​​​Sanctuary Hollow Farm

​​​Nubian & Experimental Grade Goats - Natural Home & Body Care Products - Real Meats & Eggs

​Goat Herdshares

Goat herdshares are now available! We are now offering full and half shares of our dairy herd. All goats are pasture kept and supplied with free choice loose minerals, grain, and locally sourced grass hay. Grain is fed to promote growth and maintain body condition based on each animals' needs.

As part of our management practices all goats are tested annualy for Tuberculosis, Brucellosis, Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis (CAE), and Johne's Disease. All kids are bottle fed and raised using CAE prevention practices. This helps ensure that our goats are in excellent health and that they are producing high quality milk for our herdshare members. We can provide the results of these tests up request. Another part of our management practices is participating in Dairy Herd Improvement, DHI, through the American Dairy Goat Association, ADGA, and DairyOne. You can see the milk test results (somatic cell counts, protein, and butterfat) for each doe in our dairy herd.

Currently we have a small herd of Nubian/Experimental Grade goats that make up the dairy herd and are offering a limited number of shares. Once all shares are filled names are added to the waiting list and as more shares become available those on the list have first choice in purchasing new shares.

The initial buy-in fee for all shares is $25.00.  This is the fee to purchase a share of the dairy herd, making you part owner of the dairy herd.  The size of the herd depends on the number of does (female goats) available for breeding and after kidding are evaluated and either added or removed from the breeding herd.

After purchasing a share of the herd you will then have to pay monthly boarding fees based on your share size, full or half.  Full shares are $10.00/week and half shares are $5.00/week. Full shares receive a full gallon of milk each week and half shares receive a half gallon of milk each week. If you need more than a gallon per week you will ned to purchase additional shares. During times of peak prouction you may have the oppotunity to receive cheeses and/or ice cream in addition to your normal milk portion.

Boarding fees are due year round even dung times when the herd is not producing milk. All does are dried off between 60 and 90 days before kidding based on each does individual needs to ensure they have sufficient time to recover from the milking cycle prepare for kidding and the new milking cycle (the minimum dry off is 60 days).

