About Milkyway Mountain Caprines
Milkyway Mountain Caprines is the culmination of 22 years of goat husbandry for Heather D’Alessio, who raises dairy goats in response to a deep personal calling.
We live with our goats in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains – the southernmost subrange of the Rocky Mountains. At an elevation of 8000 feet, on two acres in what is called the Baca Grande Subdivision, we thrive in the liminal space between wilderness and civilization. An eschatiai.
After years of vegetarianism and vegan values, held in response to the cruelty of the factory farming industry, she has returned to the ways learned on her childhood homestead of self-sufficiency and the long-term goal of food security for her family and community.
I raise goats that are intelligent, thrifty, and strong. They can hike for weeks carrying your packs, are excellent mothers, parasite resistant, and long-lived. Their lineage is from Kiko and Sable strains. I milk by hand, and receive between one to one and three quarters gallon of delicious, sweet milk from each freshened doe in her peak season, who is fed upon wild forage, non-GMO grain, and native grass and alfalfa hay (never-sprayed). Babies are dam-raised, and are allowed to keep their horns. The herd dynamic is therefor intact, as far as possible. I do keep the older (over seven months old) bucks separate, however, for control of breeding patterns, the safety of the pregnant does, and the comfort human visitors of all ages.
The farm has non-transferable shares available for purchase, the benefits of which include a weekly ration of raw milk, caprine friendship, and manure for your garden. Goats are also available for sale each fall.
I feel that the benefits of spending time with goats are many and varied – I want to share this gift with folks who might otherwise not have the wherewithal to experience the deeper connection with place, interdependence with nature, and the human ability to thrive and survive on their own upon this land we were born from. Here is a manageable and reliable protein source (not to mention funny, friendly, and loving) that will follow you anywhere, and can turn yucca, chamisa, and tree bark into pure white milk and immediately accessible fertilizer for a veggie garden. It is not hard to raise goats, but it is hard enough and unheard-of enough that not many are doing it here on a small scale. In other countries having a goat or two is commonplace. I enjoy living and sharing this lifestyle.
Milkyway Mountain Caprines utilizes guard llamas to keep the herd safe from the local predatory population (wild cats, bear, and coyotes), and reinvests the manure rewards back into the land throughout the year. Our garden, our goats, and our fowl (chickens and ducks) work in unison to remediate this little corner of the desert, and create a small oasis. Work shares and internships for the care and maintenance of the herd and dairy are available as well.
Please write, call, email, or Facebook with any questions or to request more information.
Resources for advice on raising goats:
One of my favorite farms I would like to emulate:
Some other local goat farmers:
FAQ and Goat Share Purchase
What is a goat share?
It is partial ownership of a dairy goat. Owning a dairy goat, or portion of a dairy goat, allows you to benefit from what that animal produces. In Colorado you can drink milk from a goat that you own. By owning a share in a goat, you have a fresh supply of your own goats’ milk to drink and you are allotted a weekly share of fresh, raw (unpasteurized) milk ready for pickup at a designated time.
How does a goat share work?
You, and others along with you, own shares in a goat. You benefit from owning the goat by receiving a portion of the milk the goat produces. As with any animal, goats require care, i.e., feeding, general maintenance and milking. Milkyway Mountain Caprines will board your goat, care for it, milk it, and prepare the milk for you to pickup from the farm. You pay the herdsman for the boarding, care, feeding, and milking of your goat.
How much milk can I expect from one goat share?
One share will provide approximately one half gallon of milk for about 33 weeks. Half shares provide approximately a quart for about 33 weeks.
The average lactation for our goats is around 6-8 months (March to November). However, a goat may milk for a shorter or longer period of time. We plan to milk our does for at least eight months. This is rough estimate which may vary.
What if I want more milk than one gallon per week?
Purchase a second, third, or fourth share. You can purchase as many goat shares as needed as long as shares are available.
How much does it cost?
First You Purchase A Share:
$32 for a FULL share
$16 for a HALF share
Boarding/Maintenance Fee: Now that you own a goat share you need to board your goat. Boarding or husbandry costs are $8.00 per week for each full share. The monthly boarding fee is calculated by multiplying the number of shares by the number of weeks in that month. For example, if you purchase a full milk share and your pickup day is Saturday and there are 4 Saturdays in that month, then your boarding fee for that month would be $8 x 4 = $32. (Prices are subject to change, given changes in the price of feed, hay, supplies, labor, etc.) Half shares are $4 per week.
Farm share members are requested to return the milk vessels (Ball canning jars) each week rinsed in cold water. The Farm will clean and properly sterilize them – you need not do so. If your vessel breaks or is lost, a replacement will be provided for a fee of $1.00.
What do I get for my share?
This entitles you to approximately one half gallon of milk per week; however, since production fluctuates this amount may change slightly throughout the season. Remember, you are purchasing a share of ownership of a particular animal and the amount of milk that animal produces can vary. Half shares will entitle you to approximately a quart per week.
What happens if I go on vacation or business travel and don’t pick up milk? Am I still responsible for the boarding fee?
The monthly boarding fee is due whether you pick up your milk, or not, on any given week during the month. I still have to feed, milk, and care for your goat whether you pick up or not. Milk that is not picked up within 24 hours of your designated pick up day will be discarded.
How do I pay my boarding fee?
To avoid any confusion that you are “buying” raw milk the boarding fee should not be paid at time of milk pick-up. Boarding fees must be paid on the first of each month.
What happens if I can no longer use the goat milk?
If you move, buy your own goat or find yourself no longer using goat milk, you may sell your share to the next person on our waiting list, if that opportunity becomes available. Or you may sell your share back to Milkyway Mountain Caprines for $5. You may not sell your shares to a third party. Please note: it is illegal to sell milk in Colorado if you are not a licensed and inspected dairy. Never sell your excess milk.
As a goat share owner, will I have a share in the kids?
No, the ownership of all kids will remain with Milkyway Mountain Caprines.
I’m Ready! How do I get Started?
Thoroughly review the information provided about Goat Shares on this page. Request and review the purchase and boarding contract when you come to the farm. Sign the contract and once payment is received you will be the proud owner of a dairy goat share.
Download and fill out:
Mail the Contract and Payment to us:
Milkyway Mountain Caprines – PO Box 63, Crestone CO 81131