Swiss Frau Farm is a 16 acre farm at the very center of Herman Center Wisconsin. This farm was historically the central farm where all the threshing was done for the area. The barn and house were built in 1905. Our barn is a traditional Wisconsin dairy barn with the lower level partly underground to keep cool in summer and warm in winter.
We raise American Toggenburg and Saanen dairy goats. We are not a commercial dairy. Our goats are disease free and regularly tested. We have a closed herd and practice biosecurity to maintain a healthy herd. CAE prevention is practiced on the farm. We use our goat’s milk to make our own cheese, sherbet and use the milk in our goat’s milk soaps. All of our goats wear bells from Switzerland. This recreates my favorite part of Switzerland which is the regular sound of bells from every region.
We have a variety of bells for the goats. This bell is called a treicheln. It is bronze and fabricated in Switzerland. This is my favorite goat bell. There are at least five different styles of bells used here and they all have a different sound. I can tell who is who by the sound of the bells. I always know where my goats are and whether they are grazing contentedly or running in fear of something. The queen goat (Morning Glow Rose of Sharon, AKA Rosli) wears the largest and loudest bell and the other goats give her a lot of space. The yearlings wear the high pitched distance bells. We even have baby Swiss bells to get the young doelings used to the sound and experience of wearing a bell.
We also raise Jumbo Rock Cornish hens each summer for meat. They are raised on pasture and are slow growing chickens. We have laying hens and Pilgrim geese. Pilgrim geese are rare and on the endangered list for domestic farm geese. The males are always white and the females are gray and white. Generally they are kept in trios, 2 females to one male.
My husband is the bee keeper on our farm. We sell honey and currently are adding more hives.
We have a small orchard and a cider press. We grow most all of the hay we feed the goats.
Our 5 freshened goats produce about 6 gallons of milk a day. They start out slowly and peak in production at about 6-8 weeks lactation. Goat’s milk is the most compatible milk to the human body. It is very good for infants and people of all ages. It digests in 20 minutes as opposed to 2 hours or more for cow’s milk. It also has very small fat globules, in fact 9 times smaller than cows milk fat globules. Also it is beneficial for people with acid reflux and other ailments.
WHAT DO WE DO WITH 6 GALLONS OF MILK A DAY?
Well, of those 6 gallons 4 go back to the kids for their nourishment. I feed kids 3 times a day either by bottle or with a lambar feeder which is a bucket with 10 nipples on it. Some of the milk goes for soap making and this still leaves a lot of milk left over. Once a week I make cheese. I use 3 gallons of milk at a time to make a batch of cheese. We can’t eat that much cheese so what I don’t give away I freeze in small amounts for the long winter without fresh milk or cheese. When the mood strikes and I just can’t make anymore cheese I start to make a lot of sherbet. I make as much as there is room in the freezer. This also gets us through a milk-less winter and provides a real treat for guests to the farm. It is really good stuff! Some of the milk goes to feed fawns. People who raise deer for meat also bottle feed the fawns. If there is still milk left over then it goes to feed the chickens who love goat’s milk.