Please review the frequently asked question section below to answer many of the most commonly asked questions that we receive about my herdshare program. If you still have questions aabout herdshares please contact us and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have. 
​Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What is the Buy-In Fee?
    When joining any herd share agreement you will sign a Bill of Sale. The Buy-In Fee is the cost of purchasing your interest in the dairy herd, or animal. This is a one time fee.
  2. How much milk will I get?
    A Full Share entitles you to 1/2 Gallon of raw goat milk per week. A Half Share entitles you to 1 Quart of raw goat milk per week.
  3. What if a Full Share isn't enough milk?
    If your household is using more than a half (1/2) gallon of milk per week you would need to purchase additional shares to meet your households needs.
  4. What is a Bottle Deposit?
    For our herd share program we supply your milk in quart size milk bottles with tamper proof caps. The Bottle Deposit is to help ensure that we get the bottles back at each pickup. Full Shares will receive two (2) bottles at each pickup. Half Shares will receive one (1) bottle at each pickup.
  5. Can I use my own containers?
    The simple answer is no. Our main focus is minimizing risks, that's why we use the glass bottles, they can be washed and sanitized before each use, with the tamper proof caps. If you should ever pickup your milk and the cap has shown evidence of being tampered with please notify us before leaving the farm.
  6. What does it mean by 'Vet Care' in my contract?
    Before we admit any animal into our dairy herd they have to go through a health screening. This includes TB, Brucellosis, CAE, and Johne's testing, as well as receive a clean bill of health from our veterinarian. This ensures that only the best and healthiest animals are providing you with milk/milk products. Each year that an animal remains in the dairy herd they have to have vaccinations, as well as the TB, Brucellosis, CAE, and Johne's tests performed. This is all classified as vet care. This does not include emergency vet care. The state of West Virginia requires that all animals be tested for TB and Brucellosis annually and new animals entering the milking herds be tested within 30 of purchase and before they can enter the dairy herd. CAE (Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis) is not transmissible from goats to humans, but causes rapid decline in health in affected animals. We test for this and affected animals are kept under closer evaluation for signs they are no longer thriving. We do practice preventive measures to try and reduce the chances of other goats or kids becoming infected. Johne's Disease has had some links to Crohn's disease and while not required by the state we test to ensure that our goats are clean of the disease.
  7. How are sick animals handled?
    At every milking and feeding animals are observed for signs of illness or injury. Any animal that appears 'off' is removed rom the herd and placed in isolation. Once they are in isolation they are examined and if deemed necessary they receive veterinary care. Not all animals automatically require vet are, and we do our best to ensure that all animals are well cared for. Example: Lameness may be caused by either foot rot or hoof overgrowth. The first step would be to remove the affected animal from the dairy herd. Examine the cause of lameness, if hoof overgrowth is the issue, hooves would be trimmed and then she would be returned to the herd. There is no need to contact the vet in this instance. However if the hoof is trimmed and foot rot is discovered we would contact our veterinarian to discuss the best form or method of treatment and follow the advice or recommendation given. Some instances would result in immediate veterinary care, these are symptoms like open wounds, blood in the milk, runny nose or eyes, fever, listlessness; when this happens they will not be returned to the dairy herd until a clean bill of health has been provided by our veterinarian. The health and well being of our animals is a top priority. We use our best judgement in every case to ensure that they receive the best care possible. Animals that are regularly requiring veterinary care may be permanently removed from the dairy herd to maintain the overall health of the herd.
  8. What does it mean by 'Grooming' in my contract?
    Each spring when the weather has warmed up and staying warm, no risk of freezing temperatures, every goat receives a full body clip and a bath. This is a good way to examine every goat for external parasites or skin/coat issues. All animals in the dairy herd receive regular udder clipping to maintain hygiene and reduce he chance of hair contaminating the milk during milking. Hooves are trimmed as needed, some need trimmed more often that others, and checked for signs foot rot and injury. We also bathe our goats on a regular basis to help maintain cleanliness and check for external parasites.
  9. What does 'Off' mean?
    An animal is defined as off when it shows any of the following symptoms: Fever Lameness Not Eating or Drinking Refusing to stand Discharge from the ears, nose, or eyes Diarrhea or discharge from the anus or vulva Bloody, clumpy, chunky milk
  10. What is your milking procedure?
