Goat Farming in Israel modern and traditional farming side by side
Langer Ofier The Israeli Dairy School
Since Bible time, goats have been very common in Israel; they moved from one area to another during the year. Goats were a common source of milk, meat, and fabrics.
A large flock of sheep and goats was a sign of wealth.
Today the goat dairy industry in Israel is a dynamic and successful component of the agricultural aspect of the country. Standards are high and strictly adhered to, and Israel’s small ruminant farmers are consistently meeting the ever-increasing rise in the demand for goats’ milk.
Technological developments and market trends demand a constantly evolving goat milk industry, and Israel stays ahead of the curve to remain a global competitor in the market.
Every year, 11.1 million litres of goat’s milk are produced in Israel. Over 2,400 families are raising small ruminants, the term used for sheep and goats. There are approximately 520,000 sheep and goats in the country, and the number is ever-growing. These farms usually produce anywhere between 50,000 to 200,000 litres of goats’ milk yearly. Thirty of these farms are “closed farms” that process their own milk, whether organically or conventionally, and combine their efforts to incorporate agro-tourism components into their farming.
Goat farmers in Israel take different approaches to raise their animals to ensure the highest quality of dairy products. The Bedouin farmers also use extensive farming methods in the desert in the southern part of Israel. They raise their herds traditionally and nomadically, accounting for about 20,000 goats. Intensive goat farmers institute a zero-grazing policy, monitoring every aspect of the goats’ diets. In Israel, there are approximately 30,000 goats that are raised in an intensive style. A combination of the two is referred to as semi-intensive. Semi-intensive takes place mainly in the northern part of the country and accounts for an estimated 40,000 goats.
Technological advancements have increased the efficiency of the goat farming industry, especially regarding the intensive farmers. Milking facilities have been significantly improved over recent years, and computerized data recording has contributed to further market development and farm management.
Intensive farmers use total Mixed Ration (TMR). The farmers use TMR supplemental feeding to replace grazing, and they outsource the food production to a large feed center. These TMR rations are delivered fresh daily or packaged bi-weekly.
The goat farming industry in Israel is a very competitive and high-quality one. The Israeli Ministry of Agriculture attempts to improve the quality of milk production, and farmers must adhere to hygienic standards. Trends are leading farmers away from conventional methods and more towards organic and agro-tourism farming techniques.
In Israel, the Israeli Dairy Board has established several requirements when it comes to the contents of goats’ milk. On average, the fat content is 3.76%, and protein content is 3.37%, well within the set boundaries.
The Israeli Dairy School holds short tailor-made seminars and professional training based on years of proven experience. Through workshops with our expert consultants, farm visits, and hands-on experiences, you will learn how the small Israeli ruminant dairy farming herd succeeds.
Our interactive seminars cover various topics, including small ruminant dairy farming herd nutrition, veterinary care, breeding and fertility management, dairy farm business management and marketing and technological farming solutions.
Additionally to the seminar, you will have the opportunity to visit religious holy sites that can only be seen on a trip to Israel.
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Traditional Goat farming in the Galilee Goats with the wind