Our farmers know how important a high quality diet is to goats. DGC goats thrive on locally grown, on-farm forages such as grasses, clover, lucerne, hay, silage or pasture plants. If short in supply they are sometimes also brought in from other trusted farms within New Zealand.
Milking goats are also given supplementary feeds which are high in protein and energy. One of DGC’s policies is that farmers use only New Zealand or Australian sourced supplementary feeds that are fit for the purpose of producing high quality and safe goat infant formula.
Ranging from housed through to on-pasture, DGC farmers have a variety of different farming systems. However, the predominant system is to house goats in open-sided, free-stall barns and feed them on forages brought directly to them. They enjoy natural lighting and fresh air and can move freely through the shelter or barn. Another popular system is on-pasture grazing where the goats are taken to their feed.
New Zealand has a strict Code of Welfare for Goats. It specifies what is considered to be optimal animal welfare and how this may be achieved for goats farmed under New Zealand conditions. DGC farms are all required to follow the New Zealand Code of Welfare for Goats and DGC’s own Code of Farm Practice.
DGC Code of Farm Practice
The DGC Code of Farm Practice has some expectations that are over and above the minimum requirements expected by the NZ government. Our code is used to set world class benchmarks for milk harvesting, animal welfare, environmental issues, farm dairy presentation and milk quality consistent with infant formula products. It encourages best farming practices for production of goat milk that is fit for the purpose of producing high quality and safe infant formula.
Written by an external auditing company with input from farming experts, DGC staff and dairy goat farmers, the DGC Code of Farm Practice also captures practical knowledge and experience with milking goats.