Can a Goat Save Your Life?
September 3rd, 2020
4 minute read
If you’ve never owned goats before, chances are you don’t think of them as survival assets. In fact, you might even consider them a liability in a disaster because they’ll still need to eat, drink water, and receive basic care — and they’ll be wholly dependent upon you for much of that. In a survival situation, you’ll be focused on yourself and your family and won’t have time or desire to mess with livestock.
But there’s just one problem with that avenue of thinking: you’re missing out on one of the best survival assets of which you can possibly think. Today, we’ll talk about five products that you won’t need to purchase if you have a goat. While some of those might seem a bit frivolous, some can literally help you survive a severe shortage of food.
You might be storing canned milk in your preps. If you’ve ever tried it, you’re probably hoping you never have to taste it again. It’s not that good from a can; many folks just buy it anyway and stick it on a shelf, thinking that someday they may be hungry enough to drink it.
Fresh goat milk, however, is one of those foods that has far more benefits than you’re aware of. It’s easier for the human body to digest, and many who are lactose intolerant find that they can consume goat milk just fine (check with your doctor before doing so, just in case). It’s naturally homogenized, has more potassium than cow milk, and if it’s handled properly at milking time, it tastes pretty close to cow’s milk, too.
If you have a few dairy goats, not only will you have all the fresh, healthy milk you need for your family, but you’ll save storage room and money while providing them one of the healthiest and most popular drinks in the world.
Where there’s milk, there can be cheese, and while you might automatically be thinking of feta, the truth is that you can make all kinds of cheese with goat’s milk, including aged cheddar.
Cheese isn’t really a survival item in the classic sense, but it’s definitely one of those foods that can serve as a snack or help complement a simple meal. It’s a great source of calcium and protein as well, and it’s easy to make with simple or even primitive supplies.
One important note: Making butter with goat’s milk is pretty tedious. The natural homogenization means the cream doesn’t separate as easily as it does with cow’s milk. It will take you a long time to collect enough cream to make butter.
Cleanliness is one of the most important facets of survival, and goat milk soap is yet another way to use any extra milk that your goats are producing. In addition, it’s good for your skin. There are many recipes online for creating both simple and more complex soaps, and they’re worth checking out. Because soap needs to cure for several weeks, you’ll want to have a schedule for making it. One batch, however, can net as many as 12 bars, so you won’t have to make it often.
This interesting creation is a fermented drink often made with goat’s milk. It tastes a bit like yogurt but is thinner in consistency. What makes kefir worth trying is that it’s packed full of healthy probiotics, proteins and bacteria that can help keep your gut health stable — something especially important during a survival scenario.
While my own goats are dairy producers, loved and spoiled in their own way, there is a truth on our farm that any one of them would be used for meat if things got to that point. Goat meat is enjoyed the world over, and a goat’s milk and meat can be used to not only feed my family, but my other animals as well. We have livestock guardian dogs and several barn cats, all of whom think goat milk and meat are rare but highly esteemed delicacies.
There are many more products that goats provide:
- Fiber – Cashmere and mohair are highly popular goat-derived fibers
Should You Get Goats?
Beginning with any animal requires research, understanding and a willingness to learn (and fail). The question of whether you should get a few goats is a personal one, but if you’re looking to be able to keep producing food, soap and even textile goods no matter what’s going on around you, goats are one of the best ways to go.
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