Today we visited dairy goat farm Papen-Olbach in Vragender (NL) to talk about the welfare of billy goats. Although our visit was unannounced, the goat farmer took ample time to exchange ideas with us.
He explained to us that animal welfare is very important to them. For several years now their milk goats get to go outside when the weather is good. This wasn’t a natural process, the goats actually had to learn to go outside. The billy goats stay at their farm to be fattened up to about 10 kg after which they will go to slaughter. Milk goats are taken to slaughter at an average age of 6 years.
The goat farmer stated that due the high price of goatmilk ‘cowboys’ (farmers with profit as their primary goal) enter the market. He thinks billy goats can easily be fattened at the dairy goat farm itself. “If farms do not have the space or time to do so, they can simply keep fewer milk goats”.
The owner invited us to visit his farm during an open house as well and we will definitely take him up on his offer. We would like to thank dairy goat farm Papen-Olbach for their time, transparency and hospitality.