    Here are the steps that are practiced at each and every milking: 1. Collect does. We milk in an area separate from their housing so they are brought o the milking area. 2. Removal of gross dirt and/or hay/grass. We use a soft bristle brush to remove any excess dirt, hay, and/or grass from the udder and underside of each goat. 3. Does moved to milk stand. Each doe is milked separately. Does are placed one at a time on he milk stand to be milked by hand. Milker then puts on a pair of clean latex gloves. 4. Teat dip is applied. We use an approved dairy teat dip to wash each teat and dry with clean paper towels using separate towels on each teat. 5. Once the doe's teats have been clean, strip test and/or mastitis test performed. At each milking a strip test is performed on each teat to check for the early signs of mastitis. We also run weekly mastitis checks on each doe using the California Mastitis Test. 6. Once strip and/or mastitis tests are performed and found clean doe is milked. The milker will then milk the doe completely into a clean and sanitized stainless steel milk pail. 7. Post teat dip. To help ensure that the exposure to bacteria is minimal teat dip is applied to each teat and allowed to remain on the doe. We do not remove the post milking teat dip as it creates a barrier preventing bacteria from entering the teat after milking. 8. While the doe finishes her feed, milk is started processing. Every doe has her milk weighed to monitor production levels, sometimes illness can be spotted early by sudden drops in milk production. Once the milk has been weighed it is poured into a holding container until all does have been milked then it is filtered and chilled. After milking the milker will remove gloves and use a clean pair for each doe. Any doe that fails the strip or mastitis test is removed from the milking area until all other does have been milked. After all the healthy does have been milked and the milk take to the processing area when it can not be contaminated by the unhealthy doe. She is then milked and remove from the dairy herd. She will continue to be milked separately until she receives a clean bill of health from our veterinarian before being returned to the dairy herd.
  11. What is the Dairy Herd?
    The dairy herd consists only of the animals who are providing the milk for the herd share program. We may have other goats on the property, but they are not part of the program. Doelings, does that are too young to breed, won't be added to the dairy herd until they at an age and size that will allow them to be bred. Before any goat, either retained doe or purchased off farm, is added to the herd we will have performed all necessary health screenings and have a clean bill of health from our veterinarian. If open, not bred, does are purchased they may not be added to the dairy herd until after breeding. We do consider any bucks used for breeding the dairy herd as part the dairy herd. The reasoning behind this is without our bucks we'd have no milk, and they are exposed to the does and therefore must maintain the same level of health as our dairy animals.
  12. I would like to know what the dairy herd is eating?
    All of our animals, not just our dairy herd, are pasture kept with free choice grass hay and minerals. They also have access to fresh spring water. We do supplement them as needed with antibiotic free grain. Depending on each goats dietary needs will depend on the amount of grain she receives. As much as we would love to be grass fed only, we will not sacrifice the health and well being of our goats. Remember that a properly conditioned, not fat, goat will produce more that is healthier than a goat who is struggling to maintain weight and provide milk at the same time. We try to limit their grain intake and encourage them to forage and browse on the woodlot pastures and we keep records of amounts of grain fed, body weight, and body conditioning scores. Goats who are hard keepers or require large amounts of grain to produce minimal amounts of milk may be culled from the dairy herd.
  13. I would like to know when I can get my milk?
    When you first sign all the necessary paperwork it has to be filed with the West Virginia Department of Agriculture before you can receive any milk. If the dairy herd is producing milk at that time we will notify you when you can receive your first pickup. If they are not producing, dry period, then you will be able to receive milk as soon as pickups begin. Each herd share member will have an assigned a specific day of the week and time, generally in the afternoon, in which they are to pick up their milk.
  14. I forgot to pick up my milk, now what?
    We do not send out reminders for milk/milk product pick up dates. At the beginning of each month when you pay your monthly boarding fees you will receive a calendar with your days and times marked on it. If you forget to pick up your milk please contact the farm immediately. We may be able to arrange for another pick up date later in the week, after all other shares have been filled. After two days any milk that has not been picked up will be disposed of how we see fit. We want each share member to have the freshest milk possible. If we are unable to fill your share later in the week then you will forfeit your milk for that week. We will not provide extra milk the following week for missed pickups.
  15. What does 'Drying Off' mean?
    After a doe has been bred we will continue to milk until we have conformation that the doe is pregnant. At that time we will stop milking and allow her to dry up. This drying off period allows her body to recover from producing milk and basically reset itself for the next milking cycle. In order for a doe to produce the necessary colostrum, something that is vital for healthy kids, she must stop producing milk. It is recommended that does be dried off at least two months (60) days prior to kidding. Normal pregnancy is 145 to 155 days (5 months). We like to give our does a longer recovery period before they go back into a milking cycle (average is 8-10 months). Therefore we send in blood samples forty-five (45) days after breeding if they have not returned to heat before that time. Once we have received conformation from the testing lab that they are pregnant we begin the drying off process. We either stop or decrease the amount of grain each doe receives and cease milking altogether. While this might sound cruel, it is actually the best method for drying off a doe. Once the udder is full, without being milked, it sends a signal to the brain to stop producing milk. Then the doe's body absorbs the milk. We do check to make sure that they do not get mastitis during this drying off period. Some does will dry off on their own. When this happens we'll notice a stead decline in the amount of milk being produce. This is another reason we weigh the milk from each doe after each milking.
