More Loudoun farms are jumping into goat herding, which provides both nutritious meat and dairy products for your family – along with unforgettable experiences. For the inexperienced consumers, goats can best be understood by comparing them to cows, sheep or pigs. Compared to the others, goat meat is leaner and packed with nutrients like iron (for blood flow), potassium (for muscle and heart health), calcium and magnesium (for strong bones), and is naturally low in cholesterol and sodium.
An International Staple and Delicacy
About 63% of the world’s population eats goat meat as part of a normal or high-end diet. Goat meat is a great source of protein and nutrients to populations from the Middle East and Africa, to the Caribbean, Southeast Asia and South America.
In Loudoun, goat meat and cheese are both popular menu options, along with goat milk, yogurt, soap and more. While not lactose-free, these dairy products do have less lactose than traditional cow dairy options, and could be a solution for dietary sensitivities.
Find Local Goat Farms
The word for “kid” is borrowed from Old Norse, where it was first applied to baby goats and then adopted for human children.
Better Than a Lawnmower
If you are what you eat, goats are a little bit of everything! Goats are one of the most adventurous herbivores, gladly eating grass, brambles, thorny bushes and even small trees. If a goat herd is near, vegetation beneath hip height is all fair game. That’s why some Loudoun farms, like 56 Hooves, have turned grazing into a business. Better than a bush hog, goats can be relocated to your property, fenced into the area you want to clear, and do their thing until the job is done. This method is better for the environment and can be on-par with hiring a human crew.
DID YOU KNOW?
Goat yoga was an accidental commercial success after a goat herder in Oregon became a viral sensation while doing yoga in her goat barn.
Good For Springtime Snuggles
Another creative experience is snuggling with kids – goat kids – at Georges Mill Farm. Every spring when the goat does have their babies, the kids take over a barn and the public can rent time by the hour to come in for snuggles.
The seasonal experience is an opportunity to help welcome the youngsters into the world by spending time in theirs. Visitors are encouraged to participate in bottle feeding, taking pictures, enjoying the kid naps and frollicking.