very milkable teats.  Just what we want in a dairy goat.  As seen in the photo above, her udder is also very capacious.  Once in a goat show Ethel was shown with a registered purebred doe.  The judge commented, I wish we could put Ethel’s udder on the other doe.

  • Shadow Hills Thumbolina is an International Dairy Goat Registry recorded Grade doe.

About Thumbolina

Thumbolina is one of the daughters of Ethel.  She, like her dam kids super easy and is extremely easy to milk.

  • Bluestone HD Lil’ Lucy is an American Goat Society registered purebred Nigerian Dwarf. She was our third addition to our herd.  Lucy is one of the main matriarchs of our purebred part of our herd.
Bluestone HD Lil’ Lucy
Lucy’s rear udder

About Lucy

My Lucy has a very sweet, yet shy personality.  Her udder is so very soft, and is highly attached.  Lucy’s top butterfat is recorded at 14%, which is pretty high.

This little gal, small though she is, is the dam of some of our great does.  Her son Northern Dawn Apache took Grand Champion in two American Goat Society shows.  Pictured below.

Northern Dawn Apache

Another of Lucy’s children is Northern Dawn Lil’ Columbine.  She is an amazing doe.  Her udder is very well attached in all ways, and has long easily milkable teats.  Columbine is a doe who just milks and milks non-stop, with nice amount.




Northern Dawn Lil’ Columbine
  •  Mac Donald’s Farm Cocoa AR*D was next to join our herd.  She is an American Goat Society purebred Nigerian Dwarf.


About Cocoa

Cocoa was our next gal to join our herd.  She too is just amazing.  On her second freshening, she gave 4.3 pounds milk.  That is exactly half a gallon.

Her teats are some of the longest in the herd and super easy to milk.  I love how her udder milks down to nothing, after being milked. That is something that is vital in a good dairy goat.

Cocoa is a little gal who will just keep milking as long as you want to milk her.

Cocoa’s daughter Fern is proving to be just as good of a dairy goat.

And Thus…

The Northern Dawn herd was begun



Milking Intervals

Does Milking Once a Day (OAD) affect milk production?

We believe that milking once a day drastically reduces milk production and can even force does to dry up.  In fact, that can be one of the ways to start the dry off period of does and cows.   One article we read from where the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta is listed as one of the sources of an article entitled


Says some very interesting things about Once a day (OAD) milking versus twice a day (TAD) or Three times per day milking.  I will quote from the above article, so I get it right.  I will also bold and place the parts that I want to highlight in Green, that I want to concentrate on.


Regular and complete milking is one of the requirements for continuance of lactation. The effect of changes in milking frequency on milk yield  varies widely between individual species (Davis et al ., 1999). Reducing milking frequency from 2x daily milking to 1x daily milking decreased milk yield from 7 to 38% in dairy cows (Stelwagen and Knight, 1997), 15 to 48% in ewes (Negrao et al. , 2001),  6 to 35% in dairy goat  (Capote et al., 1999) and increased the rate of loss of udder tissue (Carruthers et al. , 1993). However increasing milking frequency from 2x to 3x increased milk yield by 7 to 20% (Stelwagen, 2001). The mechanisms responsible for the increase in milk yield have not been identified but some researches suggest an increase in mammary epithelial cell (MEC) number (Hale et al ., 2003), reduction in MEC apoptosi” …

In another part of the article it says,



“The milk yield for 1x, 2x and 3x daily milking were 181.5, 322.2 and 334.8 mL/day/ goat respectively. The analysis of the results (table IV) showed that milking frequency had significant effect on daily milk yield.  The milk yield for 1x daily milking (181.5 mL/day) was  significantly lower by 43.67% and 45.79

It sounds like the study was done at least partly on the West African Dwarf goats, which are the ancestors of our United States Nigerian Dwarf Dairy goats.  We can see that milk production, from this study (and my own experience does greatly reduce milk production.  It can even make does dry up when the cold of the winter is upon us.

Another Article on going to Once A Day milking

This article says that once a day milking is a viable option for a busy schedule.  In many situations it probably is, if a person isn’t looking for high milk production or trying to prove that their herd can produce high milk production with good butterfat.

My Experience

In my experience and from that of the article from where the University in Nigerian are a source, milking once a day does greatly diminish the production.  Butterfat will go up, however, so cheese outputs aren’t diminished too much with Once A Day Milking (OAD).  However, if we want milk production with good butterfat yield as well, I personally feel that we need to milk at least twice a day, faithfully and have regular milking intervals.  At the same time, that is not always possible, as in my case with my employment.  So sometimes a person has to do what they can do.