  16. I want milk year round. If the dairy herd is dried off what can I do?
    Goat milk can easily be frozen for later use. Be sure to use a container that will not break, leave plenty of headspace, and mark the date on the bottle. Using the oldest milk first. If you are planning on freezing a portion of your share each week. Portion off the amount you want to freeze as soon as you get your milk home. Mark the date on the bottle and place it in the freezer this way you are freezing fresh milk. Do not freeze any unused milk at the end of the week. This increases the risk of contamination and will have a greatly reduced shelf life once the milk is thawed. When you are ready to use milk from the freezer, remember to use the oldest date first. Only thaw milk in the coldest part of the refrigerator. You will need to gently shake or rotate the milk to mix any cream that has risen to the top during the freezing process. Do not violently shake the milk as this can affect the taste.
  17. When I got my milk home and tasted it the milk tasted funny?
    Any time this happens please contact the farm immediately. We do keep a portion of every milking for our personal use. If your milk has an unusual flavor we will try our best to replace your milk. We will also send a sample of milk that we have retained to the lab for testing to ensure that there isn't a health concern with or herd. Remember that it is a raw product and needs to be handled as such. Bring a cooler and ice/ice packs to keep your milk cold on the trip home. Do not do other shopping after picking up your milk. The milk needs to go straight from our farm to your refrigerator in the shortest amount of time possible.
  18. My neighbor wants to try some of your milk can I give them part of my share to try?
    No it is illegal to sell, or give away any portion of your share. If your neighbor is interested in a share please have them contact the farm and schedule a visit.
  19. What if I stop paying my boarding fees?
    All boarding fees are due by the first of the month. If you have not paid your fees by the 5th of the month you'll receive a reminder that your fees are due. If not paid by the 7th you will no longer be able to pick up milk. After 30 days your contract will be voided and offered to another interested party. Your buy-in fee will be retained to pay all unpaid boarding fees and bottle deposits.
  20. I accidently dropped my milk bottle and it broke?
    When that happens please notify us. Accidents happen. You will be charged a $15.00 bottle replacement fee that will be due at your next pickup. Before bottles are refilled they are all checked for cracks and chips caused by normal wear and tear. If we find any that would compromise the quality of the milk they will be disposed of and replaced with new jars. In this case you will not be charged for the bottle. We do ask that once your bottle is empty that you rinse it thoroughly with COLD water, then wash it with warm soapy water. We will clean and sanitize all bottles before they are refilled with dairy approved cleaners.
  21. Can I get cheese, cream, or butter instead of milk?
    Yes. We do offer a limited selection of soft cheeses. However at this time we do not offer cream or butter. When you sign your necessary paperwork, you will receive a welcome packet that covers all the workings of the herd share program. It will include information on the kinds of cheeses that are available. We ask that you give us a two (2) week notice if you wish to have chees. Remember that you will only be getting the amount of cheese equivalent to your share of milk. All cheeses will come with an expiration date and must be used within that time. Example: you would like to have Chevre at one of your pickups. You have a full share (1/2 gallon of milk weekly). We would use your 1/2 gallon of milk to make he cheese and you would receive three-quarters (3/4) pound of cheese.
  22. I'm going on vacation with my family and can't pick up my milk?
    We understand that you have a family. We love that. The only thing that is necessary when you go on vacation is that you provide in writing when you are going to be gone. Any boarding fees that are due during that time need to be paid in advance. We will use/dispose of the milk as we see fit. When you return you will pick up milk on your next available pickup date. If for any reason you are not going to make the next pickup date please notify the farm to make further arrangements. And have a happy vacation.
  23. During my last pickup I saw that you have other goats on the farm are they part of the herd share program?
    No. All kids, wethers, and non-breeding bucks are not part of the herd share program and your monthly boarding fees do not cover their cost of upkeep. We may retain or sell animals as we see fit, with that in mind if we are going to be doing an major adding or reduction to the dairy herd share members will be notified if it is going to affect their milk share.
  24. How are the kids handled after kidding takes place?
    We are currently working to have a CAE free herd. This can be hard to accomplish if good dairy stock is hard to come by. One step in this process is to remove kids as soon as they are born and hand raise them using pasteurized colostrum and milk. The kids are treated humanely and with great care as they are the future of our dairy herd. Some diseases like CAE are only passed through the milk, from dam to offspring, by removing the kids from the dam at birth and feeding them pasteurized milk we can ensure they are healthy and disease free. Remember the herd share program only pertains to milk/milk products. Any kids produced by the dairy herd are the sole ownership of the farm.
  25. I saw the dairy herd has changed size, larger/smaller, what happend?
    We reserve the right to add or cull does from the dairy herd as we see fit. Animals that are hard keepers and require large amounts or grain or frequent vet care to maintain health will be removed from the dairy herd. At the same time we may add more does to the herd which will increase the number of shares available.
  26. I received a notice that no milk will be available until further notice?
    Remember that we evaluate every member of the dairy herd for signs of illness or injury. We also do monthly fecals to check for internal parasites. While we only treat the affected animals is a large number are affected we may treat the entire herd. Because of that there will be a required withdrawal period for the drugs to leave the goats system before we can offer milk again. When animals test positive for internal parasites they are treated following the advice of our veterinarian. We will do a recheck to ensure they are clear before returning them to the dairy herd. If any antibiotics are administered we follow all withdrawal periods, during that time all milk must be disposed of as its not safe for human consumption. We may choose to send milk samples to the lab to test for antibiotics after the withdrawal period and before returning them to the dairy herd. Keep in mind that animal health is of the upmost importance to us. When we have the all clear from our veterinarian and/or lab we will notify share members that pickups will resume on their next scheduled day.
  27. I didn't get my full share with week what happened?
    Unlike cows, goats will dry off naturally on their own. When this happens without our doing, not drying off for the next milking cycle. The amount of milk we are getting will decrease. We will try to ensure that everyone gets and equal portion of milk. Herd share members will be notified of milk decline and a reduction in the amount they will be receiving. Remember even when the dairy herd is not producing milk boarding fees are still due.
  28. How soon after the goats kid can I get milk?
    All does produce colostrum for about three days after kidding. We milk the colostrum out and heat treat it before feeding it to the kids. On day four (4) we milk our does and send a sample to the lab if we get the all clear from the lab you can expect to receive milk at your next scheduled pick up date.
  29. Do you have pickup locations or offer delivery?
    No at this time milk must be picked up directly from the farm on your scheduled date and time. We have a register that every share member must sign at pickup indicating they received their milk/milk products. Only those listed on the contract can pick up your milk. Please do not send anyone else to pick up your share as it will not be released.
  30. Why am I paying boarding fees if I'm not getting milk/milk products?
    Animals require care even when not producing milk. During the colder months we often have to carry water to the animals, provide them with fresh hay and clean bedding. These are all part of the boarding fees for the care of your herd.
  31. I don't want to participate anymore?
    At any time you decide that participate in herd shares is not or you please contact the farm. At that time we will schedule a time to come to the farm. If you no longer want to participate and your boarding fees are up to date we will purchase your share for the buy-in fee ($50.00) only. Do not give or sell your share to anyone else. Do not give the milk to anyone outside your household and it is illegal to sell or give away herd shares or milk/milk products. If someone is wanting to purchase your share from you have them contact the farm directly. We will meet with them to discuss the herd share program. If the herd share program did not meet your expectations please tell us so that we can improve our program. Remember giving or selling your herd share to another party is illegal in the state of West Virginia. Giving away or selling any milk/milk products received as part of your share is illegal in the state of West Virginia.
  32. Why do I have to pay more than one buy-in fee if I purchase more than one share?
    Each share includes both the buy-in fee and the monthly boarding fees. These will be due with each individual share you purchase.
  33. What's in the 'Welcome Packet'?
    Once you have made the decision to join our herd share program you will receive a welcome packet. Each packet will contain: Contact information for our farm. Information about the breed(s) of goats in the dairy herd. Your first months pickup schedule. Information about the diseases we test and vaccinate our dairy herd for. It will also contain copies of your Bill Of Sale, Acknowledgement of Risk, Release of Liability, and Contract. Safe handling of raw milk and dairy products. Any other pertinent information concerning the herd share program.
  34. Do I get copies of the signed paperwork?
    Yes, you will get a copy of everything that you sign. We also keep a copy for our records and are required to file a copy with the West Virginia Department of Agriculture.
  35. My family is visiting from out of town can they come see the farm and goats?
    We understand that everyone loves to come visit the farm we do ask that you schedule a time for us to give you a tour. There may be times when the farm is closed to any and all guests for various reasons. Remember we are a working farm and often have other commitments. We try to accommodate everyone and will sometimes have days set aside as meet and greet or demonstration days.
  36. I want to learn more about caring for goats and milk production?
    We love teaching people about the proper care of animals. Education is our greatest tool. If you are interested in learning more about any aspect of our farm please contact us. We offer several different educational days here on the farm relating directly to care and handling of livestock. If you would like to shadow us on our farm please contact us or more details. Certain times of year we love having an extra set of hands or two.