The Goat Teaching & Research Facility operates under the daily management of a herd manager who is assisted by 4-7 part-time student employees. Roughly 25-50 students per quarter (~100 students each year) come to the barn for weekly management classes and internships or volunteer to gain goat management experience. This facility is located off Old Davis Road south of the main UC Davis campus. All goats are housed in dry lot style pens surrounding the main barn. If you are interested in taking a tour of the facility, please contact the facility manager to schedule a day and time, as a bio-secure livestock facility we are not open for drop-in visitors.
The facility maintains three herds, a dairy herd, meat herd, and a transgenic research herd. Combined herd size at the facility varies with current research needs and fluxes between 150 and 250 animals. The facility currently houses 150 goats between the three herds. Our herd is monitored and negative for Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis (CAE), Corynebacterium Pseudotuberculosis (CL), Coxiella burnetti (Q Fever), and Johnes. Goats maintained at the Goat Research Facility meet or exceed all guidelines for animal care as defined by national, state, and University specifications.
The dairy herd consists of Alpines, Saanens, LaManchas, and Recorded Grades. All of the dairy goats are registered through the American Dairy Goat Association, are on DHIA test, and are part of the ADGA Plus program. We linear appraise annually, DNA type all of the mature does and bucks in the herd, and casein type everyone when possible. The transgenic research herd is comprised of swiss breed does who produce the human lysozyme protein in their milk. This is a small research herd being studied by Dr. Murray and Dr. Maga, of the Animal Science Department, and is managed with our dairy herd. All dairy kids are raised on heat treated colostrum and pasteurized milk.
Our meat herd is comprised of Purebred and Percentage Boers registered through the American Boer Goat Association. We keep a small herd of approximately 40 does, with the majority kidding in the Fall. Their kids are offered for sale each winter in the Annual Aggie Classic sale held on campus, with both market whether prospects and registered doe kids available. We also kid out a small group of does in the spring for teaching classes on campus, with kids available through online sales in the summer.
Noel-Nordfelt Goat Dairy & Creamery
A creamery addition is currently in progress, with ground breaking expected to begin in March of 2018. We are anticipating a completed parlor and creamery by winter quarter of 2019, and will begin courses and internships in dairy product processing at that time. Stay tuned for more information! Support this project.
Student Opportunities at the Goat Facility
Student volunteers and employees provide the primary care and learn management techniques with the kids under the supervision of barn staff and veterinarians. Student involvement at the Goat Research Facility is intensive. Goats are used in Domestic Animals and People, Introductory Animal Science, Livestock and Dairy Judging, Domestic Animal Production & Lab, Animal Management Practices (goat section), Domestic Animal Behavior Laboratory, and Dairy Cattle Production. Courses with the goats are also held through the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital for veterinary students.
Additional student involvement includes internships in Animal Science and Special Study classes in addition to the Vet Aid Club, Pharm Club, and Goat Marketing Group.
The Little International Stock show is held each fall, and creates an opportunity for undergraduate students to learn how to show a livestock species, when each student is assigned one animal to train, fit, and exhibit. Many of the “Little I” goat participants go on to be interns, volunteers, and staff members at the facility.
Our Marketing Group creates the opportunity for students to continue to show goats, learn basic marketing strategies, promote the facility and teaching program, and create industry relationships.
Current Internship Opportunities:
- Dairy Goat Kidding & Kid Raising – Winter, Spring, and Summer Session 1
- Boer Kidding and Kid Selection – Fall
- Milking & General Management – Fall & Spring
- Student Herd Manager – Full Academic year, Fall through Spring
For more information about student internships and opportunities, please visit the Animal Science Advising Center.