How can I find goats, goat products, and related services on Vancouver Island? The Vancouver Island Goat Association has a brochure available that lists members and what they offer: goats, goat products, and related services, as well as other farm products. Download or view the brochure: VIGA2018directory.pdf If you are buying goats for the first time, it is recommended that you do your research first - breeds, housing, nutrition, fencing, and health and disease. Talk to breeders, read books, browse the internet, visit farms, and buy from a reputable breeder.
Can I hire someone and their goats to clear weeds and brush on Vancouver Island? Some of our members do indeed offer such a service. View all that our members have to offer in the VIGA Member Directory: VIGA2018directory.pdf
Where can I get raw goats milk on Vancouver Island? It is illegal to sell raw milk from any species in Canada and there is a hefty fine. As such, VIGA cannot recommend any sources of raw milk for any purposes, for sale or to give away.
Where can I buy goat milk and goat milk products on Vancouver Island? Pasteurized goat milk is available throughout the Island at major grocery stores as well as natural and health food stores. Check your local store shelves and if there is no goat milk there, be sure to ask the manager why not! VIGA does not know of any farmers who sell goat milk at the farm gate at this time. Most goat dairies on the Island process their milk into products such as cheese, yogurt, and ice cream. These products are for sale in many stores and some are available at farmers markets.
Where can I buy goats milk powder in Canada? Check health and natural food stores in your area. If it’s not on their shelves, ask them about ordering it in for you. To order it online, do an internet search for “Canadian goat milk powder.”
How can I find goat breeders in Canada? How can I research Canadian goats’ pedigrees? The Canadian Livestock Records Corporation maintains records for most breeds of goats. Visit http://www.clrc.ca/memped.shtml and click on Canadian Goat Society for all dairy breeds including Nigerian Dwarf, as well as Angora and Pygmy goats. Click on Canadian Meat Goat Association for Boer and Kiko. From there, you can search for members and view all their goats. You can also view a list of breeders in a specific province. Member records include contact information in most cases. You can also view individual goat pedigrees.
How does one pursue licensing as a small goat dairy? A goat dairy is licensed through the provincial government. This is an link to an information sheet, it focuses on cows but the standards are the same. This second link has more info on it. You can see on the right side under Legislation & Regulation there is the milk act and the regulations, you will want to read them thoroughly. Under the other heading of “Animal Health Centre” there is an email address to contact for info.
From what I understand cow dairies must send their milk to an approved facility for processing…can goat dairies operate their own approved pasteurization facilities? It is possible to operate your own pasteurization facility, called a dairy processing plant; this is the link on the BCCDC website. The last one, “For dairy operators,” has information about the standards that are required for a processing plant. Is it legal to have farm-gate sales of onsite pasteurized goat milk? Once you have a inspected/approved processing plant, you can sell your bottled milk to anyone, farm gate, grocery stores... wherever you want.
Is it economically feasible to have an onsite/on the farm dairy processing plant? A VIGA member recently had an evaluation done of their farm by a marketing/accounting firm. They found that the only way it could pay was to be milking 200 goats. The costs of the processing plant were just too high to be able to do it with less animals. But have a look yourself and it could work for you.
Have another question about VIGA or goats on Vancouver Island? Email us!