I have a neighbor who says that dairy goats milk on a supply and demand basis. She means the more that we demand of them, the more they milk. I believe that is true.  A few years ago I tried 3 times a day milking on a few does and production did go up markedly.  Perhaps the reason is due the reduction of the epithelial cell production due to once a day milk interval, as suggested in the article from Nigeria.  This is further substantiated by another article.  This article suggests a few things:

  1. “ability of ruminant mammary glands to produce milk is determined by the number of cells secreting milk and their level of activity”
  2. “Changes in the number of cells in the udder occur during lactation.”
  3. “decline in milk production after peak lactation appears to be due to a gradual reduction in the number of milk-secreting cells”
  4. “Other factors are also known to modify cell turnover in the udder”
  • reproductive status
  • growth hormone treatment
  • milking frequency
  • nutrition”

Should you go to Once A Day Milking?

I think this is up to your schedule and what is going on in your life.  We were forced to go to Once A Day milking from April 2013 up to present, due to a family health issue and my personal work schedule in the bakery.

What has once a day milking done to my herd?  The butterfat is way way up, which is normal.  However, the milk production is way way down from the norm for our herd. Once a day milking has kept my does milking, but for an example, a doe who milked 1 1/4 quarts up through 483 days in milk on her 1st freshening, is at a little over a pint on her 2nd freshening.  That is not good.  My does are does who milk heavy and long lactations.  The only reason I have gone to once a day, is because I don’t have much choice.  I’m going to be working hard at going back to twice a day milking.

For some people, however, they may not want to milk in the winter months.  So for those people, once a day might be a viable option.  Whether or not you milk once or twice a day is dependent upon what you want or need in your life.

In our herd, our herd is milked year around and we are concentrating on developing a dairy herd that people can count on as true dairy goats.  The one thing that we have found in Once a Day milking and also the harsh inconsistent milking interval times that the Bakery Business where the owner works, is that our does stand behind us in milk production. They milk and milk.  However, Once a Day Milking is definitely NOT good on milk production, when trying to get the highest production we can get and see what our does can actually do.  Up until April of 2013, we did faithfully milk twice a day.

My Employment and How it Affects Milk Production

I work in a bakery and am grateful for the job.  However, the nature of this type of work is that milk times cannot be consistent and due to being to work at the  early hours of the morning, I can’t milk with 12 hour intervals.  My does adjust though, when I milk twice a day.  Up until April 2013, we would milk at 1am and 7pm.  On the rare occasion when my does were milked once a day, then went back to twice a day, production went back up.  This has been proven time again.  For instance, on of my Mini Nubians was milked once a day for a few weeks and production went very low. I brought the doe back home and milked her twice a day and her production at over a year into her lactation went back up to over 3 pounds (a little under 1/2 gallon) per day.  This is pretty consistent with most of my does.  They have the Will (desire) to keep milking.  My does are a herd who adapt and keep milking. As one long term breeder of Nigerian Dwarf and Oberhasli told me, “the true measure of a dairy goat is the Will To Milk.”

Milk and Butterfat yield when milk production goes down

We have found that when milk production goes down, the butterfat goes up.  Thus, here is the general lactation curve of a doe:

Spring freshening… Milk production steadily goes up until 8 weeks into lactation Milk production levels off and butterfat is good Later into the lactation, like in the fall, production drops again and butterfat goes up Next spring (extended lactations), production goes back up and butterfat goes down

Summary of Once a Day Milking, as I see it

  1. Milk production will likely go way down, in once per day milking and some does will actually dry up in the cold of winter or heat of summer.  The drop in production, according to the Nigerian University mentioned above can be as much as 43% drop.
  2. Butterfat will generally go up a lot, due to lower milk production, so cheese yield can be still good.
  3. Once a day milking can free up our milking schedule
  4. If one wants production from their does, and can milk twice a day, I feel it is very important to milk twice a day.  I feel this will give much higher milk yields that are more representative of the does.  We just have to realize that milking once a day milking can diminish production by up to almost half of what they normally would give in some breeds and does.
  5. Most of our herd has stood this 2013 test very well.  They have kept milking long term, but just that their production is much much lower than it is normally due to once a day milking. So I guess it has been a good test for them.