Goats and cheese – a joint passion of the Pérez Family

Two brother and their families make a living on 1200 dairy goats, 400 hectares and a small farm dairy. SOLID helped them improve their feeding strategy.

By Ulla Skovsbøl

Hundreds of black goats swarm around the visitors as the agricultural scientists of the SOLID project approach the Pérez Family Farm in the Andalusian countryside outside Granada on for a farm visit.

Belen md ost 4x5

José Luis Perez Peula and his brother Antonio Perez Peula  run the farm with two milkers and a an elderly goat herd, while his daughter Belén is in charge of the farm dairy producing a delicious goat cheese using 20 percent of the milk produced on farm  by his daughter Belen Peréz Peula  – the rest is delivered to the local dairy.

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Spanish nutritionists put olives and tomatoes on the goat menu

David og kollega m oliven storBased on research from the SOLID project Spanish nutritionists recommend Mediterranean  farmers to apply a low input strategy using by-products from the olive- and greenhouse industry as feed for dairy goats.

By Ulla Skovsbøl

Tomato salad with rich olive oil is a simple but delicious dish on the Mediterranean dining table. But tomatoes and olives are not only suited for the human diet  – silages made out of waste from the olive and tomato industries have also proved to be an attractive feed for dairy goats.

Olive pulp is very wet

Within the SOLID project the scientists at the Animal Nutrition Institute at the research institution CSIC in Granada have tested a broad range of by-products fit for husbandry production on low input farms.

In particular, leaves and pulp from the olive oil industry and wasted fruits from the intensive greenhouse production – primarily tomatoes – appeared to be promising as goat feed.

Both types of products were fed as silage and tested in vitro as well as in vivo at the institute and also on case study farms. Silage made out of tomato waste mixed with straw and barley appears to be very well suited for feeding ruminants, although the challenge is the high moisture of the tomatoes.

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Goats rampant the cauliflower field – intentionally

Goats apparently love cauliflower. The video shot by Spanish animal nutritionists involved in the SOLID project leaves no doubt. The movie star goats belong to the Pérez Family, who run a dairy goat farm outside Granada in Southern Spain.

The farm has been involved in the participatory research conducted by the Animal Nutrition Institute at CSIC in Granada aimed at finding the means to reduce livestock feeding costs as part of the SOLID project.

Apparently, the goats also enjoyed being involved in SOLID, in particular as it implied new and interesting diets such as self-service dinner in the cauliflower field, humorously documented on the video.  They also tested silage made with waste from the tomato and olive industries but self-service cauliflowers was the winner!

Read more about the tomato and olive silage

…. and watch a video about feeding goats with byproducts.


New software for estimating feed demand is on its way

fodring12SOLID-partners are developing software intended to optimise feeding management within organic and conventional low input dairy systems. First part of the model – a simulation of feed demand – is ready. It works as a useful library or starting point for other users and developers.

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Agroforestry productions systems integrate livestock and trees

Productive land is subject to many competing demands such as increased food production to meet the needs of a growing world populatio, demand for biomass for  bioenergy such as short rotation coppice to meet the EU Renewable Energy Directive target of 20% of Europe’s energy from renewable sources by 2020, and the demand for farm land to support and deliver ecosystem services such as safeguarding soil, water and air quality, mitigating climate change, and supporting biodiversity.

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