- What do your goats eat? Is the feed non-GMO?
At Redwood Hill Farm we believe in a natural approach to animal husbandry and our dairy goats have access to pasture and are Certified Humane raised and handled. By nature, goats are browsers and not pasture grazers like cows and sheep. Our dairy goats get some brush in addition to hay; they especially love rose bushes!
The goats’ diet consists of 70% Fiber (brush and various hay varieties) and 30% grain, which includes safflower meal (as the main protein), corn, oats, barley and minerals (no cottonseed meal, canola, soy or sugar beets). Our goats do well and are very healthy on this vegetarian diet.
The ingredients we use in our goat dairy yogurts, kefirs and cheeses do not contain DNA from GMOs. All of our suppliers provide specifications, which ensure the non-GMO status of the ingredients we add.
At this time, we cannot guarantee that the goat feed is always free of GMOs. We are actively working towards becoming organic and non-GMO in the future for the benefit of all.
- What happens to the baby goats and retired goats?
We guarantee the health, happiness and ethical treatment of our dairy goats and are very proud to be the first Certified Humane® goat dairy farm in the United States! Each and every goat has a name and is a loved and valued family member. Although some people do eat goat meat, factory farming for the purpose of raising goats for veal does not exist in the dairy goat industry. Look for the Certified Humane® label when you do your grocery shopping, and learn more about the third-party certification here.
Dairy goats typically give birth to 2 or 3 kids and begin giving milk. Many of these kids remain on our farm to be raised as the next generation. Our award winning dairy goats have an international reputation for excellence and are highly sought after, and we’re able to sell offspring to other dairy farms in the US, Mexico, and Canada. The goats are also sold to families as pets or to improve existing herds including 4-H families purchasing kids (and mature goats) from us year round.
Our goat kids are fed their mother’s first colostrum milk, which is a vital component of good health for newborns; however, they do not nurse directly from their mother. There is a disease that only goats can get that can be transmitted through the mother’s milk, so we heat treat the milk to kill any of this virus before bottle feeding it to the babies. As farmers who love our animals, this might be the hardest part of our job, but it plays an important part to ensure the good health of our beloved animals.
Our mature goats who no longer give milk enjoy their “retirement” on the farm in beautiful Sonoma County. This year we’re celebrating our 45th anniversary as a woman-owned, family-run farm, creamery, and nationwide business. Here is a video that tells a little bit more about our family business and our goats – Enjoy!
- Can we visit your farm or creamery?
We are a working farm and creamery and cannot offer tours at all times. We do offer tours of the farm in the spring at our annual Farm Tours, usually in May and June. Until then, click here and enjoy this “virtual tour” of our farm with Farm Manager, Scott Bice.
To learn about different activities which happen year-round in Sonoma County visit FarmTrails.org. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and sign up for our newsletter which comes out every 4-6 weeks for our spring tour dates, specials, and great goat photos and recipes!