Most of the alfalfa, corn and soy grown in our country is genetically modified. Growers plant GMO crops so that they can spray the whole field for weeds and insects, which means that most goat feed is not only genetically modified but also sprayed with a cocktail of toxins.
In reading the Small Ruminant Research journal, I came across a 2015 article that proves that GMO feed may not be so good for goats. In the study, 60 does were fed either GMO soy or GMO-free soy for sixty days before kidding. The does’ milk was tested; data from the babies was collected.
The does fed GMO soy had significantly lower antibodies, fat and protein in their colostrum than does fed non-GMO soy. This is important because the babies need those nutrients and the immune protection from their mother. The babies from the GMO soy group had 40% lower antibody levels, weighed less, and were significantly smaller when measured at the chest and withers, at one month old and at slaughter.
So we can see that feeding non-GMO concentrate to the pregnant does gives the babies a better start in life. We still don’t really know what feeding large quantities of GMO alfalfa, corn and soy to goats over a period of ten years might do to their bodies, but we do know that whatever they eat goes into their milk. Transgenetic DNA fragments were found in the babies of the does fed GMO soy, so if they’re drinking it, so are we.
Many of us buy organic for our families but not for our goats. Organic feed costs more and isn’t readily available. Before we got our first dairy goats, we were drinking raw organic cow’s milk, so I’m not going to all the work of raising my own goats just to drink tainted milk! I choose to feed my goats organic alfalfa pellets to ensure that it’s not GMO, to avoid the toxins from the herbicides, because pellets take less space to store, and because there’s zero waste. I also choose to buy Modesto Milling’s organic soy-free dairy pellets. Of course I want the best milk possible for my family, but I also like the health benefits that my goats